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Shapiro, Jonathan ChiraHyphenated Japan: Cross-examining the Self/Other dichotomy in Ainu-Japanese material culture
BA, Oberlin College, 2017, Anthropology
This is a historical ethnography that examines how shifts Japanese national identity and values of homogeneity have affected Japan’s minority Ainu population. I argue that the symbolic position of Ainu culture has historically been rearranged to suit prevailing ideas about Japanese nationality and culture without input from Ainu. Using theoretical understandings of Self-Other dichotomies, I examine the particular way these practices manifested in Meiji Japan to create modern Japanese national identity, and how these functioned both against the West and people colonized by Japan. From there, I look at how cultural nationalism was objectified as present from time immemorial in Japan through the installation of key parts of Japaneseness and Ainuness into symbolic objects (most notably food and the forms of food-getting) and using these symbols to retroactively label Ainu culture as an aspect of Japanese nationality. Finally, I look at how contemporary Ainu have subverted this practice using cultural objects to work against a “vanishing ethnicity” narrative and reject the idea that being Ainu is inaccessible in modern contexts.

Committee:

Crystal Biruk (Advisor); Baron L. Pineda (Advisor)

Subjects:

Asian Studies; Cultural Anthropology; History; Native Studies

Keywords:

Ainu, Japanese, Hokkaido, Meiji, discrimination, colonialism, Indigenous studies, modernity, racism, material culture, post-colonial studies, Japanese history, nationalism, assimilation

Myers, David JazA Brisk Tour of (Enriched) Category Theory
BA, Oberlin College, 2017, Mathematics
In this paper, I will take you on a brief and brisk tour of the theory of (enriched) categories. While we won’t have time to see the theorems of category theory, we will see how the definitions unify a number of concepts across the mathematical landscape. Hopefully, this will make the role of category theory as grand analogy maker seem plausible, even if we won’t get to see what one does with those analogies.

Committee:

Jack Calcut (Advisor)

Subjects:

Mathematics

Keywords:

category theory;enriched category theory;conceptual mathematics

Sprouse, WarrenProduction, Consumption, and Consciousness
BA, Oberlin College, 1991, Government

To begin with disclaimers: the discussion which follows is not a `treatise’ on education in any sense of the term. Nor is it intended as a programme for educational reform, per se. Disciplines far more qualified for that task than political theory must assume it, to assure a proper treatment of such an immensely important undertaking. Rather, the present effort is more than anything an attempt to bring two of the most significant Marxist writers of our century (namely Antonio Gramsci and Louis Althusser) into closer proximity to one another. Something of a justification of this approach is necessary to make sense of the trajectories that this essay follows.

At their bottom, these trajectories represent an attempt to broaden understanding of education, and more significantly – political education, as it relates to problems of hegemony in capitalist societies. This effort is a continuation, in many ways, of a similar initiative which is present in much of Gramsci’s own writing. Education must be understood in its most enormous sense if it is to carry meaning, a sense of which (for the better, I think) any single writer can catch but the merest glimpse. With this understanding in mind, the current discussion takes two tremendously important theorists as the `beacons’ between which it navigates, with the space between those beacons as the real object of its investigation.

Such a methodology is an implied recognition of the two very different sorts of `evidence’ in the construction of political commentary: that which comes into print as theory (that is, from the mind and pen of a theorist him or herself) and that which comes into history as event (that is, the course of political development in general, and in Marxist theory, the struggles of classes over the shape that such development takes). Both these types of `document’ are obviously crucial to political understanding, above all to Marxism in attempts at `historical science’. They are so critical though, not as mere reflections of one another, so that some theorist may look at the historical vindication of her thought and say `Aha! I was right.’ The two are very much interwoven in this sense of political education rather than merely `theory testing’, and as part of a broader unity of theory and practice.

Committee:

Mark J. Belcher (Advisor); Harlan Garnett Wilson (Advisor)

Subjects:

Political Science

Keywords:

Marxist; political education; capitalist; Antonio Gramsci; Louis Althusser;

Jenson, SageDigital Morphologies: Environmentally-Influenced Generative Forms
BA, Oberlin College, 2017, Computer Science
We present a generative method to grow triangular meshes with organically-shaped features. Through the application of simplified forces, millions of particles develop into complex 3D forms in silico. These forms interact with external environments in a variety of ways, allowing for the integration of the proposed technique with pre-existing 3D objects and scenes. Large simulation sizes were computationally achieved through the massively parallel capabilities of modern Graphics Processing Units (GPUs).

