language and culture studies senior theses 2020

french:

  • much loved by nabil ayouch: the representations of female sexuality
    in contemporary moroccan cinema
    Imane bounana
  • women behind closed doors: non-normative femininities in sartre’s theater
    megan caljouw
  • barriers in the banlieue: “la haine” by mathieu kassovitz (1995) and “divines”
    by houda benyamina (2016)
    andrew conner
  • marriage and motherhood: the moral connection between “the heptameron”
    by marguerite de navarre and “the lessons of anne of france”
    sophie klieger
  •  representing sex and desire: female sexuality in contemporary french works
    by virginie despentes and leïla slimani
    catherine maclennan
  • the aesthetic vision: spiritual naturalism and art in joris-karl huysmans’ à rebours (1884) and là-bas (1891)
    melani norsigian

 

german studies:

  • rapunzel’s body language: an analysis of the treatment of female bodies in the rapunzel tale genealogy
    hannah mccurry
  • a debate over german identity: the implications of the electoral rise of the alternative für deutschland
    sarah thomas
  • the aesthetic of nazism: architecture and space in the third reich
    aidan turek

 

hispanic studies:

  • la politización de la realidad en el nacimiento de la literatura:miguel de cervantes saavedra
    johnny gillespie
  • la política de los comentarios reales de los incas
    nic o’loughlin
  • los discursos sociales en la cuba del siglo xx y el impacto de la revolución: raza, clase y género en las obras de antonio benítez rojo y sara gómez
    eliza petrie
  • the rhetorical conquest:the self-legitimation of hernán cortés and justification of spanish colonialism in his ​letters of relation
    kent shi
  • ¿que significa la libertad para el autodesarrollo de un individual?
    josselyn zaldivar
  • sex and its influence on the political and societal standards of 16th century europe as depicted through the writing of la celestina
    hannah kelleher

 

italian studies:

  • covid-19: a personal experience
    trevor bellows
  • housing policy in italy: an in-depth analysis and comparative study
    anna ward
  • ‘the ferrante effect’ and the italian literary establishment
    maria legge

 

plan b – japanese and chinese:

  • character standardization: japan’s influence on china
    luke blough

 

world literature and culture studies:

  • not just pretty clothes: fashion’s progressive operationalizationas seen in baudelaire and benjamin
    a senior thesis for the philosophy department, with an addendum in fulfillment of the world literature and culture studies department’s thesis requirement:
    anna karenina’s appropriation of her mortality through dress
    serena trainor
  • comparative analysis of deafness and the deaf cultural experience in the u.s. and in israel
    eve pollack
  • silenced voices: situating disability studies in france through the poet babouillec
    mira nakhle

french:

 

much loved by nabil ayouch: the representations of female sexuality
in contemporary moroccan cinema
imane bounana
advisor: sara kippur
major: french

released in 2015, much loved, a franco-moroccan film about prostitution directed by nabil ayouch, was banned in morocco for serious outrage to the country’s moral values and the image of its women, as interpreted through its explicit showing of naked bodies, vulgar gestures, and sex scenes. this paper discusses representations of female sexuality on two levels. the first level underscores female sexuality as a terrain for violence; from sexual violence, to physical violence, to social and psychological violence, female sex workers suffer various forms of abuse which make them vulnerable and cause them to lose all appearance of humanity. the second level underlines female sexuality as an exercise in the liberalization of the female body; the female orgasm, contraception, and sexual identity are some of the manifestations of the liberalization of the female body that the movie highlights. by analyzing the representations of female sexuality, namely the exercise of violence and the liberalization of the female body, this paper showcases a different facet of female sexuality, one which has nothing to do with pleasure, beauty, and softness. by evoking the sexuality of female sex workers, much loved opens the door to a discussion on the language of sex in contemporary moroccan society.


women behind closed doors: non-normative femininities in sartre’s theater
megan caljouw
advisor: sara kippur
major: french

megan caljouw thesis presentation

this thesis explores jean-paul sartre’s depiction of women in theater, focusing on the female characters of the respectful prostitute (1944) and no exit (1946). more specifically, i argue that sartre presents women who reject normative conceptions of femininity prevalent in france during the twentieth century. using claire duchen’s women’s rights and women’s lives in france 1944-1968 to provide a baseline understanding of gender roles during this time, i illustrate the ways in which the plays’ female characters “fail” to adhere to stereotypical notions of femininity in the realms of motherhood and sexuality. my argument is informed by a variety of supporting materials, including simone de beauvoir’s the second sex, theoretical texts by sartre, and secondary scholarship surrounding the two plays. ultimately, my analysis reveals how the women of the respectful prostitute and no exit are only allowed to freely exhibit their non-normative femininities within the fictional worlds of the two plays. thus, sartre uses theater as a means of critiquing the misogynistic attitudes rampant during the mid-twentieth century in france.


