Collection Description

Collection of student theses and dissertations from as early as 1939, but mainly from 2010 to present.

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"Nothing is impossible to a determined woman": Louisa May Alcott and nineteenth-century gender roles
Not everyone has heard of Louisa May Alcott, but most people have heard of her most famous literary work, Little Women. While people have read about Jo March for almost 150 years, there are not many people who know the real Jo. Alcott wrote her work of fiction based on her own life and experiences. The novel is ripe with her beliefs, experiences, and thoughts. Alcott truly was a woman of the nineteenth century. Like most time periods, being a woman in the nineteenth century was not easy, nor was it simple. Many women, like Alcott, were searching for a place to belong. These women faced a struggle where they tried to balance their lives in the domestic sphere, while searching for a place in the public sphere. Alcott is a prime example of this struggle. Further, Alcott is seen by many historians as a radical feminist who broke down gender norms and questioned her role as a woman. While this is accurate, it is more complex than most scholars believe. When Alcott abandoned her womanly roles, she accepted manly roles in their place. This thesis seeks to understand the problems that women of the nineteenth century faced, using Alcott as a lens. By looking at Alcott's life and literature, this thesis shows how one woman dealt with the problems of many.
"Obvi we're the ladies": The unruly women of postfeminist television
In recent years, the attention of the public and the media has turned back to issues affecting women around the world. During the postfeminist backlash of the 1990s and into the early part of the twenty-first century, women's issues were pushed to the backburner and "feminism" became a word loaded with negative connotations. Today, people are seeing the effects of this unfortunate backlash, and activists, politicians and entertainers are returning their attention to issues of equality. This renewed interest in equality has created a kairotic moment for Hollywood to change the dialogue about women on screen. This study analyzes two of the top rated, most highly acclaimed shows on television that were created and written by women and investigates, through a feminist lens, how the leading female characters in these shows represent rhetorical constructions of women and of feminism. Using the shows Girls on HBO, written, starring and created by Lena Dunham and Scandal on ABC, written, produced and directed by Shonda Rhimes, this paper traces issues of character development and story arcs; body image and notions of beauty; positions in both the private and public spheres; and personal relationships, and argues that today's leading lady is a postfeminist version of the unruly woman. Postfeminism's unruly woman, though progressive in some ways, is symbolic of a rhetorical crisis of representation facing women as creators of media.
"On war and home front:" Portrayals of Soviet women in America written media from World War II into the early Cold War
This thesis explores the intersection of gender, war, and politics through American media perceptions and portrayals of Soviet Women from 1939 to 1955. During World War II, the Soviet Union and United States were allies against the Axis powers. At this time, the New York Times reported on stories of Soviet women who participated in the war effort not only from the home, but in labor intensive jobs and in the military. The Soviet mobilizationof women into labor and military positions were characterized as masculine by American gender ideals, therefore requiring a reimaging of Soviet women that allowed for a wartime alliance but also established the “otherness” of Soviet society. As allies united in war, news media celebrated the war efforts of Soviet women while creating a clear distinction between American and Soviet society and culture. In the late 1940s, political relations between the two nations quickly deteriorated following the end of the war in 1945. Along with changes in political relations, the expectation on American gender roles also shifted. The wartime image of Rosie the Riveter gave way to the conservative ideal of women as home makers. The changes in American perceptions of appropriate gender roles influenced the portrayals of Soviet women in thenews. American news coverage of Soviet women and their position within the war and post-war Soviet society reflected this shift in U.S.-Soviet relations. As political tensions grew, portrayals of Soviet women switched from one of heroism and patritosim to one of victimhood within the communist system., San Diego State University
"On water" Wittig reaction laboratory experiment and the development of an "on water" catalytic Wittig reaction
Includes bibliographical references (pages 58-61)., I. "On Water" Wittig Reaction Laboratory Experiment The aqueous Wittig reaction is a suitable undergraduate experiment which allows for instructors to effectively and very quickly demonstrate and promote a greener alternative of an alkene synthesis in the organic chemistry teaching laboratory. There is an opportunity for students to compare previously reported Wittig reaction approaches and evaluate those with the green "on water" type Wittig reaction methodology. II. Development of an "On Water" Catalytic Wittig Reaction The achievement of an "on water" catalytic Wittig reaction is the next big step in making the Wittig reaction greener. Employing the normal phosphine oxide by-product of the Wittig reaction as the catalyst will improve the reactions overall atom economy. The development of an "on water" catalytic Wittig reaction using triphenylphosphine oxide and 3-methyl-1-phenylphospholane oxide is reported. 3-Methyl-1 phenylphospholane oxide compared to triphenylphosphine oxide is a more promising catalyst to achieve an "on water" catalytic Wittig reaction because it reduces more easily.
"Please" to meet you
As an international student from China living in the United States, the new environment and difference in culture was a huge challenge. During this period of time, I was often misunderstood and the main reason for this was because of language. Furthermore, my introverted personality made me very anxious when I was having conversations with people. Fortunately, I found a way to meet new people -contemporary art jewelry. Using contemporary art jewelry to meet and interact with new people was not as easy as it seemed to be. In my final project for my graduate study, I came up with "PLEASE" TO MEET YOU. This project illustrates the moment when I first meet someone and try to make a new friend. This moment is divided into seven steps: eye contact, smile, greeting, handshake, conversation, hug, and exchange of contact information. Each step is presented in an individual locket necklace using different gestures. The form of this work was inspired by the locket necklace. Lockets are often kept close to the wearer, which relate to an introverted personality. Each locket has a window that allows people to see what is inside. Through this, I hope that people will be curious and open the locket. As each locket is opened, my invitation for interaction, and perhaps friendship, may be understood. Brass, polypropylene and photograph transfer on enamel were the materials used. The seven pieces were created using metalsmithing techniques such as soldering, die forming and enameling. Throughout the process of this final project, the work of artists Yoko Ono, Candy Chang, and Sun Kyoung Kim influenced me greatly. Although these artists specialize in different art fields, their works seek to interact with people. "PLEASE" TO MEET YOU was exhibited in the Flor y Canto Gallery at San Diego State University from September 11th through the 17th. Images of this project are on file at the School of Art + Design at San Diego State University.