Committee:

Robert Bosch (Advisor); Tom Wexler (Advisor)

Subjects:

Computer Science

Keywords:

graphics, 3D, coral, morphology, GPGPU, GPU, parallel computing, CUDA, simulation, organic, growth, particles, collision detection

Fairfax, Kenneth JAn Argument for Liberating Election Research from its Downsian Bonds
BA, Oberlin College, 1981, Government

Considerations of theories of political education and socialization also played an important role in the development of the analysis presented here. Knowing why different groups of citizens use different groups of criteria when evaluating presidential aspirants would be helpful to the continued development of theories of the role of education in shaping the future of a polity. Existing theories of political education already provide insights into the possible pitfalls of a society which stresses the blind acceptance of authority. While the existence of an apathetic group is seen as necessary the ability of an elite to mobilize such a group could be very dangerous If the mass media is capable of mobilizing apathetic, disenfranchised, and disinterested groups of citizens it could be a powerful weapon in the hands of a potential fascist.

The possibility that a significant group of citizens choose presidential candidates on the basis of criteria other than interest group competition has profound impact on pluralist conceptions of the role of elections in U.S. democracy What if people who are neither apathetic misinformed, nor irrational choose to vote for the candidate whom they believe to be the most honest, experienced, intelligent leader? If such a group does exist, what impact is it having on the outcome of elections?

Considerations of theory provided insights into the empirical study of election behavior, and the empirical study of election behavior has the potential to provide insights into theory Thus, the arguments presented here are specific and limited in scope; the reasons for presenting them are as numerous and diverse as are the fields of political science.

Committee:

Harlan Garnett Wilson (Advisor); Jere W. Bruner (Advisor)

Subjects:

Political Science

Keywords:

election;behavior;Downsian;pluralist;

Pinard-Welyczko, KiraDoes Training Enhance Entraining? Musical Ability and Neural Signatures of Beat Perception
BA, Oberlin College, 2017, Psychology
Perception of beat and meter is a nearly universal human skill that requires little to no conscious effort. However, the extent to which music training influences this perception in the brain remains unknown. Music performance requires high sensitivity to timing and physical entrainment to external auditory stimuli. Additionally, compared to untrained individuals, musicians show higher performance on a number of auditory and speech tasks, as well as different brain morphology and fiber connections. Beat and meter perception are thought to be subtended by oscillations of groups of neurons at corresponding frequencies. Here, electroencephalography (EEG) was used to examine the magnitude of neuronal entrainment to beat and meter in individuals with high or low levels of music training. EEG signals were recorded while participants attended to a musical beat, and then imagined a binary or ternary meter over that beat. Beat-keeping ability was also assessed using a synchronous tapping task. A strong EEG signal was observed selectively at beat and meter frequencies, indicating entrainment across participants. No differences in the magnitude of entrainment were observed based on level of music training or beat-keeping ability. These results suggest that music training may not influence beat and meter perception at the level of neural networks and that entrainment could be innate. Broadly, results provide a foundation for further research into whether entrainment has evolutionary significance.

Committee:

Albert L. Porterfield (Advisor); Patrick Simen (Committee Member); Sara Verosky (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Cognitive Psychology; Music; Neurosciences; Psychology

Keywords:

beat perception, entrainment, music, meter, music cognition

Harris, Julia GoldaWithout Closets: A Queer and Feminist Re-Imagining of Narratives of Queer Experience
BA, Oberlin College, 2014, Gender Sexuality and Feminist Studies
This project employs a queer and feminist lens to critique the prominence of the coming-out narrative in discourses surrounding queer life experiences, and configures alternative ways of thinking about these experiences. I conducted on-campus interviews with queer-identifying women about their identities and experiences with visibility and disclosure. I investigate in this project both the role that the coming-out narrative plays in shaping these stories and the radical possibilities embedded within these stories for new types of narrative. Guided by queer theory's complicated relationship with the notion of identity, I define and employ the concept of "queer alignment" as an alternative way of understanding what it might mean to "be queer," and I lay out two alternative formulations to the coming-out narrative; queer temporality and queer visibility. This project is not a comprehensive solution to the problem of the coming-out monolith, but a gesture towards the vast array languages and concepts that might be developed in order to describe and value a more diverse array of narratives of queer experience.

