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A list of PhD & Masters Dissertations with an Evolutionary slant

Below is a list of over 120 PhD (i.e., Doctoral), or Masters dissertations / theses with a consilient, and/or bio-cultural – (or, Evocriticism, or Literary Darwinist, or Biopoetics, or Bioaesthetics)  – or, an otherwise Evolutionary slant.

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This (below) is certainly not `the’ comprehensive list, but – is possibly a good start, for anyone wondering about the extant academic literature in this area. (There are also of course, many more journal articles and books – for example: collated in the excellent Evolution, Literature and Film: A Reader (2010), and please see also, the other consilient books, here – and also, journals such as Scientific Study of Literature). And see also The International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature (or, IGEL).

I found these Dissertation Abstracts (listed below) by searching/reading through 1,000 Abstracts, on:

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I (ProQuest)

Which is, a:

“Comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world, spanning from 1743 to the present day. Includes full text. Topics covered include humanities and communications, dissertations and theses, social science and psychology, medicine, and science.” (ProQuest)

I’ve grouped the Dissertations below into certain categories. This is more a reflection on how they relate to my own doctoral research topics, rather than any kind of `formal taxonomy’. The categories I have sorted them into are:

Bio-cultural dissertations, Cultural Evolution, Viral Memes, Systems, Linguistics, General Consilience-related dissertations, Against Postmodernism, Critiques of Biopoetics, Biological Evolution (Darwin and Wallace, etc), Evolutionary Psychology, and Philosophy.

(This is also not to suggest that, I use and/or cite all of the 120 dissertations below, in my own research. Also please note, each Dissertation is listed here in: no particular order. Also – a few of them, I believe, used Consilience and/or an evolutionary approach, without actually realizing they were doing it. Also any bold emphasis in the Abstracts below is my own – please feel free to ignore it.)

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CONTENTS: (i.e. List of Dissertation titles – the Abstracts are further down below)

BIO-CULTURAL DISSERTATIONS

Velikovsky, J. T. (2016). `Communication, Creativity and Consilience in Cinema: A comparative study of the top 20 Return-on-Investment (RoI) Movies and the Doxa of Screenwriting’. PhD Thesis, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/1324018

Between the universal and the particular: Evolution, personality, and the varieties of fictional experience.

The parent-offspring conflict in Joyce’s fiction: A neo-Darwinian view..

The extinction of Jay Gatsby: Sexual display, infidelity, and cheating in “The Great Gatsby”.

The rape of Troy: A neo-Darwinian perspective on conflict in the “Iliad”.

Monsters and Horror Stories: A Biocultural Approach (unpublished PhD dissertation by Mathias Clasen, 2012)

Darwin matters: Modernism and mate choice in Wharton, Joyce, and Hurston.

Darwin’s sisters: Darwinian catalysts in late nineteenth-century feminism..

Sexual selection and mate choice in Darwin, Eliot, Gaskell, and Hardy.

Evolutionary landscapes: Adaptation, selection and mutation in 19th century literary ecologies.

Beyond Adam’s rib: How Darwinian evolutionary theory redefined gender and influenced American feminist thought, 1870–1920.

Some adaptive functions of narratives and their implications for literary criticism.

The emergence of the dark hero in Scott and Byron: A Darwinian perspective.

Beyond Darwinism: Chicana/o literature and modern scientific literary analysis: Rereading Josefina (Josephina) Niggli and Oscar Zeta Acosta.

Textual evolution: Adaptation in twentieth and twenty-first century literature, film, and culture.

Jealousy in Cervantes: Emotion, cognition and the novel

The brief privilege of consciousness: Ian McEwan, Neo-Darwinism, and the New Atheism..

Darwinian evolution in Theodore Dreiser’s “The Trilogy of Desire” and other financier novels at the turn of the 20th century.

“I am Legend”: Adaptation, antagonism, and apocalypse.

“The undiscovered country”:  Theater and the mind in early modern England.

The evolution of literary theory: Towards a bio-cultural approach to literature through Jane Austen’s “Northanger Abbey”.

Darwinism in the art of Thomas Hardy.

Evolving toward utopia: An exploration of evolutionary ideas in utopias at the turn of the nineteenth century.

Cognitive play: The work of fiction in British print culture, 1656–1725.

Lifeweaving: Towards a metaphysics of cultural identity.

CULTURAL EVOLUTION

Conceptual foundations of cultural evolution.

