National Repository of Grey Literature 86 records found  1 - 10nextend  jump to record: Search took 0.01 seconds. 
Demetra Vaka-Brown as a representative of American orientalism in literature
Stránský, Rudolf ; Robbins, David Lee (advisor) ; Gheorghe, Manuela E. (referee)
This MA thesis is dedicated to the two fictional travel narratives Haremlik - Some Pages from the Life of Turkish Women (1909) and The Unveiled Ladies of Stamboul (1923) and to the person of their author, Demetra Vaka-Brown (1877 - 1946), the Istanbul-born American writer and journalist of Greek origin. Both books describe the radical changes which took place in the traditional Ottoman Turkish society between the beginning of the twentieth century and the end of the First World War, as they are reflected in the everyday lives and attitudes of Turkish women. Based on Edward W. Said's definitions of Orientalism as a Western cultural and political attitude towards the Middle East and on other sources, the author of the MA thesis analyzes Vaka-Brown's authorial and narrative identities and attitudes to conclude that the two works of Demetra Vaka-Brown can be classified mostly as an example of an orientalist discourse, intentionally tinted with the so-called "cryptoethnic" pro-Greek political connotations.
Czech Immigrants in Minnesota; History and Critical Bibliography
Škopek, Jakub ; Robbins, David Lee (advisor) ; Veselá, Pavla (referee)
This thesis takes a look at the reasons for the emigration of Czechs from Bohemia to the United States and how this emigration began in earnest after the European revolutionary year of 1848. It also takes a look at the related steps and procedures emigrants took to make this journey possible. A primary focus of this report will be the Czech immigrants that settled in Minnesota; however, the initial part of this work applies generally to Czech immigration to America. The first part of the thesis examines some of the political and social circumstances in Bohemia (as well as in much of Europe generally) that were responsible for the waves of immigration that took place in the second half of the 19th century. The thesis takes a look at how the people learned about America and about the possibilities of traveling there. The thesis also examines how the journey was made from Bohemia to one of the German ports of embarkation, as well as the difficulties and risks awaiting emigrants in such cities. Finally, this section explains the tremendous impact the new changes in sea travel - from sail to steam - had on the rapid rise in the numbers of immigrants coming into the United States. In the following section, the thesis considers some of the general difficulties faced by all new immigrants once they had...
The Emersonian Pynchon
Naser, Safwan ; Robbins, David Lee (advisor) ; Roraback, Erik Sherman (referee)
Ralph Waldo Emerson and his postmodemist colleague Thomas Pynchon ... a seemingly incongruous connection. The aim of this thesis is to explore the unusual relationship between these prominent authors and advert to the great influence which Ralph Waldo Emerson unquestionably had not only on authors who were not separated from him by such a noticeable temporal abysm, but also a most recent author who, according to the vast majority of the definitions of the postmodern, should be entirely free of any Emersonian influence. This intricate relationship will be assessed mainly through Mason and Dixon, the most recent novel by Thomas Pynchon which reflects many aspects of what Emerson found absolutely central. The summation of what seems to be propounded throughout the entire novel is represented by the idea of determining boundaries, in both the literal and the abstract sense. Emerson himself devoted much attention to this subject matter and it is clear that Pynchon and Emerson have much in common from this perspective, which holds true to such an extent that the boundary between the postmodem and romantic is itself facing the pressure of redefinition, which is in turn a fundamental concept which both authors share.