Committee:

Anuradha Dingwaney Needham (Advisor); Meredith Raimondo (Committee Member); Pablo Mitchell (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Womens Studies

Keywords:

queer;feminist;coming out;identity;narrative;LGBT;lesbian;gay;queer theory;

Ratcliffe, Gavin MParental Advisory, Explicit Content: Music Censorship and the American Culture Wars
BA, Oberlin College, 2016, History
In the 1980s the use of vulgar lyrics in music became connected with social issues surrounding youth and the perceived breakdown of the American family. While the historiography of the debate over music content and regulation, from 1985-1992, is frequently displayed as a partisan issue I argue that loose alliances formed across the political and cultural spectrum in calls for tighter regulation. Despite being a national debate, successful application of pressure for tighter regulation only came about through local efforts which had far reaching consequences for the RIAA’s national retail structure. This paper explores the way censorship efforts took place during the American Culture Wars and the murkiness of defining censorship in the Record Industry Association of Americans decentralized economic structure.

Committee:

Clayton Koppes (Advisor)

Subjects:

History

Keywords:

RIAA;2 Live Crew;PMRC;Tipper Gore;Jack Thompson;Censorship;Culture Wars;Media History;Popular Music;Youth Culture;Sexplotation Industry;Dead Kennedys;Jello Biafra;NEA;Night Stalker;

Xiao, ZhifuA Comparative Analysis of an Interior-point Method and a Sequential Quadratic Programming Method for the Markowitz Portfolio Management Problem
BA, Oberlin College, 2016, Mathematics
In this paper, I give a brief introduction of the general optimization problem as well as the convex optimization problem. The portfolio selection problem, as a typical type of convex optimization problem, can be easily solved in polynomial time. However, when the number of available stocks in the portfolio becomes large, there might be a significant difference in the running time of different polynomial-time solving methods. In this paper, I perform a comparative analysis of two different solving methods and discuss the characteristics and differences.

Committee:

Robert Bosch (Advisor)

Subjects:

Applied Mathematics; Industrial Engineering; Mathematics; Operations Research

Keywords:

optimization;interior-point method;portfolio optimization;convex optimization;sequential quadratic programming;

Varadi, Hannah LynnReconstructing Seville: Translating Eduardo del Campo’s Capital Sur
BA, Oberlin College, 2015, Comparative Literature
In the semi-biographical Capital Sur (2011), Spanish journalist Eduardo del Campo draws on experimental narrative techniques to portray his home city of Seville as he saw it in the 1990’s: a barometer of Spain’s social and economic crises. Here I compare modern translation theories to my own partial translation of this novel into English, which I place in the context of the U.S. translation publishing industry. I also show how the historical and cultural context of Seville influence the text’s themes—including del Campo’s critique of the hegemonic ways that countries such as the United States tend to exoticize Spain’s culture.

Committee:

Sebastiaan Faber (Advisor); Azita Osanloo (Advisor)

Subjects:

Communication; Comparative Literature; Composition; History; Intellectual Property; Journalism; Language; Literature; Mass Communications; Modern Literature

Keywords:

comparative literature; hispanic studies; new journalism; modular narrative; Eduardo del Campo; history of Spain; translation studies

Brown, Gabriel HealeyContested Land, Contested Representations: Re-visiting the Arab Revolt of 1936-1939 in Palestine
BA, Oberlin College, 2016, History
My thesis examines contested representations of the Arab Revolt of 1936-1939 in Palestine and the interests of the groups that constructed these representations. I use archival documents, historical newspapers, and memoirs to demonstrate that Palestinians tended to portray the conflict as a contentious struggle for independence, while British and Zionist leaders understood it as a series of violent, criminal disturbances. My thesis explores Palestinian motivations and tactics in order to challenge characterizations of rebels as “extremists.” I argue that the Revolt’s failure allowed British and Zionist representations to emerge as the hegemonic discourse reaching English-speaking audiences about the rebellion.

Committee:

Zeinab Abul-Magd (Advisor)

Subjects:

History; Middle Eastern History

Keywords:

Arab Revolt of 1936-1939;Palestinian;extremists;rebels;rebellion;

Hegstad, Stephanie Hunt"As If I Could Do Anything Except Just Sit and Stare" A Gaze of a Viewer/Reader in Psycho and To The Lighthouse
BA, Oberlin College, 1993, English

At the end of Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho, the figure of Norman Bates (or maybe the figure of his mother--at this point, the distinction is fogged) hugs a blanket around him as he sits in his prison cell, staring, perfectly still except for the movements of his eyes, the expressions on his face, the slight movement of his head. He stares directly at the camera, the audience, while the phantom voice of Mother explains her trouble with her son ("he was always--bad"). The camera does not shift angles during this scene to relieve us of this penetrating gaze, but this also means that our viewer's gaze continues to focus on Norman; like Mother/Norman, we "sit and stare"; the cinematic screen acts as a window through which we see a reflection of our own viewing action.