How the Past Remains: George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, and the Victorian Anthropological Doctrine of Survivals.

Illuminating the darkness: The naturalistic evolution of Gothicism in the nineteenth-century British novel and visual art

Innate storytelling: A Darwinian consideration.

Grotesque attractions: Genre history, popular entertainment, and the origins of the horror film..

The birth of musicology from the spirit of evolution: Ernst Haeckel’s Entwicklungslehre as central component of Guido Adler’s methodology for musicology.

“A perfect chaos”: Organism-environment interaction and the causal factors of evolution.

Primitive marriage: Anthropology and nineteenth-century fiction.

Opera, race, and nation in American literature: 1890–1920.

Cradles in space: The changeling in folk narrative and modern science fiction.

Prehistoric to posthuman: Animality, inheritance, and identity in American evolutionary narratives.

Nature’s Music: Birds, Beasts, and Evolutionary Listening in the Twentieth Century.

“The horror, the horror”: The origins of a genre in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain, 1880–1914.

“A biological necessity at work”: Evolution in selected novels of Philip K. Dick.

How the child lost its tail: Evolutionary theory, Victorian pedagogy and the development of children’s literature, 1860–1920.

“A more glittering, a grosser power”: American film and fiction, 1915–1941.

Scientific fictions: Evolutionary science, literary genre, and theories of degeneration in fin de siecle Britain.

Greek comedy and the evolution of satyr drama.

To serve and obey: A history of the android, 1850–present

From counterculture to cyberculture: How Stewart Brand and the “Whole Earth Catalog” brought us “Wired” magazine.

The cultural and historical background of British and American literature.

Evolution and the sociology of punishment

The crisis of action in nineteenth-century English literature.

Horror in evolution: Determinism, materialism, and Darwinism in the American gothic.

VIRAL MEMES

(Please note… with some of these Dissertations in this section, the researcher may – or may not – be aware they are discussing a viral meme. i.e. In Daniel C Dennett/Richard Dawkins terms. Please see also: The holonic structure of the meme.)

Infinite transformation: The modern craze over the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam in England and America, c. 1900-1930.

The superhighway to serfdom: How false social norms marketing is hijacking the American Dream..

Moral implications of Darwinian evolution for human preference based in Christian ethics: A critical analysis and response to the “moral individualism” of James Rachels.

“Mirror worlds”: Transpacific inspiration and mimetic rivalry in American and East Asian literature, 1945–2005.

Honouring mystery: The evolutionary fiction of Wayland Drew..

Characterization in American independent cinema.

The influence of globalization on ecological literacy in Japan.

Rethinking the origins of public opinion: An analysis of nation and race in Harwood Childs’ Princeton public opinion syllabus, 1886 to 1933.

The Horned God: A historical survey of its iconography in the West

SYSTEMS

Hopeful monsters: Literary complexity and contemporary narratives of information.

Organization and organizations: Volitional evolution and a quadrinary approach.

Applications of multilevel selection theory to human business organizations.

Chaos and the microcosm: Literary ecology in the nineteenth-century.

Network theory and the environment: Understanding human connections to nature.

Leaders vs. Managers: It is not what you think.

The politics of game theory: Mathematics and Cold War culture.

A conceptual analysis of ecosystem health.

Arming or disarming the literary canon: Tradition and innovation in the secondary English text-selection process.

LINGUISTICS

Evolutionary perspectives on language: A twin study of adult foreign language learning ability.

Biological rationalism..

Language evolution from a simulation perspective: On the coevolution of compositionality and regularity.

Trekking through space with Whorf: Language and spatial cognition.

The other within the self: Bilinguals and the construction of emotions.

Sign-sentence theory: A method of encoding and decoding nonverbal communication.

GENERAL CONSILIENCE-RELATED DISSERTATIONS

Consilient cognitive literary studies.

Adaptive rhetoric: Evolution, culture, and the art of persuasion.

Nietzsche and transmodernism: Art and science beyond the modern in Joyce, Stevens, Pynchon, and Kubrick.

God’s in his lab and all’s right with the world: Depictions of science in 19th century American literature.

Brainpower: Intelligence in American culture from Einstein to the egghead.

It came from the laboratory: Scientific professionalization and images of the scientist in British fiction, from “Frankenstein” to World War I

Student idealists and the specter of natural science, 1870–1910.

Fiction as a guerilla activity: Towards a new science of the human.

