This thesis examines the role of theater specifically in illuminating the nature of clinical depression. Given that depression is a deeply personal and internally focused illness, what new understanding can depictions of depression in contemporary playwriting offer that is unique to the form? Through an examination of three seminal works, ?night, Mother, The Effect and 4.48 Psychosis, I will argue that plays about depression invoke the audience simultaneously as the depressed character's sympathetic support system and as the force that isolates them in their own inescapable world, while the dramatic structure of the play forces the playwright to tell a story with a sense of closure that might otherwise feel foreign to the lived experience of depression., 2014, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1276, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
I chose to write this thesis because I am the only one that can write it. In particular, I wanted to challenge the idea that officers write the histories of wars. I was an enlisted person, and wanted to tell a concise story about my experiences of combat. I hope to create a readable, short, memoir that people can enjoy and reference in the future. I hope that sometime in the future after all the post 9/11 veterans voices have been silenced by time, that a young Wesleyan students might discover my thesis and use it for more important work., 2019, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/2169, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
An Infinity of Falsehoods (a novella), by Emily Weinstock-Collins. A brilliant young book editor in New York acquires a manipulative and obsessive client with an unnerving past. The novella follows her as she races to piece together his motives and unravel his schemes before anyone can get hurt., 2016, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1621, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Feingold, Zoe Rose (Zoe Rose Feingold) (Author), (Charles Barber) (Thesis advisor)
There are a growing number of children in foster care with behavioral and emotional difficulties a shortage of foster parents willing and able to care for them. Research on foster parent retention tends to focus on risk factors, but there are foster parents who are not only satisfied with their job--they are thriving. There is a gap in the literature regarding successful foster parents who care for children with a high level of need. This thesis applied the concept of resilience--the ability to adapt positively to adversity--to the study of the strengths and abilities of therapeutic foster parents of Connecting Children and Families, an agency in Connecticut. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to test the hypothesis that resilience is associated with willingness to foster children with emotional and behavioral difficulties. Resilience and willingness to foster were significantly associated, and ten protective resilience factors were identified in therapeutic foster parents' interviews. Implications are discussed for parent recruitment and retention., 2015, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1369, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Martino, Nick Charles (Nick Charles Martino) (Author), (Charles Barber) (Thesis advisor)
I took up this thesis with the intention of exploring the connection between the scientific world and the occult. It morphed into being an exploration of much more than that, including the natural world, the imagination, love belief, the conception of the soul and, on a more immediate level, a love triangle between three academics that ends in grief. One of the most valuable aspects of this book is not the finished copy, but the countless hours I’ve poured into thinking about it and writing it. The ability to capture some of the natural world and put it on print is a very powerful one, and takes great discipline and practice. I was thrilled to take on this thesis for this practice., 2015, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1385, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Bordoley, Jacob (Jacob Bordoley) (Author), (Charles Barber) (Thesis advisor)
JÖRG, falling squarely in the genre of young adult fiction and urban fantasy/horror, follows the experiences of three high school misfits, David, Grace, and Gordon, as they navigate life in their secluded Connecticut suburb. Everything changes when Jörg, an exchange student from Norway, comes to live with Gordon, the group's leader. Anxious over the social fallout of taking in a new student, the three slowly learn that Jörg is much more than he seems to be..., 2016, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1614, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
This thesis is a work of creative non-fiction that seeks to explore the themes of identity and culture. It is written from the author's perspective as a first-generation American and Latina woman., 2017, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1853, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
This thesis is a memoir about Taft: the private, coeducational boarding school that I attended for high school. This is a story about disorder; about propriety and impropriety; about contradiction. I explore the tension between what the school looked like and felt like, between the beautiful, manicured exterior and the neglected spaces of the school where the actual “coming of age” that the school purported to provide actually occurred. The Puritanical roots that informed the school’s administrative standards facilitated a tradition of female humiliation, a normalizing of eating disorders, a heavily medicated and alcohol-dependent culture, and the public nature that growth — both sexual and emotional — was forced to play out in. What both fascinates and repulses me about my experience is that I continue to miss it almost every day.
