Weekly Assignment #10

This week, please find two citations for dissertations or theses related to your topic and write two paragraphs evaluating their usefulness or potential usefulness to you. (You may not be able to get a copy very quickly, although you can use Tripsaver, aka interlibrary loan, to order one if you’d like to read it.) It’s true that you can find theses and dissertations using Google Scholar, but there’s no good way to limit your search to just these genres. A much better option for this assignment is to use the Dissertation Abstracts database, which is the definitive resource for finding dissertations.

Try to find the best theses for your research, not the most easily accessible ones. But do also take a look at dissertations and theses written at NCSU. You can search for them in the library catalog by limiting to “theses and dissertations,” then quickly lay your hands on a readable copy by visiting Special Collections (in the case of pre-1997 works) or by clicking on a full-text PDF (for most works after 1997) stored in NCSU’s Electronic Theses and Dissertations database. There aren’t that many items in the ETD database, but on the plus side, you can get the material fast.

Note that your own master’s thesis, like Melanie Sue Hair’s “The Literary Merit of Young Adult Novels: Are They as Good as the Classics?”, will show up there someday soon, and, because it’s in a freely available online database, the whole thing will also be freely available to the world via Google and Google Scholar unless you specifically request that it be withheld for a time (this is called an “embargo”). Neither Dissertation Abstracts nor Amazon indexes Melanie’s thesis, but take a look at David Alejandro Cardenas’s 2005 dissertation Measurement of Involvement Factors in Leisure Studies Doctoral Programs, which is indexed by DA, by our catalog, by the ETD database, and by Google Scholar, with its full text freely available — or, of course, you can get it through Amazon for $69.99.

Other relevant links:

  • NCSU Graduate School’s Thesis and Dissertation Guide — I looked here for exact information on who exactly owns the copyright of your thesis, but to no avail. What I think is that you retain most of the copyright to your work (“copyright” is really a bundle of rights), but that you sign a waiver at some point that allows both NCSU and UMI the right to distribute copies of it but does not allow them to block publication of your work elsewhere. Note that the section on “Copyrighting and Microfilming” is mostly concerned with copyrighted material in your work; this is because UMI and NCSU are effectively publishing your work, and they don’t want to be sued by other copyright holders. Note too a work need not be registered with the Copyright Office in order to be copyrighted, a distinction that is not at ll clear in this guide.
  • ProQuest / UMI’s Dissertation Publishing webpage — You can read here about ProQuest’s business deals with Google and Amazon and about the Open Access publishing option, which (I learned) costs $95.

What exactly counts as a publication in this day and age, anyway?

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “Weekly Assignment #10

  1. elizabeth jenkins

    I had a difficult time trying to find theses that dealt solely with “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”. Most of the ones that I found were for phD dissertations and dealt with several of Joyce’s works.
    Double-reading early Joyce: The necessity of contrapuntal readings of “Dubliners” and “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” By Thomas Jackson Rice out of the University of South Carolina in 2004 could potentially be useful. While it looks at both “A Portrait” and “Dubliners” the subject it deals with could be helpful to me. This thesis deals with the ways that critics have analyzed Joyce’s narrative style and the extent of autobiography that he incorperates into his works. This thesis discusses the two main ideas of criticism, JOyce as autobiographical and Joyce as ironic and atempts to “bridge the gap” between them.
    The second thesis I found was: JOYCE’S PARODY OF PERIOD-BOUND LANGUAGES IN “A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN” by David Williams out of the University of Manitoba, Canada in 1994. This thesis is interesting and could be of some use. It discusses Joyce’s use of intertextuality and allusions to early 19th century writers within “A Portrait”. It discusses how Stephen’s use of these texts within the work is very different than their original intent when they were written and argues how Stephen romanticises Romanticism. He says that Joyce’s doing this shows Joyce parodying early works.