On paying attention: Particularity in Victorian fiction and empirical thought

Turning a cognitive eye toward Cohan theatre scholarship at the intersection of cognitive science.

The Science of Science: Kuhn, Hull, Giere, and the Rise of Naturalized Epistemology.

The human animal: Tangles in science and literature, 1870–1920.

Conjectural criticism: Computing past and future texts.

Switchbacks: Ascending the Catskill Mountain High Peaks.

AGAINST POSTMODERNISM (and against post-structuralism, etc)

Knowledge and the limits of postmodernism: Social constructionism in film and media studies.

Post-poststructuralism: Anti-semiotics and the recovery of proper linguistic function.

Cognitive narratology: A practical approach to the reader-writer relationship.

Anti-professionalism, pluralism and the problem of critical authority: An inquiry into the disciplinary structure and logic of English.

Manifestations of chaos in an economic theory of the organization.

The sound of meaning: Theories of voice in twentieth-century thought and performance.

Minimal foundationalism in literacy studies.

CRITIQUES OF EVOCRITICISM / BIOPOETICS / LITERARY DARWINISM – (Warning: Some of these are mostly po-mo, and typically use Continental, rather than Analytical Philosophy.)

Against biopoetics: On the use and misuse of the concept of evolution in contemporary literary theory.

Literary studies and the Third Culture.

Finding mind, form, organism, and person in a reductionist age: The challenge of Gregory Bateson and C. H. Waddington to biological and anthropological orthodoxy, 1924–1980.

The maternal instinct: Mother love and the search for human nature.

Cultural displacement and dislocation: Darwinian fictions of empire, 1850–1900.

Evolutionary epistemology and antirealism..

BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION – DARWIN, WALLACE, etc.

“Greedy for facts”: Charles Darwin’s information needs and behaviors.

Alfred Russel Wallace’s and August Weismann’s evolution: A story written on butterfly wings.

Mutant phoenix: Macroevolution in twentieth-century debates over synthesis and punctuated equilibrium..

The C-value enigma.

Between “The Origin of Species” and “The Fundamentals”: Toward a historiographical model of the evangelical reaction to Darwinism in the first fifty years.

Romancing the gene: The human genome as our 5 million-year-old story.

EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY

“Sex in mind”: The gendered brain in nineteenth-century literature and mental sciences.

Intimate beyond words: Reconsidering the cinematic subject in light of neuroscience.

Contemporary cognition: Computers, consciousness, and self-definition in cognitive science and late 20th century fiction.

Evolution of Cognitive Development

Intuition and emotion in early modern England: MacBeth and the sense of disgust

Eating disorders as a case study of cultural maladaptation.

Social symmetry: A theory of altruism and cooperation.

Scientific aesthetics: The nature of beauty in the phenomenal universe as determined by the work of Immanuel Kant reevaluated within a twenty-first century context

Gender differences in intensity of emotional response: An evolutionary perspective.

Traditions and male homosexual behavior

Why old age: Non-material contributions and patterns of aging among older adult Tsimane’

Looking for a few good males: Female choice in evolutionary biology, 1915–1975.

The functional significance of waist-to-hip ratio.

Cerebrating the novel: Toward a neurocognitive analysis of contemporary American fiction.

Why films make us cry but videogames don’t: Emotions in traditional and interactive media.

PHILOSOPHY

Modal concepts in the biological sciences.

An evolutionary approach to intuitionism and moral realism..

Representing fictions in film..

Additional dissertations that do not necessarily show up in a ProQuest Search (or, at least not within the first 1,000 results, with all the search-terms that I used):

From object to affect in literary experience, interpretation, and evaluation.

Feminine Nature: An Evolutionary Analysis of Hemingway’s Women Characters.

Persistent Mythologies: A Cognitive Approach to Beowulf and the Pagan Question

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And now… for the actual Abstracts:

(By the way, down the bottom of this blog-page are more/extra biocultural dissertations that I have since added to the list, i.e. since first doing the ProQuest search, and thank you again to everyone who has let me know about your dissertation!) – If you want to go straight there, pls scroll almost-all-the-way-down to the bottom of this page, and look out for the mostly-green image of `Creativity-Guy’.

