Browsing Senior Theses by Title
Now showing 1 - 20 of 4631
Results Per Page
- Item1-D TV: A Computational Investigation into the Lexical Representation of Black Womanhood In Reality Television News(2021) Habtu, Blien; Grissom, Alvin; Payne, AmandaIt is well-established that when categorizing lexical associations of words in news corpora, women and minorities tend to be associated with negative terms (Manziniet al. 2019). This harm is also carried through other forms of media. For instance, Black women on television have been historically depicted as one dimensional characters, often forced into categories of strict binaries. Commonly, they are either extremely educated or they dropped out of school, either they are ambitious or they have lost all enthusiasm, either they are completely desexualized or they are hypersexualized, either they are always compliant or they are always aggressive (Boylorn 2008). While these depictions are known to cause harm, racism and sexism are not necessarily so overt, and more work is needed to quantify the effects and spread of stereotypes relating to intersections of identities. Through this thesis, I use the context of reality television to examine how racial representations in media can influence people's perceptions of Black womanhood. I begin with background information on some of the effects of media consumption and with a high-level computational overview of how words can be represented as vectors to quantify prejudicial bias in text representations. Then I conduct a literature review exploring some of the ways previous researchers (Parthasarthi et al. 2019; Garg et al. 2018) have measured bias in digital media both through text and over time. To conclude, I propose an experiment to examine the ways in which Black female reality television contestants are talked about in news article headlines using the Word2Vec algorithm and vector representation tools.
- Item1-D TV: A Computational Investigation into the Lexical Representation of Black Womanhood In Reality Television News(2021) Habtu, Blien; Payne, Amanda; Grissom, AlvinIt is well-established that when categorizing lexical associations of words in news corpora, women and minorities tend to be associated with negative terms (Manziniet al. 2019). This harm is also carried through other forms of media. For instance, Black women on television have been historically depicted as one dimensional characters, often forced into categories of strict binaries. Commonly, they are either extremely educated or they dropped out of school, either they are ambitious or they have lost all enthusiasm, either they are completely desexualized or they are hypersexualized, either they are always compliant or they are always aggressive (Boylorn 2008). While these depictions are known to cause harm, racism and sexism are not necessarily so overt, and more work is needed to quantify the effects and spread of stereotypes relating to intersections of identities. Through this thesis, I use the context of reality television to examine how racial representations in media can influence people’s perceptions of Black womanhood. I begin with background information on some of the effects of media consumption and with a high-level computational overview of how words can be represented as vectors to quantify prejudicial bias in text representations. Afterwards, I conduct a literature review exploring some of the ways previous researchers (Parthasarthi et al. 2019; Garget al. 2018) have measured bias in digital media both through text and over time. Then in order to understand more about the complexities of this task, I explore away in which word embeddings can be generated by using the Word2vec algorithm (Mikolov et al. 2013a) and visualized through vector representation tools. I conclude by addressing the challenges of my experiment and suggesting future improvements to this project.
- ItemA "Consummate Artist" and "Consummate Rascal:" De Profundis, Imaginative Resistance, and the Queer Erotics of Prison Writing(2021) Murphy, Jack; Mohan, Rajeswari"I sit between Gilles de Retz and the Marquis de Sade," Oscar Wilde writes to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, known affectionately as "Bosie," from the solitude of his prison cell (54). The letter – given the title De Profundis – was the last full work of the Irish aesthete and playwright who fell from stardominto obscurity after his sentencing for "gross indecency," a crime of homosexuality, in May of 1895 (Tóibín xxiii). Throughout the letter, Wilde continues todraw on the muses of other prison writers: he praises the "perfect lives" of "Verlaine and of Prince Kropotkin," and compares his mother kindly to "Madame Roland" (130, 140). In its self-announced lineage, De Profundis offers a basis to evaluate the aesthetics of prison writing. Firstly, the letter must be read in terms of mimesis, or how the prison materially shapes the text. Gramsci's theory of the subaltern clarifies how time and language in prison impress upon Wilde's writing, creating a fluidity of prose and a strategic turn to essentialism. Subsequently, the letter can be read in terms of anti-mimesis, or how the text creatively shapes the prison in acts of expropriative refashioning. Wilde resists the religious indoctrination of the prison by encoding a homoerotic portrayal of Christ. In doing so, Wilde reasserts his imaginative preeminence by employing the body of Christ as a symbol for the fluidity of sexuality and for an ethics of bodily care amongst the imprisoned men. In De Profundis, Wilde not only challenges the narrative of defamationon trial but also produces an artistic work that employs the pressures of confinement as features of its self-expressed agency.