  2. Matt Davis

    Weaver, Barbara Tag. “The Role of Literature in Teaching Freshman Composition” Diss. Ball State Univ., 1984.
    This dissertation is on the topic I am researching, but will not be of much use except to historicize the debate somewhat. I am focusing on a discussion of the topic from 1995 and this is, therefore, a bit…old.
    Wilder, LA. ?Critics, Classrooms, and Commonplaces.? Diss. Univeristy of Texas at Austin, 2003.
    This dissertation is right on target and is already in my lit review… which made this assignment easy enough.

  3. Kimberly Bowers

    ?MATRIARCHAL MYTH-MAKING FOR A POST-PATRIARCHAL AGE: THE ANTI-WAR WRITING OF VIRGINIA WOOLF AND HILDA DOOLITTLE (H.D., MYTH-MAKING)? by Paricia Cramer, PhD. University of Illinois. 1989.
    This dissertation covers H.D. and Woolf?s responses to gender, sexuality, and popular myth. These three aspects were defined by a society run by men and, therefore, were not accurate and even sexist. The two women both had radical ideas concerning the three and broached the topics in their works. The dissertation also discusses early feminist work and the split that occurred between those willing to accept sexual male dominance (HD) and those unwilling to be sexually submissive (Woolf).
    This dissertation is one of oldest in my list, but it deals with many of the issues I am interested in. I plan to explore Virginia Woolf?s indictment of traditional gender roles and sexual politics. Woolf?s response to being confined in a patriarchal society, with a long patriarchal tradition supporting it, is essential in this discussion. Changing gender stereotypes and sexual expectations are the first steps to a more matriarchal world. I believe that Woolf herself did not fit into the traditional mold of what a woman is supposed to be. Nor did her sexual desires jive with what was expected. Gender and sexuality are major themes in almost all her works. By portraying them in an unconventional way, she is challenging the common-held beliefs and standards or society.
    ?Concepts of marriage in the fiction of Virgina Woolf, Nella Larsen, and Dorothy Allison? by Anne Rosenthal. MA. University of Ottawa. 2000.
    This thesis is more recent, though I hope to find even more recent relevant dissertations in the future. The work examines how ideas of marriage in Woolf, Larsen and Allison represent and affect their views of society (as well as the standards of gender and sexuality enforced by that society.) It sets Woolf apart from the other two authors because only she holds an ?open concept? of marriage. The discussion of marriage leads to a discussion of the place allotted to the individual self in a patriarchal society.
    Both of these works discuss the society surround Modernist female authors. But this is an essential discussion. Society?s views of gender affected the work of Woolf, and her work in return affected the standard gender views. The book and the society around it have a mirror-like relationship. I think that this thesis is interesting because it focuses on a specific work of Woolf?s and a specific part of the narrative. I hope to focus on a small motif in Woolf?s works (and perhaps some other Modernist female authors? works) So not only will the content of the thesis help me in my research, but the form of the discussion will help as well.

  4. Jill Taylor

    Crawford, Kevin. “Tis ten to one this play can never please’: Academic performance criticism and conditional Shakespeare.” Diss. University of Alabama, 2006.
    This dissertation could be useful for evaluating traditions and biases within academic performance criticism. It is possible that it would give clues for how to approach academic performance reviews of the specific production that I am researching, especially if he cites some of the scholars that I have encountered in my research. One aspect of my research is a comparison of newspaper theatrical reviews and academic performance reviews. I found this dissertation on Amazon.
    Price, Trudy Jones. “The Second Coming of the Second Tetralogy: Shakespeare?s Depiction of that ?Which is, and Which was, and Which is to come.? Thesis, North Carolina State University, 2006.
    This thesis offers a reading of Henry V that views the character of Henry as a reminder to the audience of the emminent return of Christ based on imagery related to the book of Revelation. I suppose that this thesis could offer a reading of the play that is somewhat different from much of the scholarship on the character of Henry, which evaluates his heroism based on the difference between the language of the choruses and his actions. I found this thesis on the NC State ETD page.
    Using Google Scholar, I found a citation of a dissertation on Shakespeare in performance at the New Globe and Henry V, but I could not find any other information about this. I was not able to get the dissertation abstracts database to work to see if I could find it there (I just got a blank page). I think this would have been a perfect match for my subject.