BIO-CULTURAL DISSERTATIONS: (Abstracts)

Between the universal and the particular: Evolution, personality, and the varieties of fictional experience

Author: Michelson, David Morton

Abstract: This dissertation demonstrates the theoretical and practical importance of a bio-cultural conception of personality and individual differences for understanding the varieties of fictional experience. While the idea of difference is central in literary and cultural studies, individual differences in personality and their relation to fiction have not been explored in light of recent research in personality psychology. This work provides the first-ever review of this research, explains the nature and scope of personality’s influence on fictional experience, and demonstrates personality’s importance in four ways: with an account of why many of literature’s most esteemed effects are localized in a relatively small portion of the population who continue to read once they leave school; a classroom study showing how students’ personalities and reading experiences influence their liking of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road; a psychobiographical case-study showing how Alice Andrews’s personality shapes the form and content of her novel, Trine Erotic, as well as her readers’ responses to it; and an analysis of how liberals and conservatives’ different moral intuitions complicate Alejandro Gonzaléz Iñárritu’s attempt to rouse viewers’ empathy for politically disenfranchised characters in his film Babel.

Subject: Literature; American literature; Personality psychology; Film studies;

Classification: 0401: Literature;  0591: American literature;  0625: Personality psychology;  0900: Film studies

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Communication and the arts, Psychology, Bio-cultural, Cognitive, Evolution, Literature, Personality, Universals, McCarthy, Cormac, Andrews, Alice, Gonzalez Inarritu, Alejandro, Mexico

Number of pages: 199

Publication year: 2012

Degree date: 2012

School code: 0792

Source: DAI-A 74/07(E), Jan 2014

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781267991782

Advisor: Heywood, Leslie

Committee member: Sloan Wilson, David, Carroll, Joseph, Easterlin, Nancy

University/institution: State University of New York at Binghamton

Department: English, General Literature, and Rhetoric

University location: United States — New York

Degree: Ph.D.

The parent-offspring conflict in Joyce’s fiction: A neo-Darwinian view

Author: Kim, Sang-Wook

Abstract: Joycean critics have paid little attention to the parent-offspring schisms mimetically mirrored in Joyce’s fiction. Freudian (or Lacanian) psychoanalysis and other poststructuralist criticism have mainly either delved into Joycean multi-voiced narrative of free indirect style as a departure from realism or read Joycean texts as Joyce’s (or his characters’) political struggles against Irish patriarchy at the turn of the century.

My study shifts a focus from the stylistically or politically oriented approaches to Joyce’s fiction to a sociobiological dimension to Joycean characters—a neo-Darwinian approach to human development with adaptive implications of human behaviors. More specifically, I bring to light the parent-offspring schisms in the typical patterns of relationships in the Dublin families depicted in Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Stephen Hero . What is the most salient in the matter of Dubliners‘s familial interactions is overprotective and demanding motherhood in which a mother and a child are extremely interdependent on each other. The seemingly affectionate but tremendously intrusive mothers hinder their children’s autonomy and independence, making them indecisive and timid.

In A Portrait and Stephen Hero , Stephen displays a biological sign of inhibited temperament with fear of novelty as his inherited nature. At the same time, he grows into a person with rigid personality as the outcome of his adaptation to the sibling position as a firstborn child. As a Bildungsroman, A Portrait is read as Stephen’s development into a person of adolescent egocentrism on the basis of his moral reasoning grounded in his personal values in conflict with sociocultural values. Stephen cognitively adapts from pre-adolescent moral absolutism to adolescent moral relativism by which he shows iconoclastic tendencies.

Subject: British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Parent-offspring conflict, Fiction, James Joyce, Joyce, James, Ireland, Social Darwinism, Family

Pages: 156 p.

Number of pages: 156

Publication year: 2006

Degree date: 2006

School code: 0162

Source: DAI-A 67/09, Mar 2007

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780542899737

Advisor: Knapp, John V

University/institution: Northern Illinois University

University location: United States — Illinois

Degree: Ph.D.

The extinction of Jay Gatsby: Sexual display, infidelity, and cheating in “The Great Gatsby”

Author: Reyes, Kevin M.

Abstract: This analysis establishes the foundational parameters of the Darwinian critical paradigm, a literary school of thought pioneered by Joseph Carroll; its relevance to literary criticism; and its evolution to yield adaptationist readings of literary works. Subsequent application of the critical paradigm via an adaptationist reading of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby indicates that while commonly held as a representation of the vibrant Jazz Age, the text itself offers broader social commentary and illustrations of the shifting moral tenets in 1920’s America–moral tenets that were spuriously backed by Darwin’s new science through the developing discourse of Social Darwinism. Using this adaptationist lens, The Great Gatsby presents a vivid example of vapid sexual display, rampant cheating, and unprecedented and accepted infidelity that ultimately results in the extinction of the man known as Jay Gatsby.

