Here I investigate the historical confluence of therapeutic culture, counterculture, and folk rock in late-1960s and 70s America. The Old Left communists of the 1930s popularized folk music as a political genre protesting systemic inequality. Then in the early-1960s, the New Left revived folksongs to protest racial inequality and the Vietnam War, among other causes. By the late 60s, though, some folk artists made interiority their hip “protest.” As many folksingers transitioned to folk rock, American culture was becoming more therapeutic, and folk rock artists like James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, and Jackson Browne, started writing lyrics preoccupied with interior pain—“inner poverty”—more than economic poverty. Treating the early albums of Taylor, Mitchell, and Browne as ideologically rich texts for cultural and literary studies, I examine the way that folk rock promoted—and sometimes self-reflexively critiqued—therapeutic perspectives that are associated with a political stance, but that also helped consumers evade external social, economic, and political issues. These singer-songwriters use images of the road and nature to evoke—and at times question—therapeutic individualism and ostensible anti-consumerism. In addition they romanticize love and music as therapeutic opportunities to express compensatory “depth,” but they also scrutinize the mass-commercialization of love and music. Their lyrics offer insights into the Woodstock to Watergate forms and operations of “soft capitalism.”, 2016, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1536, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
This thesis is a novella set in a future society where android technology has developed to the point that humans no longer have to work. It explores topics including how humans might organize outside of a labor hierarchy, the characteristics that qualify an entity to bear legal and political rights, and propaganda as a tool for statecraft., 2018, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1936, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
This thesis studies the relationship between revolutionary songs during the Chinese Cultural Revolution and their political context, specifically through the examination of the songs' original publication in People's Daily, one of the biggest Party newspapers during the ten years (1966-1976) of Cultural Revolution. It reveals the close correlation between a publication of revolutionary songs and the political events and needs surrounding the time of that publication. Revolutionary song were able to spread the political messages through lyrics efficiently and effectively, thanks to their entertainment element. In addition to lyrics, the musicality and performances of these revolutionary songs contribute to their effectiveness as propaganda tools. This thesis contributes to the existing literature on the Cultural Revolution by supplementing a crucial piece of information on this populist art form, which have often been casually dismissed in previous studies., 2015, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1504, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
This project challenges exclusions and erasures in queer theory concerning aging in later life. I elucidate tendencies to overlook older populations while asking why their unique spatiotemporal orientation, at the far end of the human life course, and the embodied temporalities this orientation engenders, are often ignored and unaddressed in queer theories of time. I contend that growing old is not a process of ontological stagnation, but a queer unbecoming and rebecoming of the self that deviates from narratives of desirable maturation and challenges us to rethink not only what constitutes queer time but what makes a valuable and viable human life., 2015, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1486, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
This thesis confronts the historical and moral implications of the incendiary bombing of Japan during World War II in order to suggest a practical approach to the balance between military necessity and human rights during the conduct of war. Scholars have been notably hesitant to draw conclusions on whether this military action was justified by military necessity in order to help the Allies win World War II in the Pacific, or if this action resulted in an unjustifiable number of civilian casualties. However, it is essential to resolve this historical puzzle, and determine if this event was a war crime, in order to clarify how history should be evaluated retrospectively, and to refine how human rights can be practically protected in real-world combat situations. In order to meet these goals, this project will create a model-trial against General Curtis LeMay, the air commander who planned and ordered the incendiary attacks against Japan. To create the necessary components of the trial, this thesis will explain the history of American incendiary bombing to establish the facts of the case both for and against LeMay, and also formulate a legal framework by which to judge LeMay. The thesis will conclude with an assertion of whether LeMay’s actions were legal or illegal, and therefore whether they were justifiable, or unjustifiable. In the end, it will be shown that even when moral grey area exists, scholars should not shy away from drawing conclusions on difficult topics: this will hold military leaders accountable to their decisions, and deepen the understanding of how human life should be protected in war., 2017, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1754, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
This thesis¬¬¬ De Donde Sos?: The Impossible Fact Union of Blackness andin Argentinidad explores the cultural and spatial politics of Black identities in the city of Buenos Aires. More specifically, I consider the ways that Argentinas identity, as the Latin American exceptionracially white and Europeanis actually a product of the nationalist race ideology blanqueamiento., 2011, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/770, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
