English (Bryn Mawr)

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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
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    Post-Human Automata, Ontology, and Agency in Moby-Dick
    (2022) Velonis, Adrian; Schneider, Bethany
    This thesis conducts "post-human" readings of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, searching for interactions between humans, animals, and machines that result in fundamental and often mutual changes to their modes of existence. It analyzes these interactions through a machine-like lens of "automata," emphasizing the hidden forms of agency exhibited by traditionally disempowered, non-human subjects, especially whales. Because the characters of Moby-Dick each occupy distinct roles within multiple social, economic, and physiological power structures, this post-human repositioning leads to an array of unique "assemblages" of human and non-human bodies and ontologies. These emergent collections of entities demonstrate both individual and group agency and purpose ("telos"), informing our understanding of the novel's descriptions, characterizations, and narrative developments accordingly
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    "Like Breathing for the First Time": Magic, Structural Oppression, and Black Re-Empowerment Through Identity Reclamation in Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone
    (2020) Zareck, Sierra; Sullivan, Mecca Jamilah
    This paper examines power, magic, and identity in Children of Blood and Bone. It investigates how Adeyemi uses magic to illustrate both how structural oppression disempowers the black community and how identity reclamation can serve as a form of re-empowerment. It explores how Adeyemi works within the genres of black speculative fiction and Afrofantasy, utilizing magic to create a double narrative that simultaneously explores the power relationship between white and black people and lighter skinned and darker skinned black people. Magic becomes a marker of identity, allowing Adeyemi to capture the complexities of power as they relate to the black community. Ultimately, Adeyemi demonstrates the strength of identity reclamation in combating the disempowerment of structural oppression. She ends the novel suggesting that a combination of cultural and collective identity reclamation is a method of black liberation.
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    Learning to Drink Two Kinds of Milk: Understanding Representations of Cubanía in the USAmerican Context Through Carmelita Tropicana’s Performance in Milk of Amnesia/Leche de Amnesia
    (2017) Hermann, Lucia; Harford Vargas, Jennifer, 1980-
    This essay explores the work of Cuban-born artist Alina Troyano in her role as the performance persona Carmelita Tropicana. Her play Milk of Amnesia/Leche de Amnesia was commissioned by Performance Space 122 and is based on her return trip to Havana in 1993 during the height of Cuba’s Special Period. Carmelita moves through the colonial legacy to the contemporary moment to reveal how those on the island and those in the greater diasporic community (particularly individuals living in the United States) conceptualize and propagate cubanía as it relates to racial, sexual, and bi-cultural identity.
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    “For practical purposes in a hopelessly practical world…”: Towards a New Postcolonial Resistance in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things
    (2005) Schneider-Krzys, Emily; Tratner, Michael
    As an Indian writer writing in English, Arundhati Roy struggles to free her text from the influence of Western colonial and economic powers. Through her use of language, bodies, and performance, Roy seeks to create an alternative world in which the constructs of colonizer and colonized, First World and Third, no longer limit her. Roy’s resistance to defined boundaries is her first step towards creating such a world and takes many forms in The God of Small Things. Yet, it is only through valuing all of these forms, despite their seemingly oppositional nature, that Roy will find the means to create an alternative space in which she and her text can finally be free.