Recent Submissions

  • Racial Segregation as a Social Determinant of Health Outcomes: Evidence from Counties in the State of Georgia

    Lee, Divesia; Hull College of Business, Department of English & Foreign Languages (Augusta University, 2019-05)
  • Racial Dissimilarities as a Social Determinant of Health Outcomes: Evidence from Counties in the State of Georgia

    Lee, Divesia; Hull College of Business; Department of English & Foreign Languages; Medcalfe, Simon; Slade, Catherine; Hoffman, Todd; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
    Social determinants of health account for about 50 percent of health outcomes- more than any other category, yet is the most understudied, therefore warranting further investigation. We contend that within social determinants of health, analysis of racial segregation is of importance. Racial segregation is a structural form of racism, where people of similar race live in communities apart from people of other races. Prior studies have used a dissimilarity index to measure racial segregation and its impact on health outcomes, and has suggested that racial residential segregation has a negative impact on health outcomes, but none of these studies have focused on county level data or the State of Georgia in particular. Using a dataset from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, supplemented by other public health and demographic data for all counties in Georgia, we use regression analysis to model the relationship between segregation and various health outcomes. A variety of social determinants of health were analyzed ranging from factors of economic stability, neighborhood and physical environment, and education, to aspects of the healthcare system. Initial results suggest that racial segregation relates to health outcomes, but it depends on the health outcomes being measured. Conclusions are pending further quantitative analysis.
  • The Proficiency-Based Classroom: Building on the Standards

    Watts, Tara; Department of English & Foreign Languages; Sandarg, Jana; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
    Proper communication is the most important element in any classroom, in particular, a foreign language classroom. Foreign language acquisition is essential, with many secondary schools and higher education institutions worldwide requiring foreign language studies in order to receive a degree. Students can learn foreign languages in many ways based on the ACTFL Standards: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. These standards expand the expectations of teaching methods as the guidelines in which a student is able to use the language outside of the classroom. The most important of these standards is Communication, which is the sending of a message from one individual to another. In this study, I will focus on the Communication standard, in particular, verbal communication in the classroom. Many students in the foreign language classroom struggle with the conversational aspect; therefore, teachers are focusing more on how to aid students in conversational learning. Furthermore, teachers incorporate cultural knowledge as a means to expand language acquisition in the classroom, giving language a context. In this presentation, I will study research on language acquisition and the ACTFL Standards; I will discuss proficiency-based projects I have done in addition to projects I plan on using in the classroom after graduation.
  • You Should Know: Writing about Sexuality as a Woman

    McCarty, Kirsten; Department of English & Foreign Languages; Minick, Jim; Maynard, Lee Anna; Augusta University (2019-02-13)
    This thesis is a culmination of both my research on the topic of female sexuality in writing and a sampling of my own creative work based on this research. I begin with an exploration of how the past has influenced the current landscape for women's writing, especially related to female sexuality. While women today are afforded many opportunities in the field of writing, certain topics still remain taboo for these writers. Sexuality as a whole is one such topic - from a woman's relationship with her body to her sexual desire to her experience with sexual abuse. While many modern movements are encouraging women to discuss their experiences with sexual abuse, many other aspects of female sexuality remain hidden behind shame. Realizing this has inspired me to write a series of letters to my younger sister on several aspects of femininity. My creative work consists of personal experiences with abuse, desire, and the female body. By writing about these experiences openly, without denying the details that make them distinctly feminine, I hope to further the discussion of female sexuality in more serious literature.
  • You Should Know: Writing about Sexuality as a Woman

    McCarty, Kirsten; Department of English and Foreign Languages (Augusta University, 2018-12)
    This thesis is a culmination of both my research on the topic of female sexuality in writing and a sampling of my own creative work based on this research. I begin with an exploration of how the past has influenced the current landscape for women’s writing, especially related to female sexuality. While women today are afforded many opportunities in the field of writing, certain topics still remain taboo for these writers. Sexuality as a whole is one such topic – from a woman’s relationship with her body to her sexual desire to her experience with sexual abuse. While many modern movements are encouraging women to discuss their experiences with sexual abuse, many other aspects of female sexuality remain hidden behind shame. Realizing this has inspired me to write a series of letters to my younger sister on several aspects of femininity. My creative work consists of personal experiences with abuse, desire, and the female body. By writing about these experiences openly, without denying the details that make them distinctly feminine, I hope to further the discussion of female sexuality in more serious literature.
  • Christianity as a Coping Method for Post-Traumatic Stress Demonstrated Through 19th - and 20th -Century Literature