"Presencing" metaphors: "Light" in the Gospel of John
In this project, I explore the ways in which the nature of metaphors rhetorically contributes to achieving a sense of "presence." Using the metaphor "light" the Gospel of John as a case study, I argue that metaphors uniquely lend themselves to Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca's theory through their appeal to the imagination and their aptitude to incite multiple meanings and associations at once. First, I recount some of the key scholarship on metaphor to highlight some of the various forms and functions of metaphors. While traditionally metaphors were considered to be exclusively poetic, many scholars have demonstrated the ways they are essential and foundational to language. By connecting two previously unrelated terms, metaphors stimulate reason and imagination in the creation of a new meaning and a new way to conceive of a subject. I also evaluate how metaphors function in the Bible to comprehensibly depict a way of thinking of and experiencing the divine, continually making available the grounds for interpretation and belief. Second, I describe Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca's theory of presence, defined as the speaker's ability to make the audience aware of something absent but essential to their argument. Then, I discuss the subsequent scholarship on presence that further examines the ways in which circumstances and stylistic devices awaken the audience's imagination, achieving an overall or global effect that moves the audience into response. I then connect metaphors to presence, evaluating how the comparison made by the metaphor can have a more permanent and on-going presence through a changed mind. Lastly, I briefly introduce the context of the Gospel of John before conducting a rhetorical analysis of John's use of the metaphor light in connection with Jesus. I show how John uses light to presence current first-century understandings of God as light, mostly appealing to Jewish understandings of the light of God's divine presence, the Law, the Temple, and the light described in the Hebrew Bible and through the figure of Wisdom in Wisdom Literature. Also, by combining an ontological metaphor with a theology of the Paraclete-Spirit, John further presences Jesus' association with God and life beyond the gospel's situational context, making it accessible to readers of all times. I conclude by arguing that John's message relies on metaphor to presence a multiplicity of meanings about Jesus' identity, portraying him as a guiding light that reveals truth and extends God's presence to the world in a unique and dynamic way. Reevaluating the relationship between metaphor and presence in the interpretation of biblical metaphors can have dramatic implications involving an experience of God for people of faith.
"ReMember; rebuild, and renew": Constructing America's collective identity and the New World Trade Center site in New York City
The events of September 11th served as a nation-wide and globally reaching, tragedy. The attacks acted as symbolic threats, challenging American identity as symbolized in the WTC's, representing trade and American economic policy; the Pentagon representing the American military; and an attempted attack on the White House, a symbol of American government, and more specifically, democracy. As the destruction represented in the debris at Ground Zero is cleared away, and new buildings arise, the very act of building and creation acts as a symbolic representation of the American identity. It asks the question: how do we remember, rebuild and renew this space post 9/11? This study will analyze of rhetorical use of space and the discourse surrounding the WTC redevelopment to inform the study of how the two buildings at the WTC site: the Freedom Tower, or One World Trade Center, and the September 11th Memorial, communicate aspects of American national identity construction.
"Rommel, you magnificent bastard": The Desert Fox and the rehabilitation of Germany in postwar media
Includes bibliographical references (pages 74-78)., This paper examines the effect of film and television in shaping the image of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. The Desert Fox has been primarily examined from a military perspective, but this thesis shows that Rommel's reputation as a battlefield tactician and resistance leader helped shape other areas of society. The United States and Great Britain used Rommel's image as an archetypal 'Good German' in order to rehabilitate West Germany as a client state during the Cold War. The methods used here include examining film and television programs from the United States and Great Britain, newspaper reviews, and relevant scholarly literature. Western filmmakers crafted two Rommel narratives. The resistance narrative was focused around the attempted assassination of Hitler and it showed that not all Germans blindly followed the Nazis. This depiction of Rommel gained acceptance slowly, because many people viewed it as whitewashing Nazi atrocities in order to force rehabilitation at the expense of capturing war criminals. After the trial of Adolf Eichmann, the resistance narrative became more accepted. The desert war narrative depicted the German military as an honorable institution that was a separate entity from criminal organizations, such as the S.S. The lack of atrocities in North Africa, the good treatment of POWS and the admiration held by both sides painted the conflict in nostalgic tones. In the 1970s, the desert war proved itself useful by highlighting American patriotism during the social and political quagmire of the Vietnam War. This attempted to unite the fractured American populace by showing them a time where the United States had been powerful and the enemy was more clearly defined. Television's ability to connect with viewers in their own homes helped it overtake motion pictures as a form of entertainment by the 1970s. Television writers used the desert narrative to exploit ratings, but viewers perceived it as an unrealistic representation of war due to its nostalgic tones. After the United States' involvement in Vietnam, television companies used the resistance narrative coupled with Holocaust imagery in order to depict war as a traumatic event. This helped the United States overcome internal divisions and rehabilitate Germany in order to combat communism. By the late 1980s, the Soviet Union began its decline. The resistance narrative transferred the mantle of the 'Good German' to the 'Good European' in order to shape a post-Cold War world.