• Something Elemental

      Bell, Samantha J.; The College at Brockport (2004-05-10)
      This thesis project begins by defining poetry; arguing that it is more than an art form, that it is an extension of self, an expression of the poet’s humanity. It discusses the poetic form, its devices and strategies, through a close analysis of several poets - Sharon Olds, Rainier Maria Rilke, Jane Mead, and even e.e. cummings, which completes the introductory section. The remaining chapters are comprised of original poetry – traditional and experimental, each labelled under the theme of clouds, with the sections representing various aspects of life. Cirrus – roaming from place to place; Cumulus - finding meaning in the world; Nimbus - what it means to be female; and finally, Cumulonimbus - satisfaction and completion.
    • Something Solid

      Niedermeier, James A.; The College at Brockport (2006-03-26)
      This thesis project examines the genre of creative non-fiction. It argues for consideration of a new classification for this form of essay writing, beyond any “black and white” category which limits and cannot fully capture the idiosyncratic nature of true creative non-fiction. The author states, “there needs to be . . . a third category, one beyond nonfiction and fiction; to account for the blending of the two” (Niedermeier 8). The opening section explores the writing of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Tracy Kidder, and Frank McCourt with regard to its creative non-fiction aspects and also discusses Guskind’s concept of “three dimensional truth.” The concluding sections are original, creative non-fiction pieces.
    • Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture

      McCarthy, Danny McGarr; The College at Brockport (2005-05-05)
      Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture is almost the first twenty thousand words of a novel. These five chapters detail Calvin Green's discovery that his dreams are being shown at the Aztec Theater in Denver, CO. Clearly, the novel has supernatural elements, and it offers a voice in the magical realism genre. However, along with the fantastic aspects of the story are a series of probing questions into the nature of artifice, privacy, and celebrity.
    • Straddling the Line

      Karas, Janelle K.; The College at Brockport (2007-04-25)
      This research project focuses on the tension between fiction and creative non-fiction as they are defined and understood as separate styles of writing. The introductory section examines the scholarly discussion of “truth” and imagination and the blending of fact and fiction in this re-imagined genre of writing. The research considers the creative non-fiction memoir writing of Maya Angelou, Augusten Burroughs, and Dave Eggers. The concept of reader’s “belief” as they relate to a given creative non-fiction piece and the reality of perspective as a means to position and understand this type of writing is also explored. The reminder of the project includes original creative non-fiction and fiction pieces.
    • Stygiophobia and Other Fears of Death and Loneliness: Collected Fiction

      Meli, Jennifer E.; The College at Brockport (2010-05-05)
      This creative thesis is comprised of five short stories and an introduction, which details artistic influences and other factors related to writing. The first story, "Through the Electronic Looking Glass," is a story simultaneously about a dissolving relationship and the intersection between art and commerce. ''Stygiophobia," the title work of the collection meaning "fear of hell," deals with a Christian protestor' s experience at a gay pride parade. "So Damned Civilized" tells the story of an office dinner party gone horribly wrong and gives a glimpse into the evils of human nature. "Affliction," at its core, is about a zombie apocalypse and its effects on a suburban strip mall, but it also explores whether people can put aside their differences for the common good ... during an election season. Finally, "Love, Backwards" centers around a teenage girl and her deceased sister's boyfriend and the ways in which the two of them cope with loss. All of the stories are tied together by either the threat of death (from zombies, the afterlife, and car accidents) or loneliness (from infidelity, rejection, and moving away), and that both of these concepts embody a sort of "hell" for the stories' characters. I feel that each story highlights my achievements in Brockport's Creative Writing M.A. program.
    • Teaching to the Canon or the Students: The Use of Popular Literature in ELA Classrooms