  5. E. Ashley Yates

    Link, Christopher. ?The Virtues of Devils: Vladimir Nabokov?s Phenomenology of the Demonic.? Diss. Boston University, 2005.
    The abstract for this dissertation goes, as follows, ?By the time of his death in 1977, the Russian-born writer Vladimir Nabokov had already become one of the most important and influential novelists of the twentieth century. Since then, the critical appreciation of his works has continued to grow steadily, but it is only recently that criticism has looked beyond the cleverness and bold aestheticism of Nabokov’s work to perceive its equally strong ethical and metaphysical aspects.? I?m fascinated with Nabokov?s grasp on human suffering. Just from the abstracts description, I assume this dissertation would be helpful in explaining the ethical and metaphysical aesthetics in his novels.
    Dawson, Kellie. ?Portions of Heaven and Hell: Sympathy and Suffering in ?Lolita?.? Diss. Cornell University, 2004.
    The abstract for this dissertation goes, as follows, ?My fascination with the connection between literature and mainstream America is the basis for this dissertation which intends to explore the roots of the culturally-specific assumptions that a reader may bring to so notorious a text as Vladimir Nabokov’s ?Lolita?. Firmly grounded in my interest in observing the vagaries of the American imagination, this work examines the ways ?Lolita? challenges those assumptions and how it may even have had the effect of transforming them. In so doing I reveal the extent to which cultural theory and literary products interact with and upon each other to produce a society’s collective ideals.? I?m not sure how this dissertation would help my research. However, I found this and the abstract caught my attention. I think if anything it would make for an interesting read. I?m thinking about tracing Lolita through female characters in Nabokov?s earlier novels. This dissertation if anything about give me more insight into the character of Lolita.

  6. Laura R.

    Helen Maria Williams – searched on Dissertation Abstracts.
    McAllister, Marie E. WOMAN ON THE JOURNEY: EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY BRITISH WOMEN’S TRAVEL IN FACT AND FICTION. Diss. Princeton University, 1988.
    This is an older dissertation, but it presents ideas on the role of women in travel and recording history. It seems to also address the issue of women finding their voices in the language of travel writing. I am interested in reading the dissertation to continue becoming familiar with the genre of travel writing which Williams utilized during the Romantic period. I don’t believe I’ve used any recent articles by this author, so I’m curious as to whether or not she is still researching Williams.
    Krull, Andrew David. Conflicts of Sensations: Politics and sentiment in British Romanticism. Princeton University, 2003.
    Krull asserts that writers during the French Revolution had to “refigure sentimentalism” in order to address the obvious evils found in the Revolution. In doing so, the writers of this period had to rewrite sentimentalism in a way that combined the political and moral aspects of the day. “Spectator and Spectacles” is one way that Krull approaches this topic, and Helen Maria Williams is specifically examined, as well as several other Revolutionary authors. I am excited to see this full dissertation, since my thesis on Williams has to address sentimentality in order to build my argument. I also find it interesting that both of the dissertations that I picked are from Princeton.

