Snydacker, David Henry (David Henry Snydacker) (Author), (Joseph Knee) (Thesis advisor)
6-methyl isoxanthopterin (6-MI) is a fluorescent guanine analog whose excited state properties are perturbed upon incorporation into duplex DNA in a sequence-dependent manner. This thesis combines Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations and Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory (TD-DFT) excited state calculations to model the structures and excited states of 6-MI DNA. Three computational methods, TD-PBE0, TD-B3LYP, and CIS, were evaluated for treatment of local 6-MI DNA structures with particular regard for charge transfer energies. To build a framework for understanding the effect of DNA incorporation on the excited states of 6-MI, calculations were run on canonical two- and four-base structures with adenine and thymine in stacked positions and cytosine in base-paired position. Compared to values obtained for the 6-MI monomer, S1 oscillator strengths increased slightly with cytosine pairing, decreased slightly with thymine stacking, and decreased substantially with adenine stacking., 2009, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/276, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
The Narrenschiff, a collection of witty and erudite satirical-allegorical caricatures, is one of the first secular European ?bestsellers? following the invention of the printing press. In Wesleyan University?s Davison Rare Books room sits a copy of the book, which is an authorized Latin translation by Brant?s favorite pupil, Jakob Locher and was printed in 1497 in Brant?s native Strasbourg by the Catholic master printer Johann Gr?ninger. It is richly annotated, colored-in, and includes a handwritten list of French revolutionary figures in the first pages, presumably the product of a reader?s desire to ?update? Brant?s encyclopedia of fools to his/her present day.
In my thesis, I explore the kinds of questions this artifact evokes, and I do so with special attention to various theories of history that play a role in developing stories we tell about objects of the past. My inquiries revolve around the theoretical conditions of making an object of a past that is far gone and unreachable into an object with presence for our contemporary consideration and meaning making. I discuss Brant?s book as an example of allegory, and I discuss allegory as a means of writing and viewing history; I tell the story of the book?s printing in Strasbourg, and I investigate the implications of certain historiographic choices with regards to source material and evidence; I contextualize the book?s entrance into Wesleyan?s collection from the acquired library of past Wesleyan professor of Greek James Cook van Benschoten, and I examine the kind of enchantment, what I call archivization, we give to otherwise mundane objects by archiving them in ?special? collections; finally, I talk about various uses of books, such as interpretation, adaptation, manipulation, annotation, and coloring-in, and I reflect on the conceptual difficulties of pinning down particular readers to particular times through their respective uses of the book.
This thesis is a call to attention to readers and writers of history to be conscious of the philosophical significance of certain choices we make as historical beings. I propose we consider an allegorical perspective on the past that is dedicated to making meaning out of the past even in the face of the fact that the past always demands that those meanings are in some way deferred. The thesis is always grounded, one might even say anchored, by the artifact of the Ship of Fools in Wesleyan?s collection., 2018, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/2042, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
The modern celebrity occupies a nebulous role in the public eye. "The fame of others," wrote Leo Braudy, is "a common coin of human exchange - more forceful than mutual political or religious beliefs for establishing intimacy." While we understand celebrities as distant figures, we also perceive them as sources of social connection, constantly hoping to relate to them and to glimpse moments of humanity beneath the sheen of renown. Accordingly, celebrity journalism consistently strives for authenticity: how to make the celebrity feel like a genuine human being. In the 1960s, a brazen group of young writers happened upon a strange paradox: that they could evoke authenticity through techniques pulled from fiction. Later dubbed the New Journalists, this cohort responded to a pervasive suspicion that the world seemed manufactured by applying the conceits of realist novels to non-fiction coverage of politics, crime, war, pop culture, and social life. They transformed and exported the genre of the celebrity profile, applying techniques like metaphor, scene-by-scene construction, dialogue, and free indirect discourse to coverage of non-fictional subjects. Their highly stylized prose flagrantly defied the confines of conventional news coverage, and they used rigorous, time-consuming research methods to craft pieces that wholly immersed their readers in the world created on the page. This thesis elucidates how, by turning celebrities into characters, the New Journalists were able to evoke a sense of authenticity by imparting to readers the interior life of their subjects. In six highlighted works, I investigate the methods through which the New Journalists turned flat, distant figures into multi-faceted and accessible heroes, creating authenticity by treating their renowned subjects as fictional characters., 2018, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1989, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
de Recat, Meg Palmer (Meg Palmer de Recat) (Author), (Joseph Fitzpatrick, Harris Friedberg) (Thesis advisor)
A literary analysis focusing on the presentation of the female body in regards to reproduction and marriage in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Through this analysis, I highlight the submissive role of the female, the commodification of her body as a vessel for reproduction, and the alluring nature of female sexuality., 2017, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1897, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Kai Stevens is a headstrong college student with a knack for neuroscience and one night stands. While having sex with a classmate, Sam, she has an anxiety attack. Kaiâs best friend encourages her to go to therapy and so she begins to see Dr. Beth Johnson. Through therapy it is revealed that Kai was sexually assaulted and she is diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Meanwhile, Sam pursues Kai. Kai eventually falls for Sam, but is unable to have sex with him again. In response, Beth suggests prolonged exposure therapy, an immersive treatment used to reduce PTSD symptoms. The treatment initially helps, but when Kaiâs father ends up in the hospital, she reverts to her emotionally distant state, alienating all who care about her. Kaiâs present story is interspersed with flashbacks of the events leading up to her assault, illuminating the contrast between who she was and who she has become., 2015, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1403, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Adult neurogenesis, or the addition of new neurons to the brain after development, is an incompletely understood process with potential implications for learning and memory. The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) song system, which receives new neurons during adulthood and is involved in an auditory learning process that in many ways parallels that of humans, makes them a useful model for investigating these putative roles.