This work looks at the preservation and construction of Chinese diasporic identity in Cuba. Representations from the Cuban Wars for Independence, the Special Period, and Cuba’s current state of transition reveal how Chinese Cuban identity has been constructed based on the constraints of Cuban history., 2015, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1520, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Why have modern food movements become so popular? Are they due to an absolute shortage of food on the one hand, and an elitist obsession with local and organic foods on the other? Or are they, as this thesis argues, a collective consequence of the inappropriate commodification of food resources, the result of the distributive, procedural, and recognitional injustice that it produces. To make this claim, I examine various political and legal philosophers' theories of commodification and justice, and apply their frameworks to make the case that food has become inappropriately commodified. This thesis concludes that it is this inappropriate commodification of food against which modern food movements protest., 2013, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1049, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Hong Kong was handed over to China from British colonial rule in 1997 under "One Country, Two Systems," a constitutional arrangement that ensured the city's separate executive, legislative, legal and economic systems from China. Since the handover, democrats of the city have sought to expand the government's representation to fulfill the Basic Law's (a constitutional document drafted in accordance to "One Country, Two Systems") promise for people to enjoy the rights to elect their Chief Executive—the city's leader—and the legislature. Their efforts culminated in the Umbrella Movement in 2014, a democratic movement that demanded "genuine universal suffrage" for the Chief Executive. I argue that the Umbrella Movement became as much a localist project concerned with identity creation as it was a democratic movement, as it created for Hong Kong a new civic identity alongside demands for the universal suffrage of the city's leader. In the wake of the movement, democrats adopted a localist outlook and became more concerned with protecting Hong Kong's identity, which effectively transformed their previous fight for democracy into a larger struggle to protect the local identity. At this time, new narratives of the Hong Kong identity pervaded society and even competed with the dominance of the Umbrella Movement's civic identity. In the Chief Executive election campaign in 2017, the first since the Umbrella Movement failed to achieve breakthroughs in electoral reforms, the candidate John Tsang received the most support from democrats in the city despite his conservative views on democratic development. I argue that John Tsang's popularity among democrats was emblematic of the city's wider shift from the "battle for democracy to the battle for Hong Kong." During the campaign, Tsang produced a compelling representation of Hong Kong that successfully appealed to democrats without necessarily invoking their democratic claims. This thesis, therefore, attempts to understand Tsang's rise by charting the development of localism since its beginnings in 2006 to 2017, when the Chief Executive election transpired., 2018, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/2038, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Against accounts of the German Empire that focus excessively on domestic politics, this thesis argues that the overseas commerce of Hamburg's merchant houses and shipping firms guided Germany through its colonial acquisition, naval armament, and all-important Weltpolitik. In so doing, it offers conclusions not only about the history of the German Empire, but also about the nature of empire and globalization., 2018, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1926, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
This thesis proposes a reading of four of Jean Rhys? novels?After Leaving Mr Mackenzie; Voyage in the Dark; Good Morning, Midnight; and Wide Sargasso Sea?through Avery Gordon?s critical work on haunting, Ghostly Matters. Rhys? work is situated in its historical context, allowing for a reading that is specific to the conditions of the author?s time period and locations. Gordon?s book guides the framework of haunting and ghostliness that this project proposes for Rhys? women characters, suggesting that the Rhys women are themselves ghostly figures. They are both haunted and haunting. Ghostly Matters argues for a reading of ghosts and haunting that is socially and politically charged, reading haunting as the work of historical and social violences that will not be consigned to the past. In this framework, haunting is positioned as a call to action, a kind of political resistance, a and potent reminder of trauma?s recurrences. Ghosts are political actors doing important affective work.
In Rhys? novels, these women ghosts communicate the violences of colonialism, whiteness, poverty, and misogyny. They are haunting figures that testify to social and historical injustices even as they are themselves implicated in them. This thesis will examine gender, race, and domesticity in Rhys? works as they play out in patterns haunting and representations of trauma, noting that these social structures inevitably intersect and complicate each other. The critical works of Cathleen Maslen, Judith Raiskin, and Elaine Savory will support these claims. Jean Rhys? ghosts, then, are not simply tragic women who?ve been wronged or the ?spirit? of loss or longing. They are created by?but also, as ghosts, must exceed?existing historical conditions of violence, power, and resistance., 2018, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/2073, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
In my close reading of the novel, I attempt to demonstrate a form of reading with rather than for Clarissa’s desire. To read with Clarissa is not to interpret as she interprets, but rather to read next to her as she interprets. “Reading with,” means to read the novel as Clarissa moves through it and to take this occasion to read social relations as they appear allegorical and specifically within the text. To read with means to read the novel allegorically, as rape and not seduction, because solidarity with Clarissa as a rape survivor is politically important. Furthermore, it means to recognize the characters as psychologically complex characters who, in their specificity, support, break down, and have no relation to an allegorical reading of the text at different moments across the narrative. Clarissa is an allegorical character and she is specific. However, her specificity does not mean the end to the allegory; these terms are not mutually exclusive.
To read with Clarissa also means to read against rape as the structuring event of the novel. In my second chapter, the “act” of rape is not an isolatable event it is a “state of being” that creates a new relationship between the victim of rape and her body. By destabilizing rape as a concrete “event,” I destabilize the strict movement of corruption between moral and immoral standards of behavior. Clarissa is an angel who falls and maintains her angelic virtue. Furthermore, as a state of being, the catastrophic embodied consequences of rape become clear. In this sense, to read with Clarissa is to focus on the consequences of rape as the main subject of the novel.
While the seduction plot considers consent or resistant to be unambiguous, the state of being generated by rape throws consent into ambiguity. In the “state of being” produced by rape, a space is opened in which the victim of rape can have desire, no desire, and complicit desire simultaneously. The problem with the structure of the feminine “response” to rape is that it reads across time, and rejects contradiction. To “read with” Clarissa is to read against a strict binary of consent or resistance, desire or never desire. Reading with lets one moment signify in that moment only, not across the time of the narrative., 2019, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/2175, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)