  7. Susanna Branyon

    “The Evangelical Catholic: Flannery O’Connor as a Catholic Writer in the Protestant South”
    By: Morgen Pinnock Reynolds
    At: NC State
    I searched out this thesis in DH Hill pretty fast when arriving at NCSU because it spoke so clearly to my interests. The most intriguing thing about the thesis, though, is not mentioned in the on-line references to it! In looking at the resume-info for the author, I found out that she attended Brigham-Young University before coming to NC…so I think it’s safe to assume she’s Mormon. What an interesting perspective she must have on being a religious minority, as O’Connor found herself in the South! I don’t know much about Mormonism, but I can’t help wondering what their take on the Sacraments is…or if they even practice them. There’s a small section on the treatment of the Sacraments in the thesis that could prove helpful to exploring “food” in O’Connor’s writing.
    “The Mimetic Roots of Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear it Away”
    By: Stephen George Zawic
    At: Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    This thesis intrigues me for several reasons…one is that it’s written on one of O’Connor’s two novels and most folks focus on her short stories. And the second is that in discussing the mimetic elements of a very Southern novel, I’d imagine it would be necessary to be familiar with the South. But the author is from Canada. Should be interesting to see how an “outsider” perceives O’Connor’s South. Finally, the idea of “mimeticism” (???) in O’Connor is interesting when looked at through the lens of transubstantiation–that is, the Sacrament not just mimicking the body of Christ, but actually BEING it. In any case, should prove an interesting and possibly useful read…

  8. Emily Rutter

    “Silence and sympathy: Race in the early short fiction of William Faulkner” by Sheryl Christie Gifford
    ETD Collection for Florida Atlantic University Libraries, 1999
    This dissertation is concerned with Faulkner’s lesser known works of fiction, and thus may prove to be useful in its exploration of characters I haven’t considered yet.
    “The forces of feeling: Sympathy and race in American modernity”
    by Hiro, Molly Haigerty, PhD, University of California at Los Angeles, 2005
    Haigerty’s dissertation asserts that literature, such as Faulkner and others, from the late nineteenth century through WWII suggested that sympathy was a way of working out and understanding racial and societal constructs. She uses Faulkner’s Light In August to exemplify part of her thesis and I am interested in exploring the author’s treatment of the race issue in this novel. This is perhaps a more psychological analysis than my thesis demands, yet I think this perspective will be valuable.

  9. s.dunstan

    Grimes, Drew (2005) In search of ethnic cues: the status of // and /?/ and their implications for linguistic profiling. North Carolina State University
    This is pretty interesting in terms of identifying the stigmatized features used to discriminate against certain speakers. Provides evidence contrary to the myth that one cannot determine ethnicity simply by hearing a voice in order to discriminate.
    Mallinson, Christine (2006) The Dynamic Construction of Race, Class, and Gender through Linguistic Practice among Women in a Black Appalachian Community. North Carolina State University
    Not quite my topic, but somewhat relevant. Interesting background information that could be helpful in identifying lexical terms that can be used for profiling, besides simply looking at phonology.

  10. Joshua Clements

    “A STUDY OF COGNITION AND CULTURE THROUGH SUBJECT DESIGNED STORIES IN FILM (ANTHROPOLOGY, MOROCCO, INTERCULTURAL)” by Carol Anne Hansen. UNC-CH, 1985.
    More of a report on how various groups of people documented themselves rather than an ethnological film itself, but it does provide critical bedrock in an abstract sense (nyuk). Seeing the articulation of how a culture views itself and by extension other cultures gives you an idea of the potential borders between the cinematic language of different cultures.
    “The master’s tools: Film, representation and the negotiation of Aboriginality” by Kelly Rae Norlen. Simon Fraser University, Canada. 2002.
    Again, difficult to find theses and/or dissertations that were significantly related to my topic, so I have to step back and approach it abstractly. This dissertation is similar to the first one in that it is less of a cinematic project than an anthropological one, but it does deal with a secluded society and how they are represented.

  11. Summerlin Page

    Again, I’m having trouble finding things specific to my topic of graves in southern literature. I guess death is the next best thing?
    Hodgin, Katherine Campbell. The Child’s Perspective of Sex and Death in Southern Literature. UNC, 1987.
    This is not recent, but it deals with death in Light in August and The Unvanquished in addition to several other prominent works of southern lit.
    Jean Mullin Yonke. William Faulkner as a Moralist and Cultural Critic: A Comparison of his Views with those of Historians and Social Scientists. University of Kansas, 1981.
    Again, not recent, and I want to read this more for background as it is not very specific to my topic. I’m looking first at graves and burial in works of Faulkner and his contemporaries and seeing how they are treated differently by later writers, and what, if anything, this reflects about southern culture. So, this dissertation will be helpful with my starting point.