While some suggest that new neurons are activated during learning in much the same way as the general neuronal population, others argue that new neurons have a more plastic role in learning and memory. To probe this question, we examined auditory learning in the songbird caudomedial nidopallium (NCM, analogous to the mammalian auditory association cortex), a region that plays a role in auditory processing. Neurons in the NCM express the immediate early gene zenk, a correlate of neural activity, when exposed to novel conspecific song, but the response lessens as the song is repeated. This habituation is specific and long-lasting, suggesting that the NCM is specialized for learning and forming memories of new songs quickly.
To assess the degree to which new neurons participate in song learning, we compared the habituation rate in adult-born neurons and the general neuronal population. One group of birds was repeatedly exposed to a novel conspecific song to induce NCM habituation, while another group heard the song for the first time immediately prior to sacrifice. We used a triple-labeling protocol to stain for a cell birth marker (BrdU), a neuronal marker (Hu), and an activity-dependent immediate early gene protein product (ZENK). With this protocol, a triple-labeled cell was an adult-born neuron activated during song exposure.
Comparing the habituation rates of new and old neurons could reveal their relative roles in song learning. If new neurons habituate at a similar rate as the general neuronal population, this would indicate that they are incorporated into existing auditory learning circuitry and play similar roles as existing neurons. If the drop in new neuron response with song repetition is significantly more than in old neurons, this could point to a more plastic role for adult-born neurons in the NCM. We hypothesized that we would see evidence for the latter possibility. Additionally, we predicted greater activation in response to novel song in the new neuronal population than in the general neuronal population, which would also indicate relatively high plasticity. Our preliminary results support these hypotheses, and also indicate that adult-born neurons have higher baseline activity than general population neurons. Further work must be done to elaborate these findings, but they are suggestive of a role for young adult-born neurons in learning and memory., 2018, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/2058, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Rosenberg, Gabriel Jacob (Gabriel Jacob Rosenberg) (Author), (Patricia Hill) (Thesis advisor)
This thesis aims to illustrate how black crossover music perpetuates a condition of racial crisis within the American music industry. By examining the artistic and economic strategies of the soul singer Sam Cooke through the lens of racial performativity, this thesis considers how dynamic performances of blackness trouble the boundaries and significations of race and genre. Historicizing the development of the “race music” industry and drawing connections to the work of musicians like Mamie Smith, Nina Simone, Beyoncé, and Kendrick Lamar, this thesis discusses the political implications of black sounds in the mainstream and thinks forward to the radical potential of “crossing over.”, 2016, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1670, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Binder, Darcie Leigh (Darcie Leigh Binder) (Author), (Erika Franklin Fowler, Sarah Wiliarty) (Thesis advisor)
Political scientist have explored why there are so few women who run for office and provided myriad reasons for their underrepresentation ranging from social pressures to domestic responsibilities to personal fears. Within the existing body o research scholars have identified that there is a dearth of political ambition among eligible women especially compared to their male counterparts. Research has also pointed to the idea that women do not consider themselves qualified to run for office. However, very little research has been done on how we can fix the deficit of political ambition and confidence among women. Because women’s organizations provide women with a chance to socialize in an empowering environment in this study I look to them as a possible solution. I use a survey experiment on a population of female lawyers to examine political women’s organizations, nonpolitical women’s organizations and their relationship to political ambition and confidence. I find that women in political women’s organizations are more likely to be ambitious and women in nonpolitical women’s organizations specifically for women in law are more likely to be politically ambitious and confident., 2015, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1429, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Gordon, David Jacobs (David Jacobs Gordon) (Author), (Jill Morawski; William Johnston) (Thesis advisor)
This thesis examines one of the more popular meditative practices being used in the medical world today called mindfulness meditation. The goal of my study is to critically examine this movement, asking why has mindfulness come to popularity now and what can understanding its emergence reveal about the production of psychological knowledge today?, 2009, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/246, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Myers, Peter Orin (Peter Orin Myers) (Author), (Javier Castro-Ibaseta) (Thesis advisor)
The following Parts present a close analysis of canonical works of environmental writing. My analysis centers on how the manifestation of "crisis" within each of these works implies a certain historical consciousness (Part II). Once these modes of environmental historical consciousness are made explicit, I engage in a political critique, focusing on how ways of conceiving of time and history legitimate certain kinds of political action at the expense of others, demonstrating how this manifests itself in environmental writing (Part III). I close with a speculative reworking of environmentalism's temporal consciousness which searches for potential solutions to the issues raised in the previous two sections (Part IV). And so, with explanations and qualifications out of the way, we may commence our analysis of environmental crisis., 2013, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1074, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)