As readers and viewers, our image remains absent from the novel we read or the film we watch, because the plane of the paper or the screen acts as a divider between the realm of the text and the realm of the reader. We can never see the camera that does the shooting, since it belongs neither to the scene of the film frame nor to the outside world of the viewer; instead, it has an invisible presence upon which nothing and everything rests; it is an unseen necessity, without which the image cannot be projected or transformed to film. But the filming of a view that appears free of the apparatus of the camera and the viewer can be accomplished only through the technical achievement of the apparatus itself. In taking a photograph, for example, I am always present as the person behind the camera, behind that already extra pane of glass, even if my camera and I do not throw a reflection or shadow on the text of the photograph. However, when watching Psycho, I am highly aware of my own viewing presence. I am interested in exploring how this awareness comes about--how do texts cause a reflection of me as viewer?

Along with Psycho, I want to examine Virginia Woolf's novel To The Lighthouse. I realize that this is rather an odd mix of genre and cultural class, but both works prompt in me a window-like reflection of my own role as reader and viewer because of self references to seeing through what I will call an extra pane of glass, but that can take the form of a painting or a peephole, a mirror or an alien voice. Both texts share the characteristic of displaying multiple viewpoints within their narrative structures; To the Lighthouse relies almost exclusively on the points of view established in the thoughts of several different characters. Psycho allows us to see both through the eyes of Marion and through the eyes of Norman--a dramatic contrast of subject and object of the gaze, of victim and murderer.

A shot/reverse shot sequence often works in theory to establish point of view in cinema. If a shot shows a view (the camera must not revolve more than 1800 in order for this to work) ,the next shot reverses that view by 1800 to show a figure looking. This inscribes that the view we are shown in the first shot belongs to the viewer pictured in its reverse shot. This denies the presence of the camera and of the audience because we can never be imaged in that second shot. Both Psycho and To The Lighthouse incorporate elements of this technique into the creation of multiple points of view, but I believe that there are moments in both works that defy suture by leaving the second shot open, by showing a view without a viewpoint from which to anchor it. In the final scenes of Psycho, for example, when the camera focuses on Norman--who stares back out of it and at whom we stare, the camera does not show the reverse shot of him--it does not show either a guard watching him or the blank wall of his cell. What this does, I think, is create the possibility for the incomplete shot/reverse shot sequence to reflect my own point of view.

Committee:

William Patrick Day (Advisor)

Subjects:

Film Studies; Literature

Keywords:

Psycho;movie;To The Lighthouse;reader;literature;

Schneider, Bethany SuzanneSpaces Between : Towards Depolarized Readings of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
BA, Oberlin College, 1993, English

Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of A Slave Girl is a text which, written in a culture divided between polarities of race and gender, has continued in the 130 years of its reception to traverse a landscape of mutably yet continually divided racisms and sexisms, changeably yet continually cloven raced and gendered identities. The text itself, due to the legally and socially constructed polar ontologies of race and gender in 19th century America, is tom between what can be said and what can't, what is true and what is false, what is black and what is white. The "tears" manifest themselves on all levels, from the text's ambiguous manipulation of the slave narrative genre and of the conventions of sentimentality, down to paradoxical statements housed in a single sentence. Readings of Incidents have also been tom. From acceptance at "face value," that is, that Jacobs was the black fugitive slave she claimed to be, to readings which understood it as a fiction by a white woman, to its recent recovery and revalorization as an "authentic" slave narrative, the text has been read in radically contradictory ways. This paper will be an examination of how the rendings and renderings in the text, and the rendings and renderings of the text as it has been read, suggest in the midst of their divisions spaces between polarities which have the potential to reveal those polarities' construction. The text's many slippages between categorical understandings, in other words, suggest possible sites not of synthesis, but of ranges of understanding.