Subject: Modern literature; Evolution and Development; American literature;

Classification: 0298: Modern literature;  0412: Evolution and Development;  0591: American literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Biological sciences, Fitzgerald, F. Scott

Number of pages: 57

Publication year: 2012

Degree date: 2012

School code: 0198

Source: MAI 51/04(E), Aug 2013

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781267919878

Advisor: Bennett, Michael

Committee member: Dilworth, Leah

University/institution: Long Island University, The Brooklyn Center

Department: English

University location: United States — New York

Degree: M.A.

The rape of Troy: A neo-Darwinian perspective on conflict in the “Iliad”

Author: Gottschall, Jonathan Andrew

Abstract: The cliché runs that stories are about boys meeting girls; they describe the formation and maintenance of the sexual dyad. Sex consumes our literary characters who spend most of their time attempting to acquire and retain mates. While countless students of literature have sensed this, there has been little systematic inquiry into the crucial question of why this phenomenon persists in all known literatures and mythologies. Rather it has been accepted as the most basic of facts, taken for granted like gravity or the roof of sky. When this phenomenon has been addressed the analysis has tended toward myopia, focusing on social, cultural, and economic determinants while ignoring or negating deep biological roots. This is true, for instance, of some Marxist and feminist approaches that deny biology, apparently conceiving of sex as a purely economic and political phenomenon. This study peers beyond such proximate determinants to view the sexual saturation of literary texts, specifically the Iliad , in terms of the distal and the ultimate. Underpinning all human relationships is our common biology; every word in Gray s Anatomy applies to every “normal” human on the planet. This biology has been constituted, over 100,000 generations in a pre-agricultural niche, by a natural process that sifts for traits conducive to reproduction. The emergent discipline of evolutionary psychology contends that the human psyche is a product of the same, gradual accretion of adaptations conducive to reproduction: all of our psychical capacities exist because they helped hunter-gatherers become our ancestors.

Co-opting evolutionary psychological theory on the ancient kinship of human sex and conflict, my dissertation addresses neglected questions about the sexual fixations of literary works, and offers new perspectives on the basic motivations of the Iliads heroes. Moreover, the dissertation provides further confirmation of evolutionary psychological theory by demonstrating how precisely the heroes’ actions and attitudes match the scientific expectations.

Subject: Classical studies; Social psychology;

Classification: 0294: Classical studies;  0451: Social psychology

Identifier / keyword: Psychology, Language, literature and linguistics, Rape, Neo-Darwinian, Conflict, Iliad, Homer, Greece, Evolutionary psychology

Pages: 187 p.

Number of pages: 187

Publication year: 2000

Degree date: 2000

School code: 0792

Source: DAI-A 61/06, p. 2287, Dec 2000

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780599810051, 059981005X

Advisor: Pavlovskis-Petit, Zola

University/institution: State University of New York at Binghamton

University location: United States — New York

Degree: Ph.D.

Darwin matters: Modernism and mate choice in Wharton, Joyce, and Hurston

Author: Lynch, Jacquelyn Scott

Abstract: This dissertation argues that Charles Darwin’s theory of sexual selection, as put forth in The Descent of Man of 1871, influenced literary modernism in significant and to date unacknowledged ways. Bridging the fields of literature, the natural sciences, and contemporary critical theory, it examines early twentieth-century scientific debates over biological inheritance and analyzes the ways that three modern novelists responded to Darwin’s theory of mate choice and the role it plays in the evolution of the human species.

In addition to Darwin’s The Descent of Man , the major texts this study considers are Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, Summer , and Twilight Sleep ; James Joyce’s Ulysses ; and Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God . Each of these novels represents the socio-political factors that limit or preclude mate selection according to Darwin’s model of male competition and female choice. Wharton’s The House of Mirth and Summer consciously invoke Darwinian plots to represent the ways in which the female role in mate choice was overly restricted by early twentieth century American social mores; these limitations have tragic implications for the heroines of her early novels. In her more stylistically experimental postwar novels of the 1920s, such as Twilight Sleep , Wharton moved from considerations of individual suffering to satires of an emerging American consumer society that treats marriage as any other product to be thrown away when its utility declines. Joyce’s Ulysses portrays a disconnected symbolic Dublin family whose political disenfranchisement under British rule exacerbates its members’ inability to take direct action in matters of sexual selection. Their reunification, like most of their sexual selections, takes place in fantasy, a limited but important space for much modern literature. Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God juxtaposes Janie Crawford’s teenage vision of “natural” male-female relationships with the often brutal realities of her three marriages. Like Wharton and Joyce, Hurston shows that both physical and cultural environments shape consciousness, and that aesthetic tastes can be passed on through fiction.