- ItemA Battle for the Neighborhood: The 1917 Philadelphia Sugar Strike and Food Boycott(2023) Israel, Jessie; Friedman, Andrew, 1974-; Gerstein, LindaOn February 21, 1917, a group of 40 Eastern European housewives marched in protest down to the Franklin sugar refinery in South Philadelphia. Shouting, “We want food!” the women had come to join the picket line where their husbands and sons stood, on strike from the city’s three sugar refineries. Demanding a living wage and shorter hours, thousands of Polish and Lithuanian workers had walked out three weeks prior and joined the ranks of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a radical socialist union. The spirit of protest soon rippled out into the surrounding neighborhood, when a group of working-class Jewish women announced the start of their own “strike”: a boycott on basic foodstuffs, whose prices had begun to rise since the beginning of World War I. For the following weeks, they rioted in the market streets of their immigrant neighborhood, toppling pushcarts, breaking shop windows, and pouring kerosene over boycotted foods. This thesis uses the 1917 South Philadelphia sugar strike and food boycott as a lens to understand the theories and techniques of urban immigrant organizing in World War I era Philadelphia. I argue that immigrant sugar strikers and food boycotters based their protest on a broad theory of labor which bridged every realm of life, in which both the domestic and industrial spheres afforded the laborer workplace rights. The protestors practiced a hybrid form of protest which was based in a place-based familiarity with the local geography of their neighborhood, ethnic social networks, and American socialist labor organizing traditions. Central to their community ties was food, which held importance in immigrant culture and the local economy, but also whose production (particularly in the case of sugar refining) was rooted in an extractive relationship between the refineries and their surrounding community. The strike and boycott represented a battle for control of the neighborhood, one combatant fighting for localized economic and social reproduction, and the other for international wartime and Progressive-era capitalist interests.
- ItemA Blackface Masque: Blackface and the 'Claim' of Lyric Identity in John Berryman's '77 Dream Songs'(2005) Rowe, Michael H.; Benston, Kimberly W.
- 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
- Item"A Broken Wall of Books, Imperfectly Shelved": Constructing and Deconstructing Race and Gender in Philip Roth's Goodbye, Columbus(2013) Hawkins, Lauren; Solomon, Asali
- 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.
- ItemA Carnival of One’s Own: Contemporary Rap and the Commercial Appropriation of the Neoliberal Carnivalesque(2013) Sacks, Susanna; McCormick, LisaI argue that the performance of deviant black masculinity – as articulated through images of bodily violence, criminal activity and exaggerated sexuality – represents a carnivalesque space, in which neoliberal life goals of individual`, competition and material success, are glorified and, ultimately, reified. By studying patterns of imagery in the lyrics of popular artists during the 1990s and 2000s, we see a clear correlation between rap’s increasing popularity and artists’ emphasis on political respectability, with the latter following closely on the heels of the former. We may understand this shift through an examination of three categories of rapper: the gangsta, who operates antagonistically to conservative social values while adhering to neoliberal ideologies; the entrepreneur, who successfully navigates the change from criminal to capitalism; and the integrationist, the product of rap’s new place in American society. The changing image of deviant masculinity in rap over the last two decades reflects shifts in media and political responses to the genre, so that it may fruitfully speak to rather than against imagined mainstream values: where rap music originally had to be deviant, its assimilation into popular cultural and media forms has led to the articulation of relatively conservative values by contemporary rap artists.
- ItemA Case for Addressing the Poor Quality of Sex Education in the United States(2009) Irshay, Dana; Waldman, Sidney R., 1940-2016Over the past few decades, policymakers and their constituents have become increasingly preoccupied with the prevalence of sexual activity among teenagers. Though causality is not always clear, teenage childbearing is associated with numerous negative effects, such as living in poverty and little educational attainment for both mothers and their children. Additionally, the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s put into perspective the fatal and irreversible effects that are possible to obtain from sexual activity. Though teenage pregnancy, birth, and abortion rates are down from the 1990s, teenage sex is still a very important issue in American society. In terms of the sex education debate, restrictions in research dealing with the prevalence of teen sex in the U.S., unplanned pregnancy rates, and sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates, make it difficult for the government to deal with these problems effectively. However, with the budget crisis, it is even more important that government funding is properly allocated to programs that benefit all of its constituents in the long term, and to those who are most affected, immediately. This paper delves into the analysis of what characteristics are successful in combating the harmful consequences of teenage sexual activity, as well as what populations are most at risk. Ultimately, the aim of this thesis is to provide input on how to better counter the occurrence of STIs, unplanned pregnancies, and other negative effects associated with sex among teenagers.
- ItemA case for rescinding professional baseball's antitrust exemption(2004) Schwartz, Craig; Waldman, Sidney R., 1940-2016My thesis has attempted to give the reader an objective overview of the issues surrounding Major League Baseball's antitrust exemption. In addition, I have presented the history leading up to the exemption as well as the subsequent history that has served to maintain the exemption. Finally, I have presented the arguments both for and against maintaining the exemption and have concluded that Congress as well as the Supreme Court has shirked their responsibility in not removing the exemption.