Antebellum American culture was, as contemporary American culture still is, built on dualistic understandings supported by law and language. "Race" has long been a cornerstone of this belief system for white Europeans and Americans, with "black" and "white" occupying opposite ends of the chain of being. Thus in 1862, Abraham Lincoln told a group of black leaders that "You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between any other two races." Never mind that these two "races," divided by the broadest distance Lincoln could imagine, mingled and mingled easily, mostly through the rape of slave women by slave owners, to the point where Jacobs could ask the question, "who can measure the amount of Anglo-Saxon blood coursing in the veins of American slaves?" As Jacobs elsewhere points out, "No matter whether the slave girl be as black as ebony or as fair as her mistress, in either case, there is no shadow of law to protect her from insult, from violence, or even from death." In other words, it is the law which polarizes the understanding of race, not race which dictates the law. The words black and white, when applied to race, thus become not descriptions of actual appearance, but justifying metaphors for a system of legally sanctioned social tyranny. Categorical language, which supports and naturalizes social and legal constructions by eliding spectra of color and identity into polarized definitions of black/white, thus creates an official ontology of the visible and the understandable, which is an ontology of polarity. This ontology must, in order to preserve its absolute bifurcation, "assimilate and internalize [other permutations of 'race'] ... "to its own rigid polar logic," as Fuss says of sexuality. Words and definitions thus function both to buttress legal interdictions, in this case the antebellum laws surrounding race, and as interdictions themselves, prohibit in their polarity the visibility of spaces between and sanction the constant reconstruction of dichotomized understandings. Thus interdicted, the spaces between polarities are unsayable and invisible.

Committee:

Sandra Zagarell (Advisor)

Subjects:

Literature

Keywords:

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Davis, Cathlin MNo Longer Children, Not Yet Adults : adolescence in the fiction of L.M. Montgomery
BA, Oberlin College, 1996, English

Lucy Maud Montgomery was born on Prince Edward Island, Canada, in 1874. She did not live there her whole life, but it held an important place in her life. The Island was a constant presence in her fiction, and only one of her 23 novels is set completely away from it. Montgomery has long been considered solely a children's writer, though two of her books were written for an adult audience, and the majority of her work holds appeal for a general audience. She remains largely unknown by scholars, but has come under some critical scrutiny with the recent growth in children's literature criticism. The critical studies focus on Anne of Green Gables as her best-known novel, treating it as a children's book, or domestic fiction, or sentimental fiction. There is no consensus as to category, for that book or her work in general. Nor is there consensus as to its worth. In many ways Montgomery is still on the fringe.

I was introduced to Montgomery when I was a teenager, and I have constantly reread her work over the last ten years. Most of her novels lend themselves to rereading; new layers of meaning are constantly revealed. I chose to study Montgomery because of these layers of meaning. I felt that in exploring her work in an academic framework I would be covering new ground, not just repeating the work of others. Reading her novels with a critical focus, I became aware that Montgomery is especially interested in describing adolescence. Montgomery emphasizes the potential within her adolescent heroines as they come to define their identity. She structures the experience of adolescence around a set of cultural markers which are the same from book to book, despite the differences in the heroines themselves. Her use of these markers is the focus of my study.

Committee:

(Advisor)

Subjects:

Literature

Keywords:

Montgomery;adolescence;

Jaskunas, Paul RichardFaith and Banishment : the Artistic Credo of Katherine Anne Porter
BA, Oberlin College, 1994, English
In 1932 Katherine Anne Porter wrote to her brother from Paris, where she was living happily, about walking along the Quay and buying old maps of the New World: "I have already a French map of America made in 1631, and a French map of Virginia dated 1640. They are beautiful and inaccurate and I mean to have a lot of them." (Letters of Katherine Anne Porter, 78) The image of the old, absolute map floated right off the page as I read; it seemed to serve as the perfect metaphor for something in Porter's fiction that I had not yet been able to describe metaphorically: the determined and inspired impulse to create order that mediates the fearful space between the reality of New Worlds and the perception of the individual. The role of the artist, as defined in Porter's fiction and nonfiction, is akin to that of the map maker who, working from her unique vantage point and from the vision of those preceding her, re-draws the boundaries, reshapes the landscape of individual consciousness. Each generation of artists, she believed, must not intentionally speak for a new age of understanding or the latest ultimate truths. Rather, the artist stands alone, necessarily a voice of dissent, creating a self-defined order in the context of communal pressure and the stream of time. Her writing articulates a steadfast sense of her mission as an artist and it is this mission I want to explain. Her letters and essays discuss it in straightforward terms, while the artistic ramifications of her credo are given the movement of narrative in the mythical initiations from innocence to experience which so often form the nexus of her stories.

