Browsing by Author "McGrane, Laura"
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- Item"A Blurred World": Impressionism and the Rendering of Urban Spaces in Crane's Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893) and George's Mother (1896)(2010) Stutman, Gabe; McGrane, Laura
- ItemA Call to Dance: The Transformative Power of Dreams and Grief in Paula Vogel’s The Baltimore Waltz(2023) Serebrenik, Avi; McGrane, LauraThis essay shows how The Baltimore Waltz channels the playwright’s, Paula Vogel’s, regret about not going on a journey through Europe with her brother before his passing from AIDS, to dream of a world where victims of HIV/AIDS aren’t stigmatized, where they are treated like the dream world’s protagonist, Anna, and a future where victims of HIV/AIDS are honored and remembered for being the multitudinous people that they are. The essay explores how each element of the Freudian dreamwork plays its part in this process, allowing the audience not only to see the hidden shame around HIV/AIDS but also to begin grieving for Carl, Anna’s brother and a victim of AIDS, which according to Judith Butler is a recognition of someone’s humanity. Butler also shows us how grief and mourning are ongoing transformative processes, and this essay argues that The Baltimore Waltz harnesses this potential to call upon the audience to carry the affect of grief with them and extend it towards others who suffer, or more specifically, the HIV susceptible people in their communities. The play acknowledges that the cruelties of the real world can’t be denied, but through its dream vision, it makes us question what reality could be. Ultimately, AIDS is no longer so strongly in the public consciousness, but this essay argues that the play has taken on a new life as an archive of the early years of the AIDS crisis and a guide toward challenging and transforming our communities to recognize queer lives.
- Item"Blame another Witch": Misogyny, Violence, and the Limitations of Postmodern Society in Into the Woods(2010) Raines, Laura; McGrane, Laura
- ItemConjuring Nation: Black Witchery in Nineteenth-Century Narratives of Salem(2011) Weitz, Aaron; McGrane, Laura
- Item“do not abandon us, hear our pleas”: (Re)sounding Loss in Anna Rabinowitz’s Darkling: A Poem(2018) Chazen, Emily; McGrane, Laura
- Item"Dropped down halfway" The Flawed Designer and the Failure of the Posthuman in Richard Powers's Galatea 2.2(2021) Behrends, Miranda; McGrane, LauraThis essay explores the role of the humanist designer in the creation of AI in an academic and social posthuman setting. Set on the cusp of the 21st century, Powers's pseudo-autobiographical Galatea 2.2 reimagines the myth of "Pygmalion" during a time when technology has evolved what it means to have a body and be human. Powers's narrator becomes responsible for creating and instructing an AI, and in failing to do so, is presented as a flawed designer who is unable to reconcile the humanist structures that he lives by with the emerging posthuman environment. In his inability to break out of these structures, he does not properly recognize the hybridized existence of the AI he creates, leading to its isolation and eventual failure. I argue that through the representation of the failed humanist designer, the novel allows the reader to think more critically about the possible applications of the posthuman both to literary productions and academic institutions, as well as the possible capacities for human relationships and knowledge creation.
- ItemElizabeth Bowen's 'To the North' and the Possibility of a "Violent Deflection"(2007) Marquardt, Zoe; McGrane, Laura
- ItemEverything is an Object: Roxana and the Objectification of People As Things(2004) García, Alissa; McGrane, Laura
- ItemFear That Frees: Theories of Terror and the Nature of Reading at Work in Emily Dickinson's Fascicle 16(2005) Duffy, Francesca; McGrane, Laura
- ItemFreeing Fossils: The Novel as Organism in John Fowles’s The French Lieutenant’s Woman(2008) Morton, Nina; McGrane, LauraThe novel as organism is about modeling the exchanges that govern organisms (both scientific and physical, conscious and social), that should govern explorations, and that ultimately govern authentic reading. In Fowles’s novel and in my reading of it, the term “organism” functions not merely as a scientific term that describes the cooperative processes within a living thing, but also as a metaphor for the interactive processes that make up our webs of textual interactions. I use the concept of the novel as organism to explore the interactions within the text and between the text and the reader in Fowles's novel.
- ItemGhosts, God and Guillotines: Religious Violence and Trauma in Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' Triology(2008) Marx, Sasha; McGrane, Laura
- ItemGoing through the Motions: The Experience of Progress Without Closure in Nadine Gordimer's 'July's People' and Bessie Head's 'The Cardinals.'(2004) Bell, Niquae; McGrane, Laura
- Item“I Am Michi!” : Identity Politics in Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis(2006) Bryant, Emi; McGrane, LauraAlthough Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis is primarily concerned with questions of science, the text subtly questions the politics of identity through the liminality of the artificially created Michi. As an artificial being, Michi is neither male nor female, neither human nor robot. This thesis examines how Michi's identity is shaped and determined by the perceptions of the citizens of Metropolis, both human and robot, as well as by the critical reader, to see if Michi has a place in Metropolitan society and what it means for both the citizens and for Michi.