A dream shared: community and politics in selected 19th and 20th century American utopias
Kounovská, Kateřina ; Veselá, Pavla (advisor) ; Robbins, David Lee (referee)
The tendency to dream of a better tomorrow, a better society and a better world had existed long before utopian writing was defined by Sir. Thomas More in 1516. Utopian ideas are present all throughout history, from Greek and Roman literature, myths and mythology, various festivals or the "Cokaygne" utopias to religious paradise, the belief in infinite progress, utopian science fiction and finally the modern western utopia. This thesis will focus on four selected American literary utopias: Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward: 2000-1887, Jack London's Iron Heel, Ernest Callenbach's Ecotopia and Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time. It seeks to analyze the social notions inherent in the four ideal utopian societies portrayed in these novels, the suggested process of social and historical change leading up to them and to note the development of selected social issues in the nineteenth and the twentieth century through the discussion of these works. The introduction will begin with a brief discussion of the background of utopian writing, include arguments for perceiving the institution of an artist as a cultural force, as well as include the historical and cultural background necessary for the discussion of the novels. Chapters two to five will deal with the proposed literature in a more concrete manner,...
Sign, symbol and allegory in Hawthorne's stories and The Scarlet Letter
Strouhalová, Slávka ; Procházka, Martin (advisor) ; Robbins, David Lee (referee)
In my thesis I will examine Nathaniel Hawthorne's stories The Minister's Black Veil and The Artist of the Beautiful as well as his famous romance The Scarlet Letter in terms of sign, symbol and allegory. I chose these particular works as typical representatives of Hawthorne's production. The Minister's Black Veil, first published in 1836, is an expression of Hawthorne's Puritan heritage recovery period, The Artist of the Beautiful, which came out in 1846 is an expression of his Romanticism and his dealings with Transcendentalism, while his major work, The Scarlet Letter, 1850, is a remarkable and complex blend of the two strains of his thinking and art. My thesis consists of four chapters. In the first chapter, named Sign, Symbol, and Allegory, I try to define what these terms mean, and to establish the difference between the first two, as some critics use the term sign and symbol interchangeably. I base my analysis on the Saussurian concept of sign, which will be outlined and contrasted with symbol. I will try to adumbrate the way in which reading of signs differs in the Puritan era and in the nineteenth century. I will characterize allegory and the patterns that enable us to recognize it, and I will mention how the understanding of what allegory is has changed in modern times. In the following three...
Violence, Guilt and Punishment in Selected Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne
Gemrichová, Marie ; Veselá, Pavla (advisor) ; Robbins, David Lee (referee)
The BA thesis explores selected writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne, who addressed in his works many themes that range from nature through difficult relationships of characters and their communities to Biblical allusions. Some of the prominent themes which can be explored in his novels (such as The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables and Fanshawe) are the themes of violence, guilt and punishment. These chosen themes serve as topics that are treated individually in each novel. Consequently the novels are compared. The thesis first focuses on an exploration of the theme of violence, to which extent it appears in Hawthorne's novels, which characters are victims and transgressors, and where violence leads to. At the same time it explores the feeling of guilt of Hawthorne's characters, and whether guilt appears after a committed violent act, as well as the consequences that come in the form of the transgressors' punishment. Namely, I explore the relationship of Hester Prynne with Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth (The Scarlet Letter), the two original families of the Pyncheons and the Maules and the influence of the ancestors on their heirs (The House of the Seven Gables) and the actions of the mysterious "angler" compared to the deeds of the individuals around Harley College (Fanshawe)....
African-American Women Leaders after 1950s
Rybková, Veronika ; Robbins, David Lee (advisor) ; Ulmanová, Hana (referee)
Thesis abstract The thesis attempts truthfully to illustrate a situation of black female leaders active in the United States of the second half of the twentieth century. In order to cover this period, four black women activists will be focused on as representatives of two different generations. On the one hand, Ella Baker and Fannie Lou Hamer will stand for the older generation because their activist careers culminated in the 1960s. On the other hand, Angela Davis and bell hooks will represent the subsequent decades as it was at that time when their careers matured. A comparison of the two generations will reveal considerable similarities in the four women's perspective on the nature of the struggle against white supremacy. It is necessary to bear in mind that this perspective was to a great extent influenced by a special kind of oppression the women faced as members of a marginalized group, that is, of the black community. Firstly, a detailed examination of the women's childhood and youth will show that it was already at that time when the four black women realized the presence of racism in their lives. Moreover, the focus on their background also introduces similar motives of the four women's decision to become active participants in the black community's struggle. Secondly, after the description of the...
