• Ursus Americanus

      Brown, Lindsey Birdsall; The College at Brockport (2010-04-04)
      This essay collection examines my experience as the single mother of a biracial child and uses it as impetus for posing larger questions about race and class in America. The piece "Good Hair" outlines my first attempt at explaining my son's racial origins to him, "Peacocks" examines my choice to become a single mother by juxtaposing it with our culture's mythology about spinsters and brides, and "Ursus Americanus" uses the initiating incident of a bear roosting in a city tree to examine the causes and consequences of human cultural and class migrations in Rochester, NY. Although grounded in the personal, these essays use techniques of accumulation, juxtaposition and non-linear chronology to reveal the fundamental misunderstandings that lead to White America's problematic constructions of Black and Brown.
    • Violence and the Family in the African-American Antislavery Novel

      Linderman, Kerry L.; The College at Brockport (2002-08-14)
      This thesis provides a detailed analysis of three early African-American literary works: Clotel, by William Wells Brown, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs, and The Garies and Their Friends, by Frank J. Webb. Specifically, these works are discussed in terms of their representations of violence, especially that stemming from slavery, and the effect of such violence on the family. An important factor in the devastation caused by the violence of slavery is that system's disruption of the domestic ideal in the homes involved. No matter how well each family may approximate idealized white domesticity of the nineteenth century, the shadow of slavery looms over each home, regardless of the racial identity of its members. This thesis discusses the ways in which violence disrupts the homes in each of the works, from forced separation of family members to invasion of the home itself. In several cases, it is apparent that the limited choices offered to the characters because of their race or gender often contribute to their domestic failures as well. Furthermore, such vulnerability to violence is not unique to the homes of black characters; although white homes are rarely subjected to the same type of violence as black homes, white characters are, nonetheless, victimized by the slave system as well. Even when slavery is not the main concern or abolition a central purpose, its inherent violence is far-reaching and inescapable, even for the most successful of white families. Though they differ somewhat in format and purpose, these three works have in common a concern not only for the effects of slavery on the individual, but also for its violent disruption of the home and family, regardless of race or class.
    • Voices from Beyond

      Zewan, Suzanne C.; The College at Brockport (2016-05-01)
      Voices from Beyond contains a reflection of historical fiction authors who have inspired me as a writer, a fictional short story titled "Adelaide," and the first two chapters of a young adult paranormal thriller titled Indigo. "Adelaide" explores the consequences of domestic violence based on the actual events of a young woman's murder that happened in 1917 in western New York. Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 of lndigo take the readers into the life of a sixteen-year-old girl who is grieving the sudden loss of her mother opening the door for a stalker from a past live to enter her world. Both works are character driven pieces where young women are faced with adversity that challenges their strength.
    • Walking the Branches

      McDonough, Jean A.; The College at Brockport (2003-01-01)
      This thesis project examines the process of grief as it is reflected in creative writing – poetry, essay, and prose. The introductory chapter previews each of the sections of the project, and many of the individual pieces, as the narrator reflects on and responds to personal grief. Literary devices are examined as a means to navigate the tension in familial relationships during the turbulent time of grieving as well as exploring the interiority of the individual challenged by this very real aspect of humanity. The remaining sections are comprised of original creative writing pieces, varied in length, style, and convention.
    • Warring Discourses in The Picture of Dorian Gray

      Appleby, Joseph T.; The College at Brockport (2006-01-01)
      Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray has enjoyed a myriad of critical treatment since its first publication. Much of this is due to the paradoxical nature of Wilde's style. In this novel, there is a tension and unique interplay between the discourses of ethics and Decadence as applied to the artistic life. Wilde's attraction to Catholicism also plays a prominent role in his treatment of characters. Although the author's intent remains ambiguous, the course of the novel leads one to the conclusion that there exists a fundamental incompatibility between Decadent and Catholic thought. The purpose of this thesis is to explore this incompatibility in all of its complexity. This thesis utilizes those works that have influenced Wilde, particularly the writings of Huysmans and Pater. Furthermore, it references Catholic writings and how they may apply to the ethical considerations put forth. Also, Wilde's life, as expressed through his letters, is brought to bear upon the analysis of the novel. Several critical writings on The Picture of Dorian Gray are also examined for their relevance and as a means to demonstrate the complex nature of the work and the possibility of a wide variety of interpretations. The thesis concludes with the notion that Wilde's novel cannot be seen as having one central discourse. Art and ethics have a certain interdependence despite conflicts between their fundamental propositions. Finally, the thesis proposes that the lack of resolution in The Picture of Dorian Gray stems from Wilde's developing understanding that would deepen with his profound experiences in the face of imprisonment and mortality.
    • Waving at Shepherds

      Flynn, Robb; The College at Brockport (2009-05-01)
      This project begins with an exploration of creative writing techniques from the trigger to knowledge and truth, to the moment of sheer invention upon which everything that follows hinges. Several essays from authors included in Julie Checkoway’s compilation text, Creative Fiction, are discussed as they offer their understanding of the process. In a moment of self-examination, the author asks a clarifying question regarding his personal impetus to write. The project concludes with original short stories which are connected by a thread of character, of imagined setting, and conjured myth.
    • Weasels and Angels: Rhetorical and Communicative Strength and Weakness in Selected Women of The Canterbury Tales

      Glossner-Greer, Emily; The College at Brockport (1993-01-01)
      This thesis looks at the communicative methods and rhetorical strategies of five women characters found in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales through the lens of Helene Cixous's description of written female language as applied spoken language to examine the dichotomy of "weakness in strength" and "strength in weakness" these characters portray.
    • Whan Love Knowen Nought: Non-Recognition in the Medieval Romance: Amor Hereos and Prosopagnosia in Robert Henryson's The Testament of Cresseid and Chretien De Troyes' "Yvain”

      Bonczek, Michelle Ann; The College at Brockport (2000-12-01)
      This thesis project examines the concept of non-recognition or prosopagnosia within the narrative structure of the medieval romance. The first section of the thesis provides a brief background to the birth and existence of courtly love and suggests amor hereos as the base for the practice of courtly love. Between the first and second sections, the project offers an interlude "On Henryson's Factual Tendencies," which focuses on the writing style of Robert Henryson and discusses his inclusion of astronomy and medicine in The Testament. Subsequent sections offer discussion on: "On Henryson's Testament and Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde," explaining the author’s reasoning for treating Henryson's The Testatament as a continuation of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde; discussion of lines 498-511 of The Testament and examination of possible explanations for Troilus' mental experiences; a discussion of Aristotle's theories of cognition and association; scholarly suggestions of delusion and hallucination as explanations for Troilus' mental experiences; introduction of prosopagnosia theories, the current term for the neurological disorder in which a subject is unable to recognize familiar faces, as a possible reason for various characters’ inability to recognize others regardless of intimacy; discussion of the symbolism of the ring in The Testament and the brooch in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde; introduction to the "disease of love," amor hereos,”and its association to prosopagnosia. The final discussion section considers a detailed look at how often and in how many ways non-recognition is used. As part of a progressive summary, this section pauses at each instance of non-recognition for discussion and observation. The concluding section reflects on the observations made throughout the thesis and postulates that non-recognition should undeniably be considered a characteristic of courtly love and a possible result of amor hereos.