By considering the novels of authors who represent different movements within modernism–Edith Wharton and psychological realism, James Joyce and high modernism, and Zora Neale Hurston and the Harlem Renaissance–this project aims to demonstrate that a shared concern with sexual choice and its physical and political ramifications constitutes an important characteristic of modern literature. It concludes by challenging contemporary scholars to undertake a major reconsideration of Darwin’s contributions to literary modernism and to contemporary critical theories of race and gender.

Subject: Literature; Comparative literature; British and Irish literature; American literature; Science history;

Classification: 0298: Literature;  0295: Comparative literature;  0593: British and Irish literature;  0591: American literature;  0585: Science history

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Modernism, Mate choice, Darwin, Charles, Charles Darwin, Wharton, Edith, Edith Wharton, Joyce, James, Ireland, James Joyce, Hurston, Zora Neale, Zora Neale Hurston

Pages: 249 p.

Number of pages: 249

Publication year: 2001

Degree date: 2001

School code: 0010

Source: DAI-A 62/02, p. 569, Aug 2001

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493132112, 0493132112

Advisor: Sensibar, Judith L

University/institution: Arizona State University

University location: United States — Arizona

Degree: Ph.D.

Darwin’s sisters: Darwinian catalysts in late nineteenth-century feminism

Author: Mann, Abigail Elizabeth

Abstract: This dissertation arises from a simple question: what value did Darwinism hold for late nineteenth century feminists? The answer, I demonstrate, rests in a “Darwinian feminism” that takes advantage of Darwin’s destabilization, particularly in The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man, of the boundaries between individual and species. For late nineteenth-century women, who were often exhorted to subsume their selves for the sake of the species, Darwin’s language could justify what I term “communities of dissent.” These communities depended upon female variation so that the group functioned through its differences rather than by establishing utopian coherence. Examining a transnational group of late nineteenth century texts–Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland, Mona Caird’s The Daughters of Danaus and George Eliot’s Middlemarch –I contend that these fictions regularly turn to Darwinian feminist ideas to rethink individual and group identity. Maternity and sorority, two prevalent modes of portraying female communities in public and novelistic discourse, take center stage in each novel and, I suggest, should be understood as models of communities of dissent. Insisting upon the flexibility of group identity allowed these writers a fresh way to approach maternal inheritance and the “sisterhood” of female coalition, in which variation signals success rather than dissolution. With the help of Darwin, I reread the accomplishments of the various female lives depicted in the fiction I study. While individual characters often do not flourish, they create communities of dissent that support variation and offer hope for long term change. Despite some of the conservative uses to which Darwin was put at the turn-of-the-century, the writers in my study actively engaged with his ideas in order to envision what an effective coalition of varying women might look like.

Subject: Modern literature; Womens studies; American literature; British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0298: Modern literature;  0453: Womens studies;  0591: American literature;  0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Darwinian feminism, Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, Caird, Mona, Eliot, George, Communities, Darwin, Charles, Feminism, Fin-de-siecle

Number of pages: 218

Publication year: 2010

Degree date: 2010

School code: 0093

Source: DAI-A 72/01, Jul 2011

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781124355429

Advisor: Gubar, Susan

Committee member: Sterrenburg, Lee, Kreilkamp, Ivan, Fleissner, Jennifer

University/institution: Indiana University

Department: English

University location: United States — Indiana

Degree: Ph.D.