    Smith, Allyson; Department of English and Foreign Languages (Augusta University, 2019-05)
  • The Relationship Between Christianity and PTSD Shown Through 19th- and 20th-Century Literature

    Smith, Allyson; Department of English and Foreign Languages; Dr. Lee Anna Maynard; Department of English and Foreign Languages; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
    This project explores the validity of faith, specifically Christianity, as a coping mechanism for those suffering from PTSD. Rather than solely looking at the scientific side of this topic, I will use two works of fiction to represent the cultural attitudes toward Christianity as it relates to PTSD.The selected works are Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien.I chose to approach the topic this way because works of art, including fictional writings, tend to reflect the state of society in which the author lived. By incorporating context from the cultural and medical knowledge of PTSD at the time the books were written, events in the author's lives, and events in the world at the time the authors were writing their books, I will explorewhether a return to faith as a coping mechanism can be an effective strategy for the modernindividual struggling with PTSD.
  • Rebecca Harding Davis: Spatial, Gender, and Labor Roles in Literary Realism

    Humphrey, Katie; Department of English and Foreign Languages (Augusta University, 2017-05)
    Rebecca Harding Davis, a West Virginia writer, explores how conceptions of gender shifted in the United States, especially during the Industrial Revolution. Davis published her novel in six separate issues of The Atlantic literary magazine from October of 1861 until March of 1862 in monthly installments. These pieces were eventually published as a novel entitled Margret Howth in 1862. This story explores the life of the young woman after whom the book is named. Davis’s approach emphasizes the recording of daily life as it is happening, commenting especially on the relationship between women and labor during the early Civil War period in the United States. Davis’s focus on the daily details of life allows her to bring attention to gender and labor inequalities in the nineteenth century Midwest. Davis’s female characters depict how women felt unable to make decisions, especially if their decisions brought them out of their home and away from the family. She also brings light to women’s treatment from both men and the upper class, who marked them as unable to do work outside the home because they believed they were physically and emotionally built only for domestic life. [Introduction]
  • Techniques Used to Establish the First Person Narrator and Perspective in Double Indemnity and Murder, My Sweet

    Walton, Breana; Department of English and Foreign Languages (Augusta University Libraries, 2017-05-11)
    Directed by Billy Wilder and Edward Dmytryk respectively, the films noir Double Indemnity (1944) and Murder, My Sweet (1944) each have a storyline that unfolds from a first person perspective as told by a narrator. The techniques used in the films establish this first person perspective through which the films are understood. Both films include voice over as a technique, which determines who the narrator is and the amount of information withheld or disclosed to the audience. Establishing the visual perspective of the narrator is portrayed through differently for each film. While, Double Indemnity utilizes camera angle, Murder, My Sweet uses camera filters and special effects. Lastly, to achieve the first person narration, the character narrating in each film must be present in every scene or give explanation of events that occur in his absence. The various techniques used in each film function cohesively to establish the narrator and achieve his perspective through which the plot is understood by the audience.
  • Postmodernism & the Sexual Awakening of E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime

    Rosier, Melanie (2017-03-06)
    This analysis utilizes both a Postmodernist and Feminist approach to E.L. Doctorow's novel Ragtime in order to provide a social commentary on the hardships of women and minorities in Pre-WWI America. Historically, the patriarchal system has contributed to the sociopolitical oppression of women on an international level. The sexual repression of women, in particular, has lead to a system of hierarchy that has been permanently instilled in society. However, with the turn of the nineteenth century, the dissolution of familial roles for women began taking place. In this analysis, Doctorow's narration of the lives of five different female characters is defined as an illumination of the socioeconomic hardships of women in the height of immigration and labor exploitation within the United States. This historiographical commentary continues by recognizing the inability to acquire liberation from oppression for minority women.
  • The Second World War: the Conception of the Absurd and a Resolution