  12. Domenica Vilhotti

    Dissertations concerning psychoanalytic aspects of _Frankenstein_
    I was particularly lucky here because both recent dissertations were easy to find off the Scirus ETD Search offered by the NCSU libraries. I was able to download both dissertations and found (without even looking under the NCSU collection), that a particularly pertinent thesis was directed here by Dr. John Morillo.
    Master?s Thesis #1:
    Author: Bolte, Caralyn Marie,
    Title: “Her cradle, and his sepulchre”: The Shelleys’ Anxiety of Creation and Identity
    This NCSU thesis will be particularly helpful to me as it employs Freudian dream analysis to explore ?anxiety about the transformative nature of creation and its power to establish or destroy identity?. I?ve had semi-fruitful searches in the past for the use of psychoanalysis in Frankenstein; I will have much fun mining Bolte?s bibliography for further leads. An additional plus, of course, is the ability to contact Dr. Morillo to discuss my semester paper.
    Dissertation #2:
    Author: Reuber, Alexandra Maria
    Title: Haunted by the Uncanny – Development of a Genre from the Late Eighteenth to the Late Nineteenth Century
    This 304-page dissertation is absolutely perfect?so much so, in fact, that I?m nervous that Reuber may have ?said it all? already. In this dissertation, she explores many aspects I?m working to piece together such as the critical use of the double, the uncanny, Freudian dream analysis, inner conflicts, repression, the Id, and superego. In addition to applying Freudian dream analysis to _Frankenstein_ (among many other works across several genres), she also contrasts this view to the Jungian concepts of the personal and collective unconscious, a direction I had previously not considered.
    So, I clearly have my work cut out for me.

  13. Domenica Vilhotti

    Dissertations concerning psychoanalytic aspects of _Frankenstein_
    I was particularly lucky here because both recent dissertations were easy to find off the Scirus ETD Search offered by the NCSU libraries. I was able to download both dissertations and found (without even looking under the NCSU collection), that a particularly pertinent thesis was directed here by Dr. John Morillo.
    Master?s Thesis #1:
    Author: Bolte, Caralyn Marie,
    Title: “Her cradle, and his sepulchre”: The Shelleys’ Anxiety of Creation and Identity
    This NCSU thesis will be particularly helpful to me as it employs Freudian dream analysis to explore ?anxiety about the transformative nature of creation and its power to establish or destroy identity?. I?ve had semi-fruitful searches in the past for the use of psychoanalysis in Frankenstein; I will have much fun mining Bolte?s bibliography for further leads. An additional plus, of course, is the ability to contact Dr. Morillo to discuss my semester paper.
    Dissertation #2:
    Author: Reuber, Alexandra Maria
    Title: Haunted by the Uncanny – Development of a Genre from the Late Eighteenth to the Late Nineteenth Century
    This 304-page dissertation is absolutely perfect?so much so, in fact, that I?m nervous that Reuber may have ?said it all? already. In this dissertation, she explores many aspects I?m working to piece together such as the critical use of the double, the uncanny, Freudian dream analysis, inner conflicts, repression, the Id, and superego. In addition to applying Freudian dream analysis to _Frankenstein_ (among many other works across several genres), she also contrasts this view to the Jungian concepts of the personal and collective unconscious, a direction I had previously not considered.
    So, I clearly have my work cut out for me.