Sexual selection and mate choice in Darwin, Eliot, Gaskell, and Hardy

Author: Gerstel, Jennifer Elisabeth

Abstract: This thesis considers three novels–The Mill on the Floss (1860), Wives and Daughters (1865), and Far From the Madding Crowd (1874)–in light of the Victorian fascination with breeding, generation, and descent, issues which are brought into focus with Charles Darwin’s The Descent of Man (1871). The thesis argues that the topics of female mate choice and gendered roles in courtship begin to emerge in the literature of the period as a kind of evolutionary story, taking the traditional courtship plot in new directions and with new consequences. Sexual selection, an evolutionary approach to courtship and mating activities, is used in these works both as a literal mechanism to describe reproduction, mate choice, and sexual rivalry, and also as a powerful metaphor through which the novelists could raise other important issues, such as morality, social progress, and existential anxiety. These novels struggle with social and scientific change, and their characters are shown to be embedded in an inescapable natural system which makes their choices at once insignificant and also relevant along an evolutionary continuum. This project uses feminist and sociobiological theories as well as Darwinian evolutionary theory to demonstrate how these novels assimilate and interrogate ideas about natural and sexual selection among larger concerns about Victorian culture and society. An introductory chapter considers the position of women in nineteenth-century evolutionary thought, while the chapter on The Descent of Man closely examines Darwin’s troubled movement from ethology to anthropology. Each chapter on the novels by Eliot, Gaskell, and Hardy offers close readings of key passages which show careful attention to Darwinian evolutionary theory, specifically with reference to issues of generation, inheritance, courtship, and mating. The pastoral settings common to the three novels, their emphasis on farm life and the perseverance of closely knit communities in simultaneous conflict and harmony with the natural world, bring these concerns to the forefront. Furthermore, these novels focus on the dynamics of courtship and mate selection diversely but also with striking similarities, in each case self-consciously through the lens of Darwinian and post-Darwinian thought.

Subject: British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Sexual selection, Mate choice, Charles Darwin, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, Thomas Hardy, Darwin, Charles, Eliot, George, Gaskell, Elizabeth, Hardy, Thomas

Pages: 278 p.

Number of pages: 278

Publication year: 2002

Degree date: 2002

School code: 0779

Source: DAI-A 63/12, p. 4321, Jun 2003

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780612746459, 0612746453

Advisor: Matus, Jill

University/institution: University of Toronto (Canada)

University location: Canada

Degree: Ph.D.

Evolutionary landscapes: Adaptation, selection and mutation in 19th century literary ecologies

Author: Hines, Chad Allen

Abstract: How can a literary theorist account for unselected texts and narratives, and measure the importance of voices no longer audible to readers today? The following dissertation uses various, and variously successful 19thcentury literary texts as Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Edward Bellamy, W.D. Howells, Mary Wilkins Freeman, and others as points departure for considering the complex forces affecting the fragment of texts selected over time from within a wider field of anonymous and unwritten narratives.

Bridging literary theory and Darwinian science, “Evolutionary Landscapes” argues that concepts of mutation, replication and selection can provide a framework for thinking about how narratives and genre developed in the 19th century United States. Current attempts to bring biological insights directly into literary study through evolutionary psychology or cognitive Darwinism ignore the complex systems, including cultural and market forces, that might have been used to predict a given text’s chances for longer-term survival. The figure I choose to represent these economic, unwritten, and cultural influences on literary texts is the “adaptive landscape” developed by the geneticist Sewall Wright, and recently adapted by the evolutionary theorist Michael Ruse.

The relationships between texts and ecologies fore-grounded in the following chapters, even when dealing with individual authors, necessitates looking at literature from the point of view of the random mutation and subsequent selection of texts in the face of a collectively determined ecology of formal expectations. My approach to the evolution of literature builds on the work of the literary critic Franco Moretti and the philosopher Daniel Dennett, although a turn to U.S. rather than British fiction casts a different light on literary evolution than that described yet by Moretti, and deals more specifically with questions of literary and cultural history than either Dennett’s philosophy of memetics or Carroll’s socio-biologically inflected Literary Darwinism alone would allow.

The 19th century literary ecology to which the fictions of Poe, Melville, Bellamy and Freeman were well or poorly adapted can be imagined as a kind of fitness landscape where literary publications are drawn towards the peaks climbed by previous writers, representing conventions or formula that proven successful in the past. A gradualist focus on textual silence and extinction within literary evolution, along with evolutionary and ecological theory, can provide abstract models to make visible the complex ecology of oral, cultural, written, printed and reprinted information that constitutes the “soft tissues” always missing from the archival past.