    Hawk, Erin; Department of English & Foreign Languages (2017-03)
    The Second World War was a time of catastrophic changes to the physical and metaphysical world. The world order was turned upside down. Nations were destroyed. Cities were destroyed. Villages were destroyed. Families were torn apart. Fathers, mothers, sons and daughters were slain. Everything previously known about the world was destroyed. The certainty of individuals with their lives was now put into doubt. Man was deprived of memories of a lost homeland as much as he lacked the hope of a promised land to come. In essence, the Second World War was the divorce between man and his life, the actor and his stage, which constituted the truthful sentiment of the absurd. In this context, it would only make sense if the thought of this period were to reflect the sentiment of the absurd. Albert Camus was one of the most prominent intellectuals that actualized and concreted the philosophy of the absurd, which eventually surfaced as the theme of many works. Most works simply present the absurd and or gift the reader or audience the overwhelming experience of it, but Camus dives deeper. The absurd, to him, isn’t just a feeling, or a realization or even a theme to produce dramatic effect. It is a serious philosophical hurdle that raises the question: Is life worth living? This abstract is an English translation of the project that was completed in Spanish.)
  • Alone at Home: Alienation in Ragtime

    Quinton, Rachel; Department of English & Foreign Languages (2017-03)
    This analysis looks at E.L. Doctorow's novel, Ragtime. Throughout the work, Doctorow hints at the blurring of belonging in reality in Pre-World War I America, resulting in alienation. Using a Marxist and Postmodernism lens, this essay focuses on alienation that functions on two levels - the dissociation of the individual from social belonging and through a coercive superstructure of media that separates characters from historical reality. The characters in Ragtime, both in the central family and outside, can identify with at least one level of alienation. By observing the characters through these lenses, it becomes apparent how they are shaped by their alienation. In this context the characters within the novel Ragtime serve as an example of alienation manifested through a dissociation from reality and organized by a coercive media beholden to a capital economic pressure. This observation highlights the value of identity and how the media can affect the way others look at "the reality" behind such identities. It also considers the extent of how media integrates itself into daily life and how this influence is controlled by the base of all society: the economy. Doctorow's book suggests there is a separation of truth from media, and reality from identity.
  • Sowing the Seeds of Its Own Destruction: The State's Deployment of the Panoptic Gaze and the Disturbance of State Ideological Functioning in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange

    McKew, Melinda; Department of English and Foreign Languages (Augusta University, 2010-12)
    Upon its reception in the early 1970s, A Clockwork Orange (1971) generated controversy concerning Stanley Kubrick's excessive use of violence and, in particular, sexual violence. In fact, in its original release form, the United States placed an X-rating on the film because of its graphic scenes of violence (Dirks). In a variety of ways, the film is undeniably disturbing in its portrayals of Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and his fellow "droogs" 1 violently attacking, raping, and murdering other people. Equally, if not more, disturbing, however, is the state's use of violence against Alex, especially in its scientific experimentation on him. In perhaps the most famous scene from the film, Alex becomes the object of the state's reformatory experiment to transform heinous criminals, like Alex, into moral citizens. The experiment takes place in a movie theater, wherein Alex is forced to watch a variety of violent episodes as he undergoes chemical treatment to alter his psychological experience as he looks at the images. Immobilized by a restraining jacket with his eyes pried apart with specula, the chemicals previously injected into Alex's body begin to take effect and convert his sadistic sexual pleasure at the sight of violence into physical illness as the images play across the screen. No longer is the movie theater a place for Alex to simply "viddy" 2 films with pleasure; rather, the state has transformed it into a laboratory for violent scientific experimentation, whereby to "viddy" the images presented on the screen becomes the state's primary mechanism in exercising control over both Alex's physical body and mental state. By deploying the image in the state's campaign to control, the state situates the image within a complex of socio-political power, the function of which is to regulate human behaviors and desires. Yet, the image only contributes to the efficacy of the state's scientific experiment through the gaze. In a general way, the gaze is understood as the process whereby an individual looks at other people or objects. For film studies, in particular, the gaze gained prominence in the 1970s as a theoretical term that applies to the ways in which people look at filmic images (Chandler). More recently, theorists understand the gaze as a complex process that "emphasize[s] the embeddedness of the gaze of the individual in a social and contextual field of looks, objects, and other sensory information. The gaze is to enter into a relational activity of looking (emphasis in original)" (Sturken et al. 94). As Alex's experiences suggest, his gaze places him in a relational field that subjects him to the mechanisms of the state's socio-political power and control. For Alex, to gaze is not simply to see or to watch, as the general definition of the gaze implies; to gaze is to enter into a relationship of power with the state's regulatory mechanism, rendering Alex a docile subject of state authority. Indeed, as Kubrick's cinematographic framing and placement of the scientists suggest, the image does not violently afflict all those in the theater. The image only affects Alex, the subject of the experiment. Kubrick's low-angle shot exaggerates the scientists' positions above Alex precisely as a way to emphasize their control and power over the image. It is little coincidence that this shot also reveals the scientists' close proximity to the projector, which controls the image. In this way, Kubrick's cinematographic framing implies that those who control the image seemingly control those who gaze at it, and, as such, the state's power over the image translates into power over Alex. Feminist film theorists, though, have claimed that the gaze is not a gender neutral construction, as the previous explications imply, but one predicated upon notions of gender difference in which males sadistically gaze at female subjects, thus enabling men to control and exercise power over women as objects of their patriarchal desire. Such thinking, however, is reductivist and fails to account for more nuanced constructions of the gaze and its relationship to socio-political models of power. Indeed, to claim that the relationship between the gaze and power is fundamentally reducible to the field of gender is an improper theoretical approach for analyzing A Clockwork Orange. On one hand, Alex's gaze is not the product of an active male power. While Alex's gaze is important as it is required in order forthe experiment's effectiveness, his gaze is fundamentally passive. The state forces Alex to gaze at the images, and he is completely powerless in the experiment. Moreover, Alex cannot even regulate his desires. Before the experiment, Alex enjoyed a sadistic pleasure from violence. During the experiment, however, Alex's sadistic pleasures are radically absent and transformed into physical sickness. According to the traditional feminist paradigm, Alex could only interact with the gaze as the active gazer, placed in a position of power that allows him a sadistic pleasure at the objectification of women. This is decisively not the case in this scene since Alex's gaze is a passive effect to the state's coercive demands and produces a markedly non-sadistic response, physical illness. Nevertheless, the aim of this paper is not to debate the gender identity politics of the gaze; rather, as the previous paragraphs suggest, the intention of this paper is to examine the gaze beyond the confines of gender and to connect the gaze to larger socio-political institutions, namely the state, and the exercise of institutional power. Specifically, this paper will use Kubrick's film to address the complex theoretical relationship between the individual, the gaze, and the state through the combination of three major concepts by three principal thinkers: ideology as defined by Louis Althusser, panopticism as conceived by Michel Foucault, and the gaze as formulated by Jacques Lacan. Very briefly, according to Althusser, ideology is a construct, usually discursive, that attempts to define individuals' relationships to reality; however, ideology never accurately reflects individuals' realities because it is "imaginary," never fully encapsulating the relationships people have with their real conditions of existence (162). 3 Since ideology is imaginary, it hides the real relationship of individuals to their realities-that is, ideologies are invariably false to greater or lesser degrees. The effect of this is to reproduce the existing status quo or the existing system of social relations governing the lives of individuals (Ngyugen). In the previously mentioned scene from A Clockwork Orange, ideology presents itself in two distinct but inevitably connected ways. First, the cinema operates through the ideology that the cinema is a place free from the violent coercion of the state. Second, the state operates through the ideology that its scientific experimentation on Alex is one of beneficence. Through the experiment, these two ideologies become enmeshed within each other because the state uses the movie theater as its laboratory to alter Alex's behaviors. The desired effect of the state's experiment is, as previously noted, Alex's docility. Such a desired effect requires that the state transform the movie theater into a cinematic panopticon that uses the regulatory ability of the gaze to ensure a constant mode of self-regulation in Alex. Foucault's notion ofpanopticism will be used as a way to map the state's creation of a cinematic panopticon in its experiment. Nevertheless, this is not a peaceful experiment, for the state's treatment in its newly created cinematic panopticon is fundamentally violent. While ideology attempts to disguise the violence operating within the cinematic panoptic experiment, the scene itself destroys the veneer of ideology and exposes the ideological functioning within both the cinema and, consequently, the state. On one hand, then, the panoptic gaze does, in fact, render Alex a docile subject of the state, thus solidifying the state's power. On the other hand, however, the gaze paradoxically acts as that which disrupts ideological functioning and, therefore, the state's claim to power. Indeed, by utilizing Jacques Lacan's conception of the gaze, the gaze also functions as a gap that disturbs ideological functioning and marks the failure of the state to ensure violent ideological coercion. Thus, by placing both Foucauldian and Lacanian constructions of the gaze within the context of state power and ideological functioning, this paper will ultimately demonstrate that the traditional feminist formulation of the gaze is oftentimes too inchoate and poorly equipped to fully account for more complex dynamics between the gaze, the individual, and the state, an intricate relationship that is not necessarily related or reducible to the field of gender identity politics. [Introduction]
  • Escape from a Life of Secrets and Emergence of Psychopathy from a Mask of Sanity