Committee:

Dewey Ganzel (Advisor)

Subjects:

Literature

Keywords:

Katherine Anne Porter

Fulton, AllisonTo Come Alive in Our Experience: The Sounds of Listening in Sigurd F. Olson
BA, Oberlin College, 2016, English
My research explores the reflective qualities of nature that can lead to different ways of being in and of the world. In The Singing Wilderness, Sigurd Olson details his experiences in the Quetico-Superior region, an international wilderness of lakes and forests on the border of Canada and Minnesota that is replete with spaces for reflection. Olson encourages his readers to listen to the sounds, songs, and silences of the wilderness. I address his creation of a literary terrain he made accessible to his readers by acting as a guide to the imaginative wilderness with a literary canoe and paddle.

Committee:

T. S. McMillin (Advisor)

Subjects:

American Literature; Environmental Philosophy; Literature

Keywords:

Canoe;Listening;Singing; Guide;Horizon;Dreaming;Wilderness;Quetico-Superior Region;Consciousness;Knowledge;Experience;

Stein, Laurie Elizabeth"Life into Dry Bones" : Emergence of the Female Artist and Community Integration in L.M. Montgomery's Novels of Development
BA, Oberlin College, 2006, English

"If I'm to be dragged at Anne's chariot wheels the rest of my life I'll bitterly repent having 'created' her."[ So wrote Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942) in September 1908, a mere few months after the publication of her first novel, Anne of Green Gables, which had quickly become a bestseller. Of course Montgomery knew, and we can see with hindsight, that "Anne's chariot wheels" were and are nothing to scoff at. Quite clearly they propelled Montgomery to popular renown, financial success and literary acclaim - both then and now. Then, beginning in 1908 and continuing through her career, "Anne's chariot wheels" provided the extra financial and morale boost necessary as Montgomery, a workmanlike but improving poet and generator of short stories, toiled along toward her lifelong goal. She desperately aspired, as she put it, to climb "the Alpine path" -- to gain noteworthy and meaningful achievement as a writer -- and Anne of Green Gables, as her first novel and most lasting legacy, naturally entailed a most significant ascent. Now, Anne classic paperbacks, tourist attractions, and commercial products, testaments to the continued force of the chariot wheels, are coupled with a resurgence of critical interest in Montgomery that has spawned essays, publications, conferences and even the establishment of an L. M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island in 1993.

But it was the very ubiquity of Montgomery's literary association with her red-haired heroine that led to her 1908 outburst. Montgomery's frustration regarding "Anne's chariot wheels" derived from the fact that the writing of Anne's second adventure, Anne of Avonlea (1909), was proving a less satisfactory and delightful process than the first. The unforeseen popularity of Anne of Green Gables had brought with it pressure and expectation for an equally unforeseen sequel: a sequel in which, as Montgomery straightforwardly (and regretfully) stated, as fans reluctantly acknowledge, and as critics predictably harp upon, "Anne, grown-up, couldn't be made as quaint and unexpected as the child Anne" (GGL 74). In relative terms, the Anne sequels maintained Montgomery's commercial success. Public and publishers alike continued to demand them, and she produced seven in all. But Montgomery felt typecast into a specific genre, and occasionally confessed to her journal a longing to write "something entirely different."

Committee:

Katherine Linehan (Advisor)

Subjects:

Literature

Keywords:

Lucy Maud Montgomery;Anne of Green Gables;

Cerdera, Pablo MiguelHealing and Belonging: Community Based Art and Community Formation in West Oakland
BA, Oberlin College, 2015, Comparative American Studies
Community Based Art is a model of art making which centers community and interpersonal interaction. Through an in depth case study of Brett Cook's West Oakland based project "Reflections of Healing" this thesis attempts to understand how community is both reflected and constructed in Community Based Art, as well as the political, social, and aesthetic consequences of this construction. Of particular interest are the relationships between art, community, race, class, gentrification, and self-determination. Ultimately, this thesis finds that through an ambivalent and sometimes messy process of collaboration, Reflections of Healing constructs a hopeful and positive image of community that prefigures a better world. This image does not come from nothing, but is built from a long history of organizing, activism, and community formation in Oakland, reflecting the importance of the creation of counter-hegemonic images of community, even while remaining open and inclusive for all. Although Cook intentional chooses not to face many social and political issues head on, the community constituted in the project carries with it the potential to make radical political change, and reflects the radical history of West Oakland, most significantly the history of the Black Panther Party (BPP). Cook's emphasis on healing reflects the deep traumas, both historical and contemporary, faced by many Oakland residents, particularly long term Black and Latinx residents, while remaining positive about the future. While it is not without room for critique in terms of the relationship to and definition of community, Reflections of Healing proves to be deeply meaningful for some of the participants and residents, and creates possibilities for community self-definition.