barriers in the banlieue: “la haine” by mathieu kassovitz (1995) and “divines”
by houda benyamina (2016)
andrew conner
advisor: sara kippur
major: french

andrew conner thesis presentation

my thesis is about french cinema. the two primary sources i study, “divines” and “la haine”, are two french films which portray social constraints in the banlieue, or, suburbs, outside of paris. the social constraints that the characters experience, however, are enforced not just by themes of the films (racism, police brutality, etc…) but cinematographically through physical and visible barriers. through a series of analyses of screenshots, my thesis finds these specific scenes, and analyzes the physical barriers which separate characters such as vinz, said, hubert, dounia and maimouna and the others in the banlieue from those outside of it.


marriage and motherhood: the moral connection between “the heptameron”
by marguerite de navarre and “the lessons of anne of france”
sophie klieger
advisor: sara kippur
major: french

sophie klieger thesis presentation

marguerite de navarre was famous as the sister of king francis i of france, and for her role as a patron to the arts during the time of the french renaissance. not only did she champion many great humanist writers, but she was also a skilled writer in her own right. her novella the heptameron has been discussed by many literary critics as a great guide into the life of marguerite and all the women of the french court under her brother’s rule. following the model of boccacio’s the decameron, marguerite’s work follows “devisants” who tell each other stories in order to discuss their moral implications and to pass the time. the one difference is that the heptameron places more value on the true and very real moral dilemmas presented by each story. therefore, many connections have been made between marguerite’s own moral compass and the stories she writes. many of these stories connect to her own experiences. this thesis however, explores a relationship that has been overlooked by literary critics and finds the source for marguerite’s moral code. within a popular court handbook for noble women called les enseignements d’anne de france, many of the same pedagogical lessons are emphasized. not only is there a familial connection between anne de france and marguerite de navarre, but their texts share a striking resemblance in the moral lessons that they present. each text discusses the roles that women play in regards to two major themes in their lives; the themes of marriage and of motherhood. moral lessons are taught surrounding these two themes, and these lessons are seen as essential for any woman of nobility. thusly, this thesis seeks to create a discussion that links the heptameron to the life of magritte de navarre, as well as reveal the connection that her moral stories have to the lessons written by anne de france in order to define the moral roles of marriage and maternity for of women of the time.


 representing sex and desire: female sexuality in contemporary french works
by virginie despentes and leïla slimani
catherine maclennan
advisor: sara kippur
major: french

catherine maclennan thesis presentation

french feminism has evolved in terms of the ideas and contributions that scholars and feminists have made to the conversation over the last century, and modern french feminism is known to begin in the 1960s. feminism in france has brought to light significant topics in terms of female equality, the female body, and stereotypes against women. where does female sexuality fit into those discussions? how do we perceive female sexuality? and why is it often an uncomfortable conversation? contemporary french texts, like king kong théorie (2006) by virginie despentes and dans le jardin de l’ogre (2014) by leïla slimani depict certain ideals and ways in which female sexuality can be represented and experienced. while they are two very different works, they intersect in terms of the discussion of the freedom of female sexuality. they focus on the ways in which some women take hold of their personal sexuality, and the importance of the ability to do so. the main ideas consist of normalizing the conversation surrounding women’s sexuality, and while despentes and slimani’s ideas are often radical and may not be representative of all women, they make significant contributions to the feminist conversation.


the aesthetic vision: spiritual naturalism and art in joris-karl huysmans’ à rebours (1884) and là-bas (1891)
melani norsigian
advisor: sara kippur
major: french

melani norsigian thesis presentation

in france, during the nineteenth century, the fin de siècle marked a moment and movement of change. artists from all mediums began to illustrate experiences of their inward, self-inflicted “maladie” on a psychological and physical scale. joris-karl huysmans demonstrates the manifestation of individuals’ creation and consumption of their individual suffering through his nineteenth-century works: à rebours (1884) and là-bas (1891).