    Sivised, Vittika; Department of English and Foreign Languages (2016-10-11)
    This paper explores the progression of psychopathy within the main character of Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me. Lou Ford hides behind a social mask depicting a kindhearted oaf to conceal the psychopathic and violent personality that lies beneath. Throughout the novel, Lou Ford’s psychopathic personality begins to surface as he progresses from mere verbal jabs to murder as he tries to escape from his past and his obligations to his father. These obligations that he has put upon himself keep him from leaving the town; however, as he destroys the chains that bind him to the town by murdering those who represents these chains, his psychopathic personality, which is his real personality, grows in strength, and soon, the truth of his violent nature is known by the rest of the characters. In the end, to truly escape from the town, Lou Ford commits his final act: suicide. This act of suicide frees him from the past and he was able to be who he always was, a psychopath.
  • The Chinese Dream: The Confluence of Realism and Confucianism

    Laufer, Brittney; Department of English and Foreign Languages (Augusta University, 2014-12)
    In 2012, Xi Jinping became General Secretary, President, and the Chairman of The Central Military Commission in China. Since his start as the head of China, Mr. Xi’s speeches have referenced a nebulous concept called the “Chinese Dream.” While the “Chinese Dream” is in the early stages of its development and realization, it still offers a glimpse of what China’s international relations will strive to become. Xi Jinping has said, “The Chinese spirit brings us together and builds our country together. To create the Chinese Dream we must unite all Chinese power. As long as we stay united, we will share the opportunity to make our dreams come true” (Moore 2013, para. 8-9). These words call to mind Confucian ideals of self-improvement, community, and cooperation; furthermore, the call for “Chinese power” brings to mind the theory of realism in international relations, which emphasizes power and strength on the international level.This thesis will argue that Xi’s “Chinese Dream” is a theme that aims to increase China’s economic and military power as a regional hegemon, to establish China’s prestige as a global power surpassing the United States, and to reaffirm the legitimacy of the state and Communist Party through Confucian-based nationalism. China’s dream will ultimately upset the current status quo, and other states need to recognize this.
  • The Defamiliarization of Reality: Redefining Fantasy through a Stationary and Expansionary Model"

    Baggett, Jacob; Department of English and Foreign Languages (Augusta University, 2015-05)
    J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings set the standard for what is now called fantasy literature in an essay entitled “On Fairy Stories.” Tolkien defines fantasy as occurring entirely in a separate “secondary world”. Contemporary fantasy, however, has evolved beyond the scope of Tolkien’s theory by including stories in which the secondary world and the primary world, the world in which we live, are more thoroughly connected. This occurs through a sense of defamiliarization: readers live in the primary world, but as the plot unfolds, they realize that a secondary fantasy world is all around them, previously unfamiliar and unseen. This thesis articulates a new theory of Stationary and Expansionary Fantasy, providing a more inclusive definition of fantasy and integrating the defamiliarization that has become integral to contemporary fantasy. I compare two traditional examples of fantasy, Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, as well as one contemporary example, Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising, in order to test the theory and demonstrate its operation in fantasy literature.