Committee:

Wendy Kozol, Professor (Advisor); Pablo Mitchel, Professor (Committee Member); Janet Fiskio, Professor (Committee Member); Shelley Lee, Professor (Other)

Subjects:

Aesthetics; American History; American Studies; Art Criticism; Art History; Black Studies

Keywords:

Art;Community;Community Based Art;Social Practice;Race;Class;Gentrification;California;Oakland;West Oakland;Black Panther Party;Aesthetics;Social Justice;Social Change; Community Formation;Politics of Aesthetics;Black Art;Latinx Studies

Rutherford, Miranda JuliaA Trickster in Disguise: Reading a New Type of Satan in 2 Corinthians
BA, Oberlin College, 2015, Religion
This paper examines three brief mentions of Satan in 2 Corinthians by comparing them with representations in two longer pseudepigraphal texts: the Testament of Job and the Greek Life of Adam and Eve. Although the Satan of 2 Corinthians is often read in tandem with other mentions of an apocalyptic evil figure, I argue that this Satan bears a greater resemblance to the Satan portrayed in the Testament and the Life. In these three texts, Satan's moral alignment is ambiguous: although he often acts for nefarious purposes, he does not oppose God on a cosmic scale as apocalyptic Satan figures do. Instead, this Satan tests and tricks humans, often using disguises. The trickster Satan is not the diametric opposite of the apocalyptic Satan; in fact, the two portrayals sometimes appear within the same text, indicating a gradual evolution of the figure of Satan during the early Christian period.

Committee:

Cynthia Chapman (Advisor); Andrew Wilburn (Advisor); Corey Barnes (Committee Co-Chair); Margaret Kamitsuka (Committee Co-Chair)

Subjects:

Bible; Biblical Studies; Religion

Keywords:

Satan; 2 Corinthians; Greek Life of Adam and Eve; Testament of Job; New Testament, Bible; trickster;

Kosinski, Jake MDrug Markets and the State: A Perspective from Political Economy
BA, Oberlin College, 2013, Politics
The paper introduces a classification scheme for state approaches to regulation of drug markets. The concept of the 'drug regulation state' is developed to include policies and agencies concerned with all drugs, including legal examples such as tobacco, alcohol, and oxycodone. Approaches to regulation are classified broadly as drug war, harm reduction, decriminalization, and legalization. The approaches and rationales used by various state agents, especially in the United States and Europe, are summarized and analyzed. The history of modern pharmacology and drug regulation is expanded with a focus on the American case. The role of industry in state regulation is analyzed. The history of regulation for common drugs of abuse is broken down by class (opioids, cannabis, and stimulants). The paper concludes that while reform of drug war policies is increasingly popular, developing effective new strategies to mitigate drug harms will be difficult and has powerful opponents.

Committee:

Marc Blecher (Advisor)

Subjects:

Political Science

Keywords:

drugs; regulation; drug war; decriminalization; harm reduction; drug industry; legalization; cannabis; narcotics; pharmaceuticals; public health

Wangpaiboonkit, Parkorn“La storia mia è breve” : Reading Puccini’s La Bohème beyond the obvious
BA, Oberlin College, 2015, Comparative Literature
A comparative close reading of Puccini's La Bohème, creating alternative readings through exploring the opera's hidden meanings, resistance to genre conventions, and innovations.

Committee:

Jed Deppman (Advisor); James O'Leary (Advisor); William Day (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Comparative Literature; Music

Keywords:

Puccini;La Boheme;opera;

Roane, Nancy LeeMisreading the River: Heraclitean Hope in Postmodern Texts
BA, Oberlin College, 2015, Comparative Literature
Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus, known for his theory of "constant flux," may be one of the most misunderstood and misquoted thinkers of Western philosophy. The way that the protagonist of Julio Cortazar’s Rayuela misreads Heraclitus serves as one example of this phenomenon wherein poorly-conceived postmodern inquiries that seek to weaken the idea of a Truth lead to a nihilistic apathy. Horacio Oliveira misunderstands Heraclitus’ doctrine of constant flux and uses this misreading to “logically” justify his sexist and elitist behavior towards others. This phenomenon crops up again in Samuel Beckett’s absurdist play Fin de Partie through Hamm, a patriarch that no longer sees any point in trying because the world as he knows it is disintegrating. We can use Heraclitus as a central theoretical point for parsing through what exactly goes wrong with the ethical decisions of these characters. Carole Maso’s AVA serves as a counterexample to Rayuela and Fin de Partie, for the novel revolves around similar theoretical questions but provides us with a more properly “Heraclitean” approach for how to confront a world without fixed meaning. Studying these failures and successes supply us with examples of how Postmodern thought can be used for harm or for good. A Heraclitean reading of these texts shows us how, properly understood, Postmodernism moves not only towards deconstructing structuralized systems of violence and marginalization, but also towards building something out of the rubble.