in this paper, i will show that huysmans uses the visual power of religious art to mirror his protagonists’ inner turmoil and individual “torn-ness.” i examine this through two of huysmans’ novels, where art becomes a symbol of escape and exposure for protagonists in their awareness and “maladie” from society. huysmans offers a narrative of individual transcendence for one’s suffering through christian practices, through “spiritual naturalism.” huysmans accepts life’s turmoil and prescribes an imitation of religious sacrifice to absolve oneself at the end of the fin de siècle.


german studies:

rapunzel’s body language:
an analysis of the treatment of female bodies in the rapunzel tale genealogy
hannah mccurry
advisor: julia assisante
major: german studies

hannah mccurry thesis presentation

the rapunzel tale (atu: 310: “the maiden in the tower”) has entertained the minds of adults and children alike for more than 350 years, with adaptations of this tale weaving throughout history from italian, french, and german storytellers, and throughout modern times as well, from female poets and american animation studios. rapunzel has a rich and variegated history, with one of the earliest known, written versions of the tale being petrosinella (1634) by giambattista basile. inspired by this italian tale is the french persinette (1698) by charlotte-rose de caumont de la force, which itself led to friedrich schulzs rapunzel (1790), the german translation of this tale that inspired the famous adaptation of the tale written by the brothers grimm, first in 1812, and then again in edited form in 1857. though its original form is not german, the rapunzel tale gained its greatest popularity through the german version told by brothers grimm in their children’s and household tales. the grimm version surely provided “[seed] for the future,” as most modern versions of the tale are not a retelling of the most recent adaptation, but specifically of the grimms’ rapunzel. examples include anne sexton’s poem rapunzel (1972), and disney studios’ animated film tangled (2010). an analysis of these adaptations, with the specific attention to the details associated with the female body—which ones are kept and which ones are edited out—throughout the different tales, tells a story of its own. the treatment of her body in these tales strips rapunzel of her agency, and traps her in a cage made by others. a cage she has yet to escape from, even in some of the more modern retellings of the tale. this consistency in the treatment of rapunzels body reveals and upholds the desire to silence and control women that has existed throughout history, and even persists into modern times.


a debate over german identity:
the implications of the electoral rise of the alternative für deutschland
sarah thomas
advisor: johannes evelein
major: german studies

sarah thomas thesis presentation

in 2017, the alternative für deutschland (afd), a far-right extremist party in germany,won 12.6% or 94 seats on the party ballot in the national election. while germany has witnessed modest support for far-right parties since the end of world war ii, none before the afd have overcome the institutional and ideological barriers to achieve representation in the german bundestag. in order to attract voter support, the afd caters their language to a crisis in german identity. as visible in the party manifesto, interviews with afd supporters, and speeches from afd leaders, the afd perceives immigration as a threat to german identity. for example, within the section titled “language, culture, and identity,” the afd manifesto calls for the preservation of german culture instead of multiculturalism and claims that islam is at odds with that culture.this thesis argues that the contemporary conflict over german identity is deeply rooted in modern german history, and a culture of resentment and frustration, particularly in east germany where the afd has found its highest levels of support. the foundations of frustration in afd voters originate in divided east and west germany; while west germany experienced an intimate process of atonement and reparations after national socialism, east germany endured asecond totalitarian regime. therefore, the rhetoric against immigration offers an avenue for afd voters to channel frustration that is in fact deeply entrenched in the central elements of german identity. by examining collective history, collective guilt, and collective shame as the cruxes of germany identity, i will demonstrate how the afd surmounted the barriers through identity politics that have historically contained the far-right in germany.


the aesthetic of nazism: architecture and space in the third reich
aidan turek
advisor: jason doerre
major: german studies

watch aidan turek’s thesis presentation on youtube

the specter of fascism haunts democracies the world over, leading to valuable new research into the criminal fascistic regimes of the past, most notably germany’s experience with nazism. however, scholarship regarding the third reich often tends towards institutional and biographical portraits, leaving underexamined the deep connection between nazism and the arts. architecture was at the heart of the third reich’s cultural weltanschauung and serves not only to inform us of the social mores affecting and informing leaders of the time, but also as a masterful depiction of how space can be manipulated towards ideological ends. by working through the built spaces of the third reich, while including the personal touches of adolf hitler along with influential nazis like albert speer, it is possible to understand the intensely ideological project of architecture—how and why physical space became a tool of authoritarianism and totalitarianism. key buildings, like the nazi party rally grounds in nuremberg, can be recontextualized in a broader theoretical framework to deconstruct the confluence of art and politics. this rich junction provides insights into the nucleus of nazism, and touches in no small part on the profound suffering caused by the regime. a close examination of the proposed capital for the resurgent reich, dubbed ‘germania,’ we can grasp the vital importance of architecture in the third reich, and how the forms and functions of built spaces became agents of fascism.