      Sanders, Autumn H.M.; The College at Brockport (2011-06-01)
      There is an explicit need for the education system to expand the current canon to integrate popular literature into middle and high school classrooms. Students at these levels are being underexposed to this group of texts in the classroom, but many are plunging themselves into contemporary works at home. The authors of young adult books are aiming their texts to reach out to those learning at the secondary level, while many of the books being taught there were originated for the general amusement of an entirely different generation and age group. For the purpose of this paper the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer will serve as a model of contemporary author deliberately using and challenging the devices of classic literature within her own work. Not only will Meyer's work be explored side by side with Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, and Charlotte Bronte' s Jane Eyre because of their common theme as love stories, but also because of the minor parallels between each text that Meyer illuminates by bringing her predecessors' works into her own text. Along with this, the way in which Meyer's vampire are similar to or recreate the vampires of Bram Stoker's iconic novel Dracula will be discussed. The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling will be an example of a contemporary work that educators can use to draw connections between popular and canonical literature where the author does not mention classic pieces of literature. Harry Potter will be places alongside other orphans of literature like those found in Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Not only will these texts be discussed as orphan texts, but also as pieces of literature in which power struggles are driving forces. In addition, the future implications that popular literature has for the classroom will be explored.
    • The Adventures of Frank, Gordon, and Some Other People Too

      McMahon, Garrett; The College at Brockport (2010-05-26)
      This thesis project incorporates the idea of surrealism as a device to liberate the writer from the necessity of logical sense while using “captivating imagery and bizarre, mind-boggling events” to craft emotionally resonant, original prose. The influence of Irish authors, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and Flan O’Brien, are noted as well as short story author, Donald Barthelme. The author claims several film styles and television comedy genre, found in the likes of Monty Python and The Upright Citizen’s Brigade, as the multiple muse that informs the project. The central theme of friendship dynamics are explored in this original work that comprises the concluding section of the project.
    • The Blaze Inside a Gray Heart

      Rainey, Lydia; The College at Brockport (2014-12-01)
      This thesis is a collection of prose and poetry I have written as a graduate student at both the College at Brockport, State University ofNew York and New College at Oxford University. Preceding the collection is an introduction which explores my influences, stylistic choices, and voices expressed throughout my work. This collection includes three short stories: two fiction, one creative non-fiction. While one tows the line between observing and living, another ventures through the world of prisoners on death row, and the last unearths the future of the death business. The poetry in this collection can be humorous and somber. They confront family, loss, social injustice, and death.
    • The Divine Clockmaker: Christian Principles of Time and Order in Alfred Hitchcock's Films

      Moore, Matthew Dwight; The College at Brockport (2005-04-22)
      Alfred Hitchcock displayed in his personal, artistic, and professional life an underlying assumption that time is closely associated with law and order; this assumption is manifest in his feature films. The belief in a rational universal system, fostered during his formative years, presupposes an intelligent Creator and an orderly design. The related themes of saving time, keeping time, doing time, and being on time assume a Christian morality based on individual responsibility, the possibility of redemption, and the importance of reinforcing faith with action. Consequently, time serves as a metaphor for law and order in Hitchcock's films. The innumerable references to lateness, clocks, and schedules throughout his corpus reflect the significance and ubiquity of his divinely ordered Christian cosmology. This religious paradigm is apparent in most of his major American films, such as Shadow of a Doubt, Rear Window, and North by Northwest.
    • The Failure of the Heroine in Ursula K. Le Guin's The Tombs of Atuan

      Kinsey, Tom; The College at Brockport (2007-05-02)
      This thesis, a study of Ursula K. Le Guin's The Tombs of Atuan, explores the roles of the hero and heroine in relationship to Celtic mythology and the societal boundaries and strictures within the novel. It also investigates the symbolic failure of the Ring of Erreth-Akbe, which mirrors the imagery of rebirth found in the Holy Grail and the Celtic cauldron, and its relationship to the failure of the heroine as a feminist symbol. The Tombs of Atuan is unsuccessful in establishing a strong feminist heroine despite its roots within the Celtic tradition and the initial power of the heroine over the hero.
    • The Inspiration to Activism: Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut as Hopeful Critics of Humanity