- ItemA Case for Teleology in Modern Biology(2016) Wenzel, Miwa; Macbeth, DanielleAlthough teleology, or explanations in terms of goals or ends, has historically been integrated in biology, within the past few hundred years, mechanistic explanations have dominated the field and teleology has largely fallen out of favor. A prominent advocate for the dismissal of teleology in biology is evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) who proposed teleonomy, or explanations of goals or ends as directed by a program, to be the proper way to understand biological processes and development of organisms. However, if we undertake Mayr’s teleonomy instead of teleology, we are essentially left with biological reductionism and see living beings as complicated machines. If this is the case, we lose an understanding of what counts as a successful organism and therefore cannot speak of mutations or improper development in organisms. Thus, I suggest that we need to understand living beings for what they are and invoke Michael Thompson’s notion of life form which suggests that living beings are distinguished from non-living artefacts insofar as they have a life form that encapsulates their capacities and activities beyond immediate response to being merely affected by their environment. I argue that this life form is the irreducible potential that Alan Gotthelf claims defines Aristotelian teleology and is what ultimately separates living beings from non-living artefacts, thus refuting Mayr’s concept of teleonomy as a prominent understanding in biology, and bringing back Aristotelian teleology in individual organisms.
- ItemA Century of Examination: DuBois, Baldwin, and Self in the Racial Construct(2007) Taylor, Brianna; Beltrán, Cristina
- ItemA Child's Theory of Mind(1995) Gamble, Eleanor; Cassidy, Kimberly Wright; Boltz, MarilynThe purpose of the present experiment was to study children's theory of mind or their ability to attribute mental states to themselves and to others. Two tasks were used to test the theory of mind: the false belief task, the standard test for a theory of mind and the false pretend task, a newer version of the false belief task which employs pretense. The effects of perceptual pull and desire on task performance were also studied. The subjects of the experiment were twenty-seven preschoolers ages three, four and five. The major findings of this study showed that children's performance on these theory of mind tasks improves significantly between the third and fourth years. These results support a view claiming that children become more conceptually developed in this time period. In contrast to previous findings, the false belief task was also shown to be easier than the false pretend task. Future research needs to be conducted to determine under what conditions a child can and cannot use their theory of mind.
- Item"A Coming On and a Coming Forth": Desire, Space, and Becoming in "An Ordinary Evening in New Haven"(2012) Gaffney, Victoria; Finley, C. Stephen
- ItemA Comparative Analysis of the Vitality of Welsh and Irish(2020) Morrison, Eva; Weinberg, MirandaThe Welsh and Irish languages, the indigenous languages of Wales and Ireland, respectively, have experienced significant declines in their speaker populations since the beginning of English settlement in their homelands. This decline has not occurred to the same extent in both languages; in the early 21st century, Welsh is habitually spoken by a much larger population, both in absolute numbers and proportion of its indigenous territory's total population, than Irish. This is despite both languages having been the subject of intense revitalization efforts since the 20th century and having official status alongside English in their respective countries. This thesis uses historical data on economic conditions, institutional involvement in language maintenance, and patterns of language shift to elucidate the source of this disparity.
- ItemA Comparative Perspective on the Decline of the Liberal in American Politics: Analysis and Recommendations(1997) Volkman, Eric; Beltrán, Cristina; Krippner, James
- ItemA Comparative Study of the Effects of Gender on Travel Writing in Pierre Loti's Madame Chrysanthème and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's Turkish Embassy Letters(2007) Zackey, Meredith; Allen, Elizabeth; Roberts, Deborah H.My thesis is a comparison of two texts: Madame Chrysanthème, by Pierre Loti, and Turkish Embassy Letters, by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Loti was a French author and sailor writing in the late 19th century and Montagu was an English noblewoman writing in the early 18th century. In my thesis, I argue that Montagu, as the first female travel writer, must undergo several transitions; these transitions are from passive observed to active participant, from occupying a role in society which limits her to fixed interactions with a select group of people to occupying a role in society which allows her to engage with various groups, and from proper, formal actions to adventurous and informal actions. By undergoing these transitions, Montagu is able to embrace her role as female travel writer and define this role for women to follow. Montagu must undergo changes to her social role and her gender role in order to embrace this role, however. A female travel writer must be an active participant, capable of accessing society at various levels and not afraid to be adventurous and informal, and Montagu's confining English social and gender role do not allow for these qualities. Loti's role as an established male travel writer, on the other hand, precludes changes to his social or gender role. Loti exists in a strong tradition of male travel writers, and it is because he is so rooted in this imperialist tradition of dominance over the Other that he cannot undergo changes to his social or gender role.
- ItemA Comparison of Christian Perspectives in the United States Political Realm(1998) Symons, Katherine S.; Shumer, Sara MayhewThere are many Christian voices in the political realm; the loudest often bring the conservative voices, which have captured the most media attention. However, Christian political voices range from social conservatives to social progressives and from libertarianists to socialists. The following thesis elaborates on the views of eight Christian articulators and highlights their propensities towards justice and/or moral cultural issues in addition to their views on the appropriate role of the church in public life. Also, the work demonstrates congruence between the Christian and political principles of widely varying Christian political views, and suggests paths towards achieving a unifying discourse.