Humanities

Christian Themes Within the Mohawk Origin Story: An Exploration Through the Work of J.N.B. Hewitt

Quinlan Van Es

Rutgers University

It should come as no surprise that the famous Iroquois story of the Skywoman, and the world on the turtle’s back has been whitewashed and edited by white historians. However, most readers are not familiar enough with the story itself and historical texts to be able to recognize the faults in the current telling of the story. During the 20th century, it became the goal of American ethnologists to find commonalities between different tellings of the same origin story, often reducing these stories to the barest plot points and ignoring complexities of the culture.

Education By Film: What American Movies Tell Teens About Sex, Love, and Relationships

Natalie Busch

Emerson College

In most American high schools, teens are taught the Common Core of Math, English, History, and Science. But, for their emotional and interpersonal education, students are left to their own devices. There are no adequate measures in place to teach emerging adults how to start and sustain healthy intimate relationships. Unlike the Common Core, health and sex education classes are poorly regulated and implemented. Faced with either silence or misinformation from figures of authority, teens implicitly learn lessons from visual media, like films.

Determining Truth: The Clash of Christianity and Free Speech after Areopagitica

Savannah James

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

In 1644, John Milton published and distributed his pamphlet Areopagitica amid political, religious, and martial tensions. His arguments against prior censorship in Areopagitica contribute to early ideas of freedom of speech as expressed through the writings of influential European philosophers, which ultimately manifest in the early American concept of freedom of speech. In tracing the history of the idea of free speech, it appears that the scope of censorship and freedom of speech has long been affected by the role of Judeo-Christianity in European and American governments.

Ekphrasis in Ecocriticism: A Deeper Understanding of Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts”

Chloe Nicole Young

Capital University

If ekphrasis is a literary description of a visual work of art, and ecocriticism uses literature to study nature and ecological concerns, how do the two mix? Auden’s poem is the quintessential ekphrastic poem, yet it has never been examined in terms of how it is both informed by and informs an eco-critical reading. The ekphrastic poem “Musée des Beaux Arts” by W.H. Auden not only expands the understanding of the genre but also broadens the understanding of nature.

The Wings of Hope

Salma Makarian

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Arts in Qatar

Dia al-Azzawi, a renowned Iraqi artist, and Silman Mansour, a distinguished Palestinian painter, are two prominent examples of Middle-Eastern artists who have been actively engaged in a fight against the injustice caused by the wars and conflicts endured by their countries during the second half of the 20th century. Even though their art might diverge stylistically, the artists’ political and cultural agenda converges in the claim for justice. This essay is an analytical comparison between Azzawi’s painting entitled Red Sky With Birds, and Perseverance and Hope, an artwork by Mansour.

Taras Shevchenko in Postcolonial Dialogue: The Rise of Ukrainian Nationalism in Literature

James Renwick Fleshman

Judson University

“Taras Shevchenko in Postcolonial Dialogue: The Rise of Ukrainian Nationalism in Literature” provides the foundation for postcolonial literary interpretation in a Ukrainian context through a reading of the Ukrainian national poet, Taras Shevchenko. In section II, I address this new perspective on Shevchenko studies through analysis of existing scholarship. In section III, I discuss Shevchenko’s view of the Ukrainian nation based on culture. Finally, in section IV, I analyze and interpret Shevchenko’s Ukrainian language poetry in light of postcolonial theory and Ukrainian national identity.

Highlights from previous editions

“Where Words Fail, Music Speaks”: The Experience of Adapting Literature to Music

Laney J. Fowle

Southern Utah University

Adaptation is a relatively new yet growing academic field consisting mainly of research on the modification of book into film. This study endeavors to expand the discourse on adaptation to the modal transformation of literary works to music. By using this specific adaptive type to examine the process and functionality of adapted works, I was able to address several key aspects of modern adaptation, including the hot-button issue of fidelity to an established source text, the role of adaptor as co-author, and the ability of solitary artistic modes to augment each other when combined. The resulting personal attempts at adaptation of a short poem to an accompanied vocal composition and an unaccompanied choral work were accomplished by the practical application of adaptive theory presented in several documents on the strategies behind the adaptive process. In using an experience-based approach, this study provides a hands-on look at the complex processes involved in adaptation and contributes to the growing body of adaptation research.

Jargons and Pidgins and Creoles, Oh My!

Emily Gray

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Linguistics, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is “the science of studying language, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and historical linguistics” (OED.com). Within this field, the study of pidgin and creole languages is the source of much controversy and disagreement. Due to their divergence from typical linguistic features and development patterns, pidgins and creoles have long been ignored by the linguistics community. Considered by many to be “inferior, haphazard, broken” versions of “older, more established languages,” these so-called “bastard tongues” were written off as unworthy of study (Todd 1). Only recently have these forms of language garnered interest from linguistic scholars known as Creolists. However, compared to their more respected and recognized counterparts, the study of pidgins and creoles remains incomplete. Modern Creolists are able to agree neither on the accepted definitions for the terms pidgin and creole nor on the status of a number of languages claiming to be either of the aforementioned terms (Muysken and Smith 3). While usually studied together, the terms pidgin and creole are used to distinguish between two very different and unique forms of speech and language (“The Origins of Pidgin” 1).

"So Dead and Bald" Destroys the World: A Psychological Critique of Object Metamorphosis in Infinite Jest's Game of Eschaton

R. Christian Phillips

Capital University

“Do not underestimate objects! . . . It is impossible to overstress this: do not underestimate objects” (Wallace 394). Even the most cursory reading of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest reveals the importance of objects to this work. Objects affect and vigorously direct all the characters throughout, from the tennis balls being continuously squeezed by students at the elite Enfield Tennis Academy (ETA) to the veil Joelle van Dyne wears to the plethora of drugs being consumed and, most importantly, to the cartridge of James O. Incandenza’s final film, which is given the ultimate power of life and death over anyone unfortunate enough to view it. Yet, the twenty-two pages devoted to describing a single game of Eschaton–played by a group of pre-pubescent ETA students referred to as Combatants–most clearly expose how a simple object, or group of objects, can take on greater meaning and create devastating change for the individuals interacting with them. “A standout moment,” this game is described as “a mash-up of Model U.N., tennis, and calculus . . . that ends in broken bones, tears, and hilarity” (Holub). A psychological critique of the objects used during the Eschaton game reveals their metamorphosis from mere objects into Things that actively affect the Combatants and ultimately destroy this game of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) while drastically altering the real world lives of all those involved.

Painting the Negative Space: How Faulkner Silhouettes the Living Ghost of Flem Snopes

Jessica Franczi

Reinhardt University

Like porch lights, mosquito bites, and last-minute glasses of sweet tea, ghost stories are an experience innate to the South after dark. Whether or not a person believes them, these tales have the ability to characterize houses, streets, even entire cities. For the citizens of Frenchman’s Bend in William Faulkner’s The Hamlet, convoluted stories of Antebellum and Civil War ghosts permeate the area. Distracted by the buried men of the past, the people of Frenchman’s Bend fail to realize that they themselves are living in one of the most sprawling, epic ghost stories ever to unfold in Mississippi: the story of the rise of Flem Snopes. As Snopes, a veritable living ghost, wreaks havoc on the town with his invisible, untraceable hands, Faulkner offers his readers a valuable truth: sometimes, the only way to see a ghost is to observe its effect on others.