      Peperato, Patricia A.; The College at Brockport (2006-06-07)
      "The Inspiration to Activism: Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut as Hopeful Critics of Humanity," posits that although both authors have been considered pessimists and even fatalists, a study of No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger and Slaughterhouse-Five supports that they do maintain hope for improvement. Based on a study of philosophical theories regarding human nature, free will, and moral responsibility, Chapter One, "The Literary Presentation of a Social Philosophy" discusses textual evidence which leads the reader to understand what both Twain and Vonnegut thought about the possibility of free will and moral responsibility. Consideration is given to the dynamics present when an individual interacts with both the small community and with society at large. The chapter concludes that both authors see potential for greater humanity within the context of the community but that they also understand that society in general suppresses free will. Chapter two, "Historical and Fictional Narratives: Versions of Truth" employs the tenets of New Historicism to analyze the implications of employing fiction to challenge history. Both texts challenge institutional control of truth and declare that events should remain open to interpretation. To Twain and Vonnegut, truth-value must be gauged according to the expectation that any truthful interpretation of reality should encourage sympathy and humanity rather than injustice and cruelty. "The Artist-Activist: Hope Despite Despair," the third chapter, considers the effectiveness of Twain and Vonnegut as activists by studying the characteristics that enable their accessibility -- humor, ethics, and literary style. This chapter also examines the role of the imagination to create a vision for change and to implement that vision, concluding that as artists, Vonnegut and Twain achieve the goals of the artist-activist with a balance of satire, didacticism, and accessibility.
    • The Marriage of Composition and Creative Writing

      McKay, Janice A.; The College at Brockport (2002-04-01)
      In this thesis, modeled after the Composition Studies Published Course Design Example, the author redefines creative writing in order to design a curriculum that will help students become more interested in and more engaged with their writing, and will, in turn, get students to resist writing less, to write more, and eventually, to write better. Like the Course Design Example, this curriculum includes a statement of locale that specifically ties the course to the State University of New York College at Brockport; a critical statement that provides a theoretical foundation for the course; a syllabus that provides detailed information on reading and writing assignments and class activities and explains how the theory informs the pedagogy announced in the syllabus; and a critical reflection section that assesses how the curriculum worked in the classroom: what worked and did not work when the author combined theory and practice. What distinguishes this thesis from the Composition Studies Course Design and from other theses is the amount of attention paid to praxis. In addition to an expanded syllabus, this curriculum also includes two appendices containing examples of lesson plans, activities, and assignments, as well as examples of students' writing and the author's own writing.
    • The Modern Vampire as Romantic Hero: Acceptance, Love and Self-Control

      Fenicchia, Lindsey M.; The College at Brockport (2012-06-15)
      The vampire has existed since the beginning of civilization as a metaphor for societal issues and beliefs concerning life and death. Throughout the centuries, the vampire has evolved to suit societal trends, transforming from the bloodthirsty monster of early mythology to an alluring and complex creature of modern times. The thesis explores the popularity of the vampire in twenty-first century literature and film by evaluating two of the most popular vampire series of the time, L.J Smith's Vampire Diaries series ( 1991 , 2009) and Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series (2005 - 2008); these texts characterize the vampire as a romantic superhero whose driven to protect those he loves. The modern vampire has rejoined society by becoming more human than ever in his ability to give and receive love. Smith and Meyer challenge traditional vampire mythology even further by making once helpless female victims into strong, driven heroines. The romance between vampire and mortal proves profound and redeems the protagonist into a champion of Christian virtue, embodying complete selflessness and self-control in their relationships. The modern vampire is an evolved form of the aristocratic vampire who is at once superhero, ideal lover and Christ-like, rather than monster.
    • The Morale of Consciousness Wails

      Stigall, John; The College at Brockport (1980-01-01)
      This creative thesis, by renown African American poet, John Stigall addresses issues of race in America through poetry.
    • The Myth of Autism