- ItemI miss you the most when you're here: The Chronotope of Fantastic Mourning in American Gods(2019) Knecht, Miles; McGrane, LauraEach text has a unique depiction of time and space, a particular way it leads its readers through narrative reality. This sensation of movement through time and space — referred to as a text’s chronotope — is often a product of genre conventions, and different genres tend to have radically different chronotopes. In reading Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel American Gods, one experiences a sensation of temporality that both draws upon the conventions of the fantasy genre(s), and is also created within the very refutation of these conventions and expectations. I argue that the sense of temporality in American Gods gives both reader and protagonist new ways to view loss and the experience of mourning by simultaneously reifying and rejecting conclusion itself. By incorporating different genres and conventions into its narrative, and then turning away from each genre’s expected conclusion at every turn, the novel gives the reader a sense of continuance even within its many moments of conclusion and ending. This utilization of different genre rhetorics, as well as the text’s treatment of death, loss, and inter-temporal conflict, creates a sense of chronotope that highlights the interchangeability of life and death, past and present, believer and believed-in. This chronotope is both uniquely fantastic, and uniquely tuned to the experience of mourning.
- Item"I was in a familiar place, the place of feeling unfamiliar": Multiplicity, Melancholy, and (Mis)Recognition in Viet Thanh Nguyen's The Sympathizer(2019) Le, Tina; McGrane, LauraAsian Americanness is often described using language that marks this racial categorization’s hybridity and liminality -- the way that they are white, but not white enough and yet the way that they don’t cleanly fit into the category of “colored” either. Drawing from the often overlooked, historically tense racial tensions of Asian immigrants in America, I explore the consequences of America’s unspoken yet violent history towards Asian American (immigrants) through Viet Thanh Nguyen’s racially mixed (Vietnamese/European), hybrid spy protagonist/narrator. Unable to come to terms with the physically, biologically, and ideologically in-betweenness of himself, the narrator struggles to come to terms with his inability to belong, which consequently leads to a failure to adequately construct a narrative/story for himself. I argue that the narrator’s eruptions of violence and his inability to acknowledge these eruptions are a result of his inability to mourn -- and get over -- parts of himself that are excess, that prevent him from belonging, similar to the ways that America as a nation fails to acknowledge and thus “mourn” the violence and harm that it has done onto others. The novel’s confessional form allows the narrator to “write himself” in a way that enables him to confront this melancholy. I read the novel’s eventual break from the confession and the adoption of a less structured liminal form as a mode of mourning, acceptance, and reconstruction for the hybrid narrator.
- ItemJonkonnu Masks in Sylvia Wynter’s Maskarade (1973)(2016) Lumeij, Emma; McGrane, Laura
- ItemNarcissistic Narrative: Tristram Shandy and the Diseased Text(2014) Rebel, Ryan; McGrane, Laura"Narcissistic Narrative: Tristram Shandy and the Diseased Text" explores the language of disease in the eighteenth-century Laurence Sterne novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. The novel is a fictionalized autobiography written by the character-narrator Tristram Shandy in an auspicious attempt to flawlessly represent the entirety of his life. The characters of the novel, including the character-narrator Tristram Shandy, are inflicted with physical maladies that lead them down paths of irony, self-consciousness, and fear of death. Not only are these characters narcissistic in the Freudian sense, but the text of the novel Tristram Shandy is also diseased and narcissistic. Furthermore, Tristram Shandy's characters demonstrate varying levels of success in dealing with their narcissism, and orienting themselves toward recovery. The most successful narcissist in the text is ultimately Tristram himself, who recognizes the impossibility of his literary task, and comes to terms with death in a fruitful and liberating way. Two other narcissistic characters who deal with their disease less successfully are Parson Yorick and Tristram's Uncle Toby. The literary theories of Paul de Man, Dominick La Capra, and Walter Benjamin provide tools with which to discern between successful and unsuccessful narcissism, as well as understand better the process of recovery, both for individuals and for literary texts. Ultimately, Tristram recognizes that his task of complete self-representation is impossible, but Tristram Shandy does not suffer for that realization. Rather, the book stands as a life-affirming novel that refuses to stagnate in its own fear of death.
- ItemNineteenth Century America and the Modern Female Novelist(2003) DelCampo-Dering, Serge; McGrane, Laura
- ItemNot so simple tales : the historicity and ambiguity of Equiano's anecdotes(2004) Weiss, Matthew J.; McGrane, LauraMy essay is a rhetorical analysis of the late 18th-century slave narrative The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written By Himself. I examine both the function and the intended purpose of the anecdotes Equiano intersperses throughout his auto-biography, as well as exploring the relationship of the genre of anecdotes to the practice of history. In the Interesting Narrative specifically, I explore the ways in which Equiano's anecdotes answer (i.e. provide a narrative strategy that undermines) two major critiques of his work. The first charge, that of general incompetence and an inability to think abstractly, which was based on his race, was faced by almost every author of African descent in the 18th and 19th centuries. The second, calling into question Equiano's birthplace (he claims to have been born in Africa), has been taken up again by critics in the 1980s and 90s. My thesis argues that not only is Equiano's rhetorical strategy a sufficient "answer" to these charges, but that indicting the Interesting Narrative over the question of birthplace is to miss the point of reading it in the first place.