hispanic studies:

 

la politización de la realidad en el nacimiento de la literatura:
miguel de cervantes saavedra
johnny gillespie
advisor: david souto-alcade
major: hispanic studies

johnny gillespie thesis presentation

miguel de cervantes saavedra is known to have had an impact on the birth of literature parallel to that of shakespeare, both figures manifesting their artistic visions in roughly the same time period. a large component of cervantes’ literary acumen centered on his ability to present the idiosyncrasies of the lived reality in sixteenth century spain in a manner that would contemplate and often challenge their foundations. as a capstone project for the hispanic studies major, i will dissect three of cervantes’ novelas ejemplares, specifically “la fuerza de la sangre” (“the force of blood”), “la gitanilla” (“the little gypsy girl”), and “la española inglesa” (“the english spanish woman”), and analyze how thee stories serve as platforms upon which cervantes’ politicizes the lived reality of contemporary spain.

though each work sets forth elements of the lived reality as they fit the story’s narrative arc, and therefore politicizes the lived reality with nuance, threads between each story’s politicization are gender dynamics, the role which marginalized groups play in their societal infrastructure, the construction of social states and communities under monarchical rule, the interaction between members of different social classes (and different levels within the same social class, namely the nobles), and the very nature of spanish patriarchal society. cervantes politicizes the lived reality through both presenting how some societal norms can be problematic and assigning protagonists of these social roles contrary to how they normally appeared in society. cervantes’ literature was nearly instantly widely disseminated throughout the literary sphere, and today remains considered fundamental to the development of the novel and of literature as we know it today.


la política de los comentarios reales de los incas
nic o’loughlin
advisor:david souto-alcade
major: hispanic studies

comentarios reales de los incas por el inca garcilaso de la vega es una de las cuentas más importante de la conquista del imperio inca por francisco pizarro y sus conquistadores. una de las cosas importantes es que el autor es mestizo, hijo de una mujer noble inca y un hombre conquistador español. se ve corrientes políticas en toda la obra pero especialmente se ve en el contexto de la perspectiva, la violencia, y el lenguaje.

los comentarios reales de los incas por inca garcilaso de la vega es una obra de mucha importancia para la literatura hispanoamericana. es una de las historias definitivas del imperio inca. de muchas maneras comentarios reales une las tradiciones culturales de los incas y de los españoles y vemos los principios de una cultura distintivamente hispanoamericano que tiene herencia indígena y europea. una de las partes más interesantes de comentarios reales es la última parte que trata de la conquista del imperio inca por francisco pizarro y sus conquistadores


“los discursos sociales en la cuba del siglo xx y el impacto de la revolución: raza, clase y género en las obras de antonio benítez rojo y sara gómez”.
eliza petrie
advisor: priscilla melendez
major: hispanic studies

view eliza petrie’s thesis presentation on the trinity college digital depository


the rhetorical conquest:the self-legitimation of hernán cortés
and justification of spanish colonialism in his ​letters of relation
kent shi
advisor: david souto-alcade
major: hispanic studies

kent shi thesis presentation

hernán cortés was beyond just a militant governor who conquered continental central america to be absorbed into the spanish imperial conglomerate. as a versatile leader of the conquistadores, his skill set encompassed not only wartime command, peacetime administration,but also alliance formation, negotiation, and most importantly, monopolizing the history of himself and the spanish crown through literature. by controlling the rhetoric and the literary repertoire displayed in the letters of relation to king charles of spain, hernán cortés justifies his own mutiny against his former superior, governor of cuba diego velázquez, while legitimizing the invasion, decimation, and subjugation of the indigenous in what is now mexico.these letters by cortés constitute a legacy that has far-reaching consequences in the age of colonization, as a legitimizing force that assumes the european supremacy in morality, faith, and race, through which the appropriation of indigenous lands and wealth, adoption of a system based on ethno religious striation, and self-glorification of european colonizers are normalized.