I have discovered in writing this short memoir that living within a place so mired in contradiction — a place that required students to be one kind of person during the day and another at night — was simultaneously exhilarating and extremely painful. The general public’s fascination with boarding school is largely tied to the fact that this part of American culture is inherently inaccessible, private in a way that allows such institutions to preserve their idealistic roots.
The memoir is divided into three sections, each of which corresponds to a different year of my Taft experience. The first chapter follows my 15-year-old self through my first year at The Taft School, beginning with my arrival and expectations as a new sophomore. I introduce the rules of the game just as I learned them, both from other students and the administration. The second chapter chronicles my junior year at Taft, a period of misery where disorder both surrounded and infected me. The third and final chapter explores my senior year there and the ambivalence I continue to feel both toward Taft and prep school more generally.
This piece is specific to my own experience. Interviews with former Taft students were conducted and consented to. I chose not to quote these students directly. All names and some identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
In addition to these interviews, my research included sociological texts such as Peter W. Cookson Jr and Caroline Hodges Persell’s Preparing for Power: America's Elite Boarding Schools, as well Horace Dutton Taft’s own memoir, Memories and Opinions, about the founding of the school., 2019, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/2216, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Lahut, Jacob Alexander (Jacob Alexander Lahut) (Author), (Charles Barber) (Thesis advisor)
"The Forbidden Genre: The Evolution of the Psychiatric Memoir and the Narrativity of Madness Pre- and Post-DSM" analyzes the relationship between the diagnostic vocabulary of mental illness, popular culture, and memoirs to understand how people with mental illnesses conceive of and communicate a suffering that is of the mind yet uniquely impeded by it. The project establishes a preliminary canon and critiques it, from the privileged backgrounds of the authors to narrative techniques, and poses multiple trajectories—from the ubiquitous celebrity comeback memoir to a well researched atlas that seeks to educate the public and even mobilize citizens towards political action. Looking at Clifford Beers, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Menninger, William Styron, Susanna Kaysen, Elizabeth Wurtzel, Andy Behrman, Terrie Williams, Kay Redfield Jamison, Andrew Solomon, David Morris, and the TV shows The Sopranos and BoJack Horseman, the thesis takes a broad scope and encourages further scholarship in a nascent field that considers memoirs of madness as a genre: the psychiatric memoir., 2017, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1838, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
This thesis seeks to examine the role of neuroscience in shaping public policy in the context of the juvenile justice system in the United States. Well before current neuroscientific technology and before the actual establishment of the juvenile justice system in the United States, there was always a historical understanding that juveniles were not capable of possessing the same moral responsibility for a crime as adults. This thesis examines the shifting political tides that have impacted the juvenile justice system throughout its history, as well as explores the current neuroscientific understanding of the differences between adolescent and adult brains and its connection to criminality. In the neuroscientific community, it has been widely accepted for decades that adolescent brains are not fully developed until their mid-to-late 20’s, however, it has taken decades for any real reform movement in the juvenile justice system.
Using Connecticut as a case study, this thesis examines the efforts between 2015 and 2019 to transform juvenile justice with the “Raise the Age” initiative, which seeks to increase the age at which juvenile offenders are tried as adults, from eighteen to 21. I explore the recent changes in Connecticut and explore the disparities between accepted scientific knowledge and its transformation into public policy. The thesis chronicles the torturous and ultimately unsuccessful campaign to “Raise the Age” in the state. The dissertation concludes with an exploration of the reasons for the disconnect between accepted scientific understanding and policy, as well as offering some recommendations on how to attempt to bridge this connection., 2019, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/2095, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
The life of loves of Filippino Lippi, a Renaissance artist living in the shadow of his father's scandals and trying to make a name for himself at the height of the Florentine Cultural Explosion, 2019, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/2211, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
A collection of short stories linked thematically by death, loss, and sense of disconnect, 2015, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1399, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Who Delights in Thunder is a novella concerning weather photographer Jasper Greene's return to his hometown of Woodbury, Georgia, where he encounters a classicizing surveillance state hiding in the newly rejuvenated town., 2019, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/2120, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)