      Crofts, Daniel J.; The College at Brockport (2009-01-30)
      This thesis is a study of autism in and intimations thereof in various narrative works of different types and from different time periods. My interpretation of autism, upon which my literary analysis is based, is in accordance with the insights of a field of psychological theory known as metabletics, which studies various conditions (autism, for example) in light of the wider social, cultural, and historical contexts to which they belong. I interpret autism as an expression of a comprehensive cultural condition that affects Modern society (especially in the Western world) as a whole and finds its historical roots in the advent of linear perspective vision, which occurred in the 15th century. As I examine intimations and/or expressions of autism in the various narrative works I explore, I elaborate upon the ways in which autistic symptoms (as well as the narratives in question) are connected to the traits of linear-perspective-based consciousness. My goal is to inspire a more robust and sensitive understanding of and approach to autism than the traditional medical/diagnostic approach. After supplying the necessary background information about linear perspective vision and its effects upon Modern, Western society as a whole and then briefly attending to the implications of what some have interpreted as intimations of autism in pre-Modern narratives, I explore the autistic impulses within popular narrative works from different stages of Modern history, beginning with Shakespeare's Hamlet and concluding with David Fincher's 1999 film, Fight Club. In so doing, I trace the development of the autism phenomenon from within the concurrent (and enveloping) development of the condition of Modern man. After this, I devote a chapter to the portrayal of autism in contemporary children's fiction, which I argue to be our key to understanding and approaching the autism phenomenon in a manner that is beneficial to autistic children and to society as a whole.
    • The Next Great Adventure: A Child's Literary Journey through Death and Grief

      Grifa, Joelle M.; The College at Brockport (2008-04-24)
      Literature is often a direct glimpse into another world, conveying messages from characters to help readers shape and define their own futures. Parents and guardians of children are often left searching for a way to use literature to explain the more difficult parts of life to child readers. Grief literature offers models of different grieving processes. Critic Mary Rycik was the first to coin the term "bibliotherapy" when she discussed the healing role that children's literature played for the traumatized child or young adult. When faced with loss and sorrow, characters will either heal and move on, or succumb to the grief they feel when a loved one dies. The novels in the following thesis: Hans Wilhelm's I 'll Always Love You ( 1990), Robert Munsch's Love You Forever ( 1999), Dwight Daniels' Grieving at Christmastime (2005), Ralph L. Klicker's Kolie and the Funeral (2002); S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders ( 1997), Rodman Philbrick's Freak the Mighty ( 1993) Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War ( 1974), and William Golding's Lord of the Flies ( 1954) all showcase characters making both healthy and unhealthy choices regarding grief. Progression plays a pivotal role, for as novels advance in intricacy, readers are presumably advancing in age. Young characters evolve from a reliance on their parents, to friends, and then ultimately decide alone how they want grief to affect them. Grief literature attempts to ready readers of all ages for death and the emotions associated with it. Grief literature offers answers during the tragic times when answers seem scarce. Ultimately death will not be something to be afraid of, but is seen as the great adventure touted by Peter Pan in J.M. Barrie's Peter and Wendy (1911) and Professor Dumbledore in J.K. Rowling's novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer 's Stone (1997). This is the very goal of grief literature; to turn sorrow into a story, and to turn that story' into life.
    • The Philosophy of Time in Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando, and The Waves

      Willis, Erica B.; The College at Brockport (2006-06-01)
      This research project considers various philosophies of time as they are represented in the writing of Virginia Woolf. The project frames the discussion with the idea that Woolf’s work embodies these pre-existing theories in revolutionary ways. The three specific texts examined for this research are Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando, and The Waves as they respond to the philosophical and scientific temporal theories of Henri Bergson, Albert Einstein, and Friedrich Nietzsche. The study highlights the examination of time as a process that has obsessed centuries of writers, intellectuals, and scholars. It also demonstrates Woolf’s belief that the concept of time is a human construction. The project argues that the key to understanding Woolf’s thoughts on literature, society, religion, or philosophy is not by exploring her personal writing, but by considering her fictional characters as stand-ins for her own experimentation with different theories of time and reality.
    • The Railroad in American Poetry

