Aukland, Tobah Joy (Tobah Joy Aukland) (Author), (Ethan Kleinberg) (Thesis advisor)
An exploration of the development of the French Jewish art collector and dealer in Paris from the mid 19th century through World War II analyzing ideas of cultural identity, the place of the foreigner or "other," and collective national patrimony., 2013, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/985, 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)
Neuhaus, Harrison Marcus (Harrison Marcus Neuhaus) (Author), (Ethan Kleinberg) (Thesis advisor)
My thesis proposes a new philosophy of aesthetics, which I argue provides a more accurate and insightful model of how we experience works of art and literature. This model, which I call fascination, illustrates how works of art first enthrall their audiences, but then harnesses their audiences’ experiences of that content to provoke them to reflect on it. Fascination therefore offers deeper insights into the themes within these works and thrives off the tensions that it exposes. This aesthetic model applies to works that contain ethical content, since they engage their audiences both emotionally and intellectually. Violence is an especially powerful and evocative example of ethical content, since it generates such radical responses from thrill to horror. As such, this thesis examines the role of violence in the arts, and how works with violent content model fascination., 2016, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1541, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
This piece is a historically-situated comparative literary analysis through the lens of critical theory. In it, I analyze two novels, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (2001) and Faserland by Christian Kracht (1995), primarily as social artifacts, texts that are indicative of our current historical moment and the various social, cultural, and political undercurrents that inhabit it., 2015, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1390, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Jean-Marie Le Pen served as president of the Front National (FN) from its founding on October 5 1972, until the succession of his daughter, Marine Le Pen, on January 16 2011. Since stepping down, Jean-Marie Le Pen has continued to publicly express his controversial opinions on a variety of topics concerning municipal, regional, national, and international affairs. Jean-Marie Le Pen’s rabble-rousing rhetoric is not a new phenomenon, but it has begun to clash, especially recently, with Marine Le Pen’s concerted effort to dédiabolise (de-demonize) the FN. Marine Le Pen’s campaign of de-demonization is also a long-standing political tactic of the FN. That is to say, Marine Le Pen’s attempt to distance herself––and the “new FN”––from the views of her father were similarly employed by Jean-Marie Le Pen as a way of presenting the FN as distinct from the extreme-Right: as a break with, rather than a continuation of, French extreme-Right political movements, ideologies, writings, and rhetoric. However, a comprehensive analysis of the rhetoric of Jean-Marie Le Pen viewed in tandem with the writings of two intellectual icons of the historical French extreme-Right, Maurice Barrès and Charles Maurras, reveals that the FN not only stands as a continuation of this ideology, but that it also expands on far-Right themes of martyrdom, sacrifice, blood, soil, rootedness, historical (Greco-Roman) tradition, fatherland, ultra-nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia., 2016, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1596, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)