  14. Glenice Woodard

    Gust, Geoffrey William. ?Constructing Chaucer: Author and Persona in the Critical Tradition.?
    Diss. The University of York United Kingdom, 2003.
    I didn?t imagine that I would find a dissertation that would encompass my broad research scope, but this one hits my topic dead on. I wanted to do something that would incorporate Chaucer the man as well as his works and the time in which he was writing. Gust?s work covers all of this and, from what I can tell from the abstract, it would make an excellent reference work for my own paper.
    Griffith, John Lance. ?Anger in the ?Canterbury Tales.?? Diss. University of Virginia, 2005.
    As I suspected, finding a dissertation that speaks specifically to what my research encompasses was not an easy task. However, I did find a lot of interesting topics. This one covers anger in the Canterbury Tales. It sounds intriguing. I have not read or seen any discourse on anger in general in this, Chaucer?s most notable work. I think this would be helpful to me in my own work in that it would shed light on an angle that I had not previously been aware of.

  15. Anonymous

    McGowan, Catherine-Anne Calhoun, Contemporary Communication: Discoure and Form in the Poetry of James Merrill and John Ashbery
    # postmodernism
    # postmodern poetry
    # twentieth century themes
    # ashbery
    # merrill
    This was the closest thesis that I could find pertaining to my topic. Searching Wittgenstein and Aesthetics yeilded nothing. This thesis actuall offered helpul insights into my topic: I have been debating whether or not I would include Merrill or not. There are very few thesis that come up under the keyword “poetry.” And none that come up under “contemporary poetry.” This was the only thesis to come up when I searched “postmodern poetry.”

  16. Daniel Parsons

    that last post was mine
    -Dan

  17. Nancy McVittie

    Lieberman, Evan Alan. The Flickering Trickster: Slapstick Comedy and American Culture, 1912-1928. Diss. Emory University, 2001.
    This dissertation, while focusing on the historical context and influence of the major comedians of the silent era, also claims to critically dissect their individual styles and work. I presume this would include analysis of the very unique narrative structures developed by each individual filmmaker/comedian, which might be very relevant to what I?m hoping to cover with my topic.
    Davis, Christopher Achille. The Comedian in Consumer Culture: Perception and Performance in the Sight Gag Features. Diss. New York University, 1997.
    This dissertation focuses on a different, more specific aspect than my general topic, but I?m interested that, based off the description given in the abstract, each chapter of the thesis seems to deal with the author?s specific ideas about the consumer culture as represented in the 1920?s silent comedies and how they relate to ?narrative structure,? which seems like it would explore much of the same ground that I?m researching.

  18. Sowmya Bharadwaj

    1. Jabbour, Georgette. “Corpus Linguistics, Contextual Collocation and ESP Syllabus Design: A text analysis approach to the study of medical research articles”. Diss. University of Birmingham.
    I’m excited about this particular dissertation as it addresses a topic in the area of ESP/Applied Linguistics that has raised a lot of interest as well as issues in the recent years.
    2. Salmani-Nodoushan, Mohammad Ali. “Text Familiarity, Reading tasks, and ESP Test Performance: A study on Iranian LEP and Non-LEP University Students.” Diss. University of Zanjan Iran, 2002.
    This dissertation is relevant to my topic only to an extent, in sections that discuss the general state of knowledge in ESP. While the focus of the dissertation is highly localized in its content, I hope to use some of the material that addresses the broader issues from this thesis.

  19. Scott Dill

    A dissertation from the University of Rhode Island, 1984, titled ‘TIME’S FOOLS: TIME IN SHAKESPEARE’S “HENRY IV”‘ looks like a great fit for my own thesis. It looks like an excellent fit: it puts the play into the context of modernity emerging from teh Renaissance and treats the play as a means for looking at the changing representations of time in this movement. It also deals with the psychological experience of time in the characters, which I hadn’t really thought about just yet. It will be helpful as place to pull new ideas out of and push my analysis a bit deeper.
    The other is a bit odd, but useful nonetheless. Part of my thesis will content that the infamous Dude of the Coen Brother’s “Big Lebowski” is based on Fastaff and contains the same quixotic irony. The disseration, “Menippus at the movies: A theory of Menippeanism in motion pictures,” takes Bakhtin’s concept and applies it to the Dude, which I think I could also apply to Falstaff. As I hadn’t yet thought of this in Bakhtin, this has already been a big help.