      Bodenstedt, James C.; The College at Brockport (1992-01-01)
      In many ways travel by train is a speeded-up version of what we are all doing – a here and now experience of what it's like to be human. Trains tend to make us reflective and introspective. For over 150 years poets have used railroad imagery in an attempt to enter into the universal experience of trains. This thesis will examine the remarkably strong hold the railroad image has had on the consciousness of poets, ranging from the Transcendentalists to contemporary American poets. For many of the nineteenth-century poets, the image of the railroad expresses the promise and the danger of technology in modern industrial society, while the contemporary poets do not generally write poems “about” the railroad, but use train imagery to journey through the psychic landscape of the country and one's own mind and being. Today's train poems reveal why they must take a journey through the landscape of the self in order to be fully awake in the world. There are hundreds of railroad poems out there that reveal poets' psychic journeys. Almost every major and minor American poet since Emerson has either written a train poem or has used railroad imagery in their poems. Trains continue to fascinate our poets' imaginations despite the railroad's demise, because they still represent profound metaphors in American consciousness- symbols of speed and power personifying industrial society itself; yet at the same time trains remain a symbol of time's passage upon our' scarred, native soil. In examining railroad verse, we will look at how the consciousness of the poet explores what trains are, because like any good poem, railroad poems also probe into the language depths of the unconscious mind, which is the repository of primal, sensory images, and reach forth toward a harmony or wholeness with the rational, ordering, conscious mind. The first four chapters of the thesis invite us to travel along the nineteenth-century railroad of Emerson, Thoreau, Dickinson, and Whitman. On their trains we find that the image of the railroad is incorporated harmoniously into the landscape. Succeeding chapters examine the poetry of the twentieth-century. I separated the chapters into the following themes to represent the diversity of the railroad in American poetry: "Come Serve the Muse,Again;” "Arrivals and Departures at the Station;" "Sketches of American People and American Landscapes;" "Troop Trains and Holocaust Trains;” and "Journeying Through the Landscape of Consciousness." In these chapters the image of the train will take us on an inward journey of personal and spiritual freedom.
    • The Threats of the Present: Reading William Faulkner's Light in August and Absalom, Absalom! As Representations of American Issues in the 1920s and 1930s

      Bachman, Lindsay Alaine; The College at Brockport (2007-12-01)
      As one of the most well-known modern American authors, William Faulkner is no stranger to the world of critical interpretation. His works are often discussed and analyzed in academic circles, and these analyses have taken on, over time, a quite traditional interpretation. With Light in August and Absalom, Absalom!, interpretation has traditionally focused on themes of history and race. There is no doubt that Faulkner had a rather distinct preoccupation with these two themes; his works are full of references to the issues of the past and of race in relation to the Civil War and ''the Old South." It is not surprising, either, that it has been the standard that critical interpretations, from early critics like Cleanth Brooks and Olga Vickery to more contemporary critics like Lisa Nelson and Thomas Argiro, have focused on racial tensions and the representation of the past in Light in August and Absalom, Absalom! What is often overlooked in critical interpretations of these novels is the influence of the present on Faulkner's works as well. When read in the context of the time period when Faulkner was writing and publishing, the critical interpretations of Light in August and Absalom, Absalom! focus on themes different from the more traditional interpretations. This new approach, using a more "historical present" critical lens for interpretation, shows how the issues plaguing the United States in the 1920s and 1930s-the threat of the "other," in the forms of immigration and differing socio-political affiliations-are reflected in these two Faulkner novels.
    • The Unheard Voices of Irish Women in the Novels of Edna O'Brien

      Reader, Kirsten Allen; The College at Brockport (2001-01-01)
      This thesis project focuses on the work of Edna O’Brien, an Irish author, as a pioneer in literature who uniquely represents the feminine perspective and voice, even while her books were banned and burned. The discussion notes O’Brien’s work as it addresses woman’s perceived place in Irish history as “muted” and powerless. In a close examination of her writing, The Country Girls Trilogy and House of Splendid Isolation specifically, are noted themes of isolation, the constraints of Catholicism, loneliness, and loss, as enduring realities for women in Ireland.