Committee:

Claire Solomon (Advisor); Jed Deppman (Committee Chair); Benjamin Lee (Committee Member)

Subjects:

American Literature; Ancient Languages; Classical Studies; Comparative; Comparative Literature; Epistemology; Ethics; European Studies; Gender Studies; Latin American Literature; Latin American Studies; Literature; Metaphysics; Modern Literature; Philosophy; Womens Studies

Keywords:

Heraclitus;Julio Cortazar;Cortazar;Rayuela;Hopscotch;Samuel Beckett;Beckett;Fin de Partie;Endgame;Carole Maso;Maso;AVA;Postmodernism;Ancient Greek philosophy;Poststructuralism; Deconstruction; Cixous;Derrida;Deleuze;Kahn; TM Robinson

Mouw, TedGravity's Rainbow: Modernist Discourse Vineland: Postmodernist Discourse
BA, Oberlin College, 1990, English

To locate Gravity's Rainbow as a postmodern text within modernist discourse is probably sort of an odd thing. Obviously, the books' thematic depictions of linguistic colonialism and discourse of control (capitalism), suggest the inscription of power relations into formulations of truth and rationality, and a postmodern analysis of discursive operations and hierarchies. Yet, I want to stress here the ways in which we have been oriented to access and reproduce the text through modernist discourse.

Committee:

Pat Day (Advisor)

Subjects:

Literature

Keywords:

Vineland;Gravitys Rainbow;modernist;postmodern;Ulysses;postmodernist;fiction;

Easter, John RThe Geochemistry and Origin of Volcanic Features in the Quezaltenango Area
BA, Oberlin College, 1975, Geology
The city of Quezaltenango is located in southwestern Guatemala, approximately 100 kilometers WNW of Guatemala City. The volcanic features of this area represent a portion of the Central American Quaternary volcanic chain. This chain seems to be controlled by the underthrusting of the Cocos plate beneath the Americas and Caribbean plates, which occurs in the Middle American trench. The two overriding plates, which in the Caribbean finds topographical expression in the Cayman Trough. Molnar and Skyes have suggested that faults in eastern Guatemala may represent the continental extension of the transform. Stoiber and Carr feel that this plate boundary is currently rather inactive. Thus, plate convergence in the Middle American Trench seems to be the dominant tectonic feature. Stoiber and Carr have shown that the associated seismic zone dips at an angle of 30 degrees from the trench to a depth of 100 kilometers. At this point a drop in seismic activity occurs which they attribute to the beglnnlng of melting in the subducted plate. Below 150 kilometers seismicity is evident again, but its position indicates a sharp increase in the dip of the seismic zone. They suggest that the steep dip at the depth where melting occurs may account for the linearity of the volcanic chain.

Committee:

Norman Grant (Advisor)

Subjects:

Geology

Keywords:

Quezaltenango;Guatemala;subducted;Central American Quaternary;volcano;plates;Cocos;Caribbean;Middle American; trench;

Eisenberg, Emma CLiving in an (Im)material World: Consuming Exhausted Narratives in New Grub Street
BA, Oberlin College, 2015, English
Journalists often write about the death of various print and media forms—deaths that have yet to occur, but which we continually anticipate in deference to a tacit law which discards the past as a “useless encumbrance” of outmoded styles of consumption. But is that encumbrance necessarily useless? In this paper, I argue that George Gissing’s New Grub Street (1891), which narrates the deaths of two realist novelists and has been called an “epitaph for Victorian fiction,” lives out its own virtual death to good purpose. I discuss how Gissing uses the realist novel’s transitional or partially exhausted state to conserve social possibilities excluded by consumer society and the newer, less novelistic commodities that circulate within it. I examine theories of consumerism, exploitation, and Realism in the 19th century novel to articulate how a surplus of meaning can so reside in a consumable object.

Committee:

William Patrick Day (Advisor); Sandra Zagarell (Committee Member); Natasha Tessone (Committee Member)

Subjects:

British and Irish Literature; Literature

Keywords:

George Gissing;New Grub Street;realism;19th century;consumerism;novel;consumption; narrative;Victorian novel;commodity;reproduction;

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