Emerging Voices: The Portrayal of Minorities in the Work of Willa Cather
Plicková, Michaela ; Robbins, David Lee (advisor) ; Ulmanová, Hana (referee)
The thesis seeks to explore the portrayal of the othered, marginalized individuals in the fictional work of Willa Cather. The primary focus of the text is the first-person narrative of My Ántonia (1917). Other complementary primary sources are Cather's remaining two prairie novels - O Pioneers! (1913) and The Song of the Lark (1915) - and two books of the author's later artistic creation - Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927) and Sapphira and the Slave Girl (1940). The former two books function as a preliminary mapping of Cather's concerns developed in My Ántonia, the latter two texts present Cather's later reflections of otherness. The thesis focuses on Cather's incessant examination of the workings of the white, male, heteronormative discourse in the context of modern American nationhood: by her "queer" writing, she aims to unearth and subvert the coercive social mechanisms, and give voice to those who were eclipsed from the project of the rising economic empire: ethnic others (African Americans, Native Americans, European immigrants), and gendered and sexual others (women, homosexuals and lesbians). The identity of modern American society reposes on the construction of the social other and the artificial category of normality. Cather, on the other hand, examines the difference - sexual, racial,...
An Outlaw Journalist's Journey through an Era Decadent and Depraved: Hunter S. Thompson in the context of America of the 1960s and early 1970s.
Stárek, Jiří ; Robbins, David Lee (advisor) ; Ulmanová, Hana (referee)
The thesis aims to explore the artistic personality of Hunter S. Thompson, one of the most distinctive cultural figures of post-war America, and his genesis as an author, journalist, and a counterculture idol of the 1960s. The era is now widely regarded as a turning point in contemporary American history as its deep-rooted values and norms were, over the course of a decade, gradually transformed by the young generation of social and political activists toward allegedly a more tolerant and liberal kind of community. Crucial in such an endeavor was the role of the countercultural movement that produced some of the most capable intellectual minds of the time, including Thompson. The paper thus analyzes the role and nature of the alternative culture in America as perceived by one of its most observant participants. Also, the thesis focuses on the author's role in establishing a new genre called New Journalism which can be linked with the era's countercultural efforts as well. In general, Thompson, in his texts, examines various phenomena surrounding the counterculture and provides us with a distinctive portrayal of the era's zeitgeist. However, unlike some of his contemporaries, he also remembers to examine numerous flaws and fallacies existing within contemporary American society, the American Dream...
White city, 1893, technological, commercial, cultural wonder; Against the Day, 2007, Thomas Pynchon
Létalová, Michaela ; Roraback, Erik Sherman (advisor) ; Robbins, David Lee (referee)
Thomas Pynchon's novel Against the Day presents an extreme challenge to the reader's knowledge of sciences and arts as well as to his reading skills. The age of information overload the contemporary society lives in requires fast adaptation to the continual tide of data, products, stress, and to all what civilization calls conveniences and labor saving devices of the modern age. Pynchon's books play the role of the "simulation of the disorienting overload of modern culture".1 All of Pynchon's texts tend to be "long, rambling, multilayered, underplotted, quasi-unfinished monsters. But with this one [Against the Day] there is the feeling that the magician has fallen in love with his own stunts, as though Pynchon were composing a pastiche of a Pynchon novel, says Louis Menand."2 Further according to Menand, Against the Day is imperfect in the sense of "What was he thinking?"3 In order to successfully approach any of Thomas Pynchon's texts the reader needs to be either extremely well educated in all fields of human knowledge, and able to discern between the science part and the fiction part of the text, or capable of a swift use of the computerized body of knowledge - the data stored on the internet, besides the still fairly high required level of education. Knowing as little as we do about the author himself,...

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