¿que significa la libertad para el autodesarrollo de un individual?
josselyn zaldivar
advisor: david souto-alcade
major:hispanic studies

josselyn zaldivar Thesis Presentation

in the 17th century, pedro calderón de la barca’s play la vida es sueño played a significant political and social role for the spanish empire. the purpose of creating comedy was to serve as a method of entertainment that legitimized the empire’s purpose of colonizing and educating catholic ideology. this study will focus on analyzing the concept of freedom, the literary and historical context of the work which influenced its creation. spain suffered an internal and external crisis in the 17th century because of the kings never wanted to modernize the country’s political and economic system. when the renaissance and baroque movements were born, the rural population began to question the power of kings and noble class. provoking that theocracy with the support of the noble class and the catholic religion imposed its political, social and religious norms and values to ensure its control over the rural population. calderón de la barca in defense of the philosophy of the catholic church through the work transmits the human beings have the ability to change their future and achieve salvation if they repent of their bad actions as seguismundo did in the work. this work clearly emphasizes that those who do not repent and disobey rule and norms will face the consequences of their actions.


sex and its influence on the political and societal standards of 16th century europe as depicted through the writing of la celestina
hannah kelleher
advisor: david souto-alcade
major: hispanic studies

during 16th century europe, sex and love were regarded as sacred by the accepted social norms enforced by the church, the state, and the wealthy, with catholic beliefs at its center. la celestina exposes the hypocrisy of these norms, supported by the church-kingdom hegemony, showing the reality of how influential sex and love were in dominating and manipulating the political and societal environments that were thought to be religiously sacred and unbreakable.

published in 1499 by spanish writer fernando de rojas, la celestina was written during a time in europe where the church and its religious values dominated its society and political realm. for example, sex was regarded to be a sacred act. sex before marriage was a disgrace, and a woman’s virginity was precious. love was decided by arranged marriage or the social classes, making it difficult for people of different classes or ways of life to find accepted love within their society and families. la celestina follows one of these stories, portrayed as a passionate tale of forbidden love that tragically ends in death and dishonor. while la celestina is indeed a love story, the deeper message of rojas is hidden within the plot and expressed through the actions and words of the characters. in analyzing these themes exposed through rojas’ writing, he gives us a glimpse of the social norms and ways of life, especially regarding sex and love, during this time. more specifically, la celestina exposes the hypocrisy of these norms, supported by the church-kingdom hegemony, showing the reality of how influential sex and love were in dominating and manipulating the political and societal environments that were thought to be religiously sacred and unbreakable.


italian studies:

 

covid-19: a personal experience
trevor bellows
advisor: martina di florio
major: italian studies

trevor bellows thesis presentation

since december of 2019, the world’s eyes have been following the mysterious ‘coronavirus’ that has taken the world by storm. in the blink of an eye, our entire world changed. while many heeded the warning signs, many did not, and our society has suffered as a result. it seemed so far away to the americans, since china was the only country at the time that hosted the virus. until now. currently, in april of 2020, the united states has seen over 24,000 deaths related to the coronavirus. worldwide, the virus has attacked over 2 million people and as of april 14, 2020, has claimed the lives of 122,000.

this essay serves to provide a personal reflection of the virus and its impact on society. since 2014, i have been working for a 911 ambulance service, both in a volunteer and professional capacity. when the virus first arrived to america, i knew i would have to come face-to-face with the spread of the virus and its symptoms. each day, i see coronavirus having an impact on the lives of many in my community. i utilize full personal protective equipment in order to protect myself and others from the virus. but, our nation suffers from a shortage of supplies. i worry that one day i will not have the protective means to handle these emergencies. this is an issue all over the world. i worry that i will become a victim too. i have seen covid related deaths, suffering, and financial hardships. countless people that i have brought to the hospital did not make back out alive. the virus lingers in my ambulance, but i must quickly clean and risk being exposed to the next patient. it is the unfortunate reality of the profession. yet, through the trauma, i have seen the community rise together and work to stay safe and healthy. residents kindly donate all protective equipment to the first responders and other community services help to provide us with isolated housing, food, and necessities for daily living away from our families. it is not easy going to work every day, but i go to work to help others. after all, this is what i signed up for. and this is an insider’s perspective into the world of covid-19.

