• "One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy": Kafka, Camus, and enduring absurdities

      Boyle, Katherine R. (2022-05)
      In order to complete my present study, I will first provide a general background that encompasses the psychological and philosophical concepts that I plan to work with, outlining definitions and laying down rough descriptions of important concepts. I will then move towards an exanimation of Franz Kafka's literature, focusing mainly on The Trial and the tenets of absurdism present within the novel. Demonstrating a slightly altered concept of unknowability and illogic, I will discuss the play Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, carefully unpacking the absurdities of Estragon and Vladimir. Third, I will analyze the visual rhetoric inherent in the works of artist Alfred Kubin, attempting to understand the images and themes present in his nightmarish pieces. I will conclude by returning to a discussion of meaning and absurdist philosophy, incorporating these elements into the three figures that I have named and analyzed, and working to understand with a bit more depth humanity's unending search for meaning.
    • The politics of touch

      Kurtz, Teresa (2020-08)
      Through this thesis, I aim to deconstruct and reconstruct what it means to reach out and touch another by analyzing the role of physical touch in literature with a New Historicist approach. In other words, I am reading into the signification of touch within different literary texts while taking into account the text's geographical, historical, and sociological conditions. In a different time, place, and sociocultural climate, the same signifier--such as touch--will necessarily have different significations. Therefore, touch in all of its forms must be read within its individual literary context.