 


housing policy in italy: an in-depth analysis and comparative study
anna ward
advisor: martina di florio
major: italian studies

anna ward thesis presentation

As a Public Policy & Law and italian studies double major, I focused my argument on a topic that was able to combine two unlikely fields, and brought light to something that perhaps the general public does not know much about: housing policy in Italy, as compared to housing policy in the United States. Through my preliminary research, I discovered that housing policy in Italy is a much newer topic, whereas here in the United States it is something that has been established for decades. I found a similar connection where an important event in history catalyzed this type of policy to come front and center; in the United States this event was the post-WWII destruction that brought on a great deal of necessity of housing for the American population. There were similar effects in Italy, however, no actual policy was formed until the year 2000 in the country, and I attempted to trace back the history and how this impacted the nation from its foundation, to today.

i am making the argument housing policy is something that effects overall populations, given that it provides them with one of life’s necessities: shelter and a place to call home. for this sort of necessary foundation to not have any law backing it until 2000 in italy is something that should be explored further, and although several important attempts were made throughout the decades, nothing was truly established until much more recently. therefore, i question, what did the italian population do with all of this insecurity beforehand? what did housing look like in comparison to other nations such as the united states that did have these policies in place? what factors were involved that finally gave italy the housing policy that the country needed, and more importantly, were they successful?

my thesis makes the claim that italy cannot consider itself a fully established nation with all of the social benefits without implementing a successful housing policy that serves its entire population and gives them a sense of security. i use empirical data along with quantitative data of charts and graphics that show how housing has evolved over the decades in italy, and make a comparison to how the united states similarly established this policy. finally, i take into account the different welfare policies and public-private partnerships that were established in each nation, and which ones worked, and which ones did not, and for what reasons.


‘the ferrante effect’ and the italian literary establishment
maria legge
advisor: martina di florio
major: italian studies

maria legge thesis presentation

the literary works of elena ferrante my brilliant friend (2011), the story of a new name (2012), those who leave and those who stay (2013), and the story of the lost child (2014), describe the friendship between two female characters, elena and lila, and their struggle to escape from a life made of hardship, poverty, and violence, but, above all, to escape from a life controlled by the men of the naples neighborhood where they live. each, in her way, will choose paths that will lead her, hopefully, to a better destiny forged without being dictated by the men who control her life. elena’s and lila’s obstinacy is at the heart of these four novels, as is their constant struggle to seek and create their own identity in a turbulent period, not only in the history of naples and italy but of the whole world. their friendship, characterized by volatile times, and by competitions between the two, in the effort to improve oneself, but also to outdistance the other, unfolds through the texts and spans across half a century. individually, they will be able to create a life dictated by their conditions, although not necessarily fulfilling. in my perspective, their struggle is the affirmation to the struggle that each of us faces daily in pursuing our goals and achieving satisfaction and happiness—all legitimate aspirations, but essentially fleeting. my goal is to link the fight of the two friends, against the patriarchal power of the archaic society in which they live, with the fight of female italian authors against a literary establishment that has relegated them to a secondary and irrelevant role to date. with the story of two young girls who refuse to be confined to the margins of an oppressive patriarchal society—through lila’s rebellion and elena’s assiduous study—ferrante creates a symbol of rejection for all that constitutes “marginalization,” and gives life, albeit unintentionally, to a literary movement that is destabilizing the stale italian literary institution. thanks to the overhaul caused indirectly by ferrante, there is a rise to the foreground of female authors. authors who, unprecedentedly, find themselves recognized with literary prizes that were, in the past, invariably bestowed on men. ‘the ferrante effect’, as it came to be known, brought an end to the period of ‘storytelling’ strictly colonized from a male perspective. through the history of the two women, and by using critical secondary sources, i will argue that the theme of the struggle for control and independence, one of ferrante’s many themes, has given rise to a movement that—by subverting the canonical and traditional literary landscape—demands a powerful changing of the guard.


plan b- japanese and chinese:

 

character standardization: japan’s influence on china
luke blough
Advisor: Yipeng Shen & Katsuya Izumi
major: chinese and japanese

luke blough thesis presentation

due to the pictographic nature of chinese characters in japan (kanji) and china (hanzi), throughout history the use of these characters has been inconsistent. in the mid-1900s the governments of both countries decided to regulate their use in order to make reading and writing both easier and more consistent. both of the governments have officially done this multiple times through a process of both simplification and standardization. simplification is to reduce the complexity of the characters, and standardization is to produce a set list of characters that can be used by the government and education system. the most recent updates to these lists in both countries are the list of chinese characters for general use in japan (2010) and the general purpose normalized chinese character list in china (2013). using these two lists as evidence, i will show how japan has been influencing chinese language policies in the standardization of characters through technology, tourism, and food culture. i also introduce the history of chinese characters in japan and china’s influence on japan throughout the centuries to clarify the importance and the originality of my argument. furthermore, i detail the process of simplification and standardization through the history of character lists in both countries.


world literature and culture studies:

 

not just pretty clothes: fashion’s progressive operationalization
as seen in baudelaire and benjamin
a senior thesis for the philosophy department, with an addendum in fulfillment of the world literature and culture studies department’s thesis requirement:
anna karenina’s appropriation of her mortality through dress
serena trainor
advisor: carol any
major: world literature and culture studies

serena trainor thesis presentation

throughout this double thesis, the author investigates the philosophical significance of fashion. through her pursuit, she works through the reformulations of the experience of the beautiful as constructed by french poet charles baudelaire, then expands her findings with insights from walter benjamin and georg simmel in their fashion theories. in working through these conceptualizations, as analyzed by fashion and philosophy scholar philipp ekardt, fashion’s mechanics emerge as a model for time, history, and the human life. to more deeply understand these insights, and for a more insightful reading of leo tolstoy’s famed novel, the author applies her analysis to the titular character in anna karenina. with such a philosophical foundation, a close reading of anna’s vestimentary choices reveals intricacies of her psychological unfolding throughout her turbulent plotline.


comparative analysis of deafness and the deaf cultural experience
in the u.s. and in israel
eve pollack
advisor: johannes evelein
major: world literature and culture studies

eve pollack thesis presentation

the treatment of disabled individuals, and for the purpose of this thesis, deaf individuals, has varied by nation and taken generations to improve and bring to what can be considered simply tolerable. the united states of america, which served as one of the powers in the complex world during much of the 20th century, was all over the place with treatment of the disabled until the conclusion of the 20th century with passage of the americans with disabilities act of 1990. the other world power, the former soviet union, failed miserably to consider its disabled citizens; oftentimes excluded them from society, and if not removed, forced to endure unconscionable situations and circumstances. while these two countries’ failures prove interesting to compare, the purpose of this paper is to specifically analyze the treatment of the deaf in the state of israel and the united states of america. these two countries, (despite a relatively stable diplomatic relationship), have different health care systems, economic capabilities and demands, and geographic challenges- all of which play an important role in their respective societies’ treatment of deaf citizens.

my decision to compare these two countries is rooted in their unique relationship that incorporates politics, religion, and democracy. it was the united states, under the leadership of president harry s. truman, that was the first to offer recognition of the state of israel immediately after its declared establishment – creating the background for a long-complicated relationship that continues into the 21st century. in the decades following israel’s creation, the relationship between the two has only been further intertwined- with the decisions of one, even with regards to the treatments of those in society, having profound impact on the other.

my aim in writing this paper, after setting forth a brief history on the treatment of deafness, is to properly assess the differences and similarities in the treatment and lives of deaf individuals by the respective countries, on a societal, governmental and cultural level to identify potential reasons, motivations and results for both. among the topics i will address, with a lens on deaf individuals, are differences in disability legislation passed by their governments, differences in social constructs and identity (including education) and differences in culture.


silenced voices: situating disability studies in france through the poet babouillec
mira nakhle
advisor: sara kippur
major: world literature and culture studies

mira nakhle thesis presentation

disability studies is a growing field of research in the us, but has been slow to take root in countries with more conservative academic structures like france. in particular, representation of the experience of life with a disability is challenged when individuals face barriers of communication or stigma about their abilities. this paper looks specifically at works by and about babouillec, a young french poet with autism classified by her doctors as “deficient by 80%”.  in exploring the implications of her work, i evaluate the ways in which the mediation of her story by those around her (in the production of her story for publication, cinema, and theater), as well as my own critical position in narrating her story, influence the ways in which these works are received. how do we decide who is qualified to tell someone else’s story? more importantly, what kinds of mediated stories of disability are we receptive to?