Subject: American studies; Evolution and Development; American literature;

Classification: 0323: American studies;  0412: Evolution and Development;  0591: American literature

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Biological sciences, Darwinism, Ecology, Evolution, Melville, Herman, Poe, Edgar Allan, Utopia

Number of pages: 237

Publication year: 2010

Degree date: 2010

School code: 0096

Source: DAI-A 71/07, Jan 2011

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781124069364

Advisor: Rigal, Laura

Committee member: Glass, Loren, Stewart, Garrett, Wittenberg, David, Valentino, Russell

University/institution: The University of Iowa

Department: English

University location: United States — Iowa

Degree: Ph.D.

Beyond Adam’s rib: How Darwinian evolutionary theory redefined gender and influenced American feminist thought, 1870–1920

Author: Hamlin, Kimberly Ann

Abstract: This dissertation reveals that the American reception of evolution often hinged on the theory’s implications for gender and that Darwinian ideas significantly shaped feminist thought in the U.S. While the impact of evolution on American culture has been widely studied, few scholars have done so using gender as a category of analysis. Similarly, evolutionary theory is largely absent from histories of American feminist thought. Yet, Darwin’s ideas, specifically those in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871), had profound ramifications for gender and sex. Nineteenth-century scientists and laypeople alike eagerly applied Darwin’s theories to the “woman question,” generally to the detriment of women. At the same time, key female activists embraced evolution as an appealing alternative to biblical gender strictures (namely the story of Adam and Eve) and enthusiastically incorporated it into their speeches and writings. My work describes how women including Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman utilized Darwinian principles to challenge traditional justifications for female subordination and bolster their arguments for women’s rights. Furthermore, my research demonstrates that gender roles, particularly those pertaining to courtship, marriage, and reproduction, were reformulated in accordance with Darwin’s theory of sexual selection, altering popular ideas about motherhood and paving the way for eugenics and birth control.

My interdisciplinary project draws on scientific and mainstream publications, the feminist press, prescriptive literature, fiction, popular culture, and archival materials, and it explores both intellectual developments and their impact on people’s daily lives. I argue that evolution shifted the terms of debate from women’s souls to women’s bodies, encouraged feminists to claim “equivalence” rather than “equality,” inspired opponents and proponents of women’s rights to ground their arguments in science (most frequently biology and zoology), destigmatized sex as a topic of scientific inquiry, and galvanized support for greater female autonomy in reproductive decisions. Looking at gender, religion, and evolutionary theory in concert not only helps us more fully comprehend the construction of gender and the development of American feminism, especially its troubled relationships with religion and science, it also enriches our understanding of the American reception of Darwin.

Subject: American studies; Social research; Womens studies; Science history;

Classification: 0323: American studies;  0344: Social research;  0453: Womens studies;  0585: Science history

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Sexual selection, Darwinian, Evolutionary, Gender, Feminist, Blackwell, Antoinette Brown, Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, Gilman, Charlotte Perkins

Number of pages: 393

Publication year: 2007

Degree date: 2007

School code: 0227

Source: DAI-A 68/08, Feb 2008

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780549163718

Advisor: Abzug, Robert H.

University/institution: The University of Texas at Austin

Department: American Studies

University location: United States — Texas

Degree: Ph.D.

Some adaptive functions of narratives and their implications for literary criticism

Author: Turpin, Jeffrey Peter

Abstract: This dissertation defines and partially delimits literary Darwinism and adaptationist criticism, relatively new critical paradigms that combine science and art to explore the multiple ways that story creation and consumption help us adapt to modern social environments. In Chapter II studies from cognitive psychology are used to analyze various autobiographical narratives, poems, novels, stories, and essays by Latina/o authors Tomás Rivera, Cherríe Moraga, Américo Paredes, and Gloria Anzaldúa, to show how these narratives help establish existence, persona, agency and status for the author, and how these functions can be extended to members of the larger culture represented by that author. In Chapter III studies from anthropology and biology are used to analyze the cultural functions of journey and origin myths, to look at how these stories can either establish claims to property or act as surrogates for lost property for people in exile, expatriates, emigrants, immigrants, subjects of colonization, or otherwise de-territorialized people. The developed analytical hypotheses are subsequently applied to Leslie Marmon Silko’s novel Ceremony , to demonstrate specific critical implications of the new theoretical set. In Chapter IV studies from evolutionary psychology are applied to works by Edith Wharton and John Steinbeck, to show how elements of the new paradigm can open up established texts and reveal new facets of those works. The project ends with a summary and response to critiques of the new paradigm, and discussion of further implications.

Subject: American literature; Cognitive psychology; Hispanic American studies;

Classification: 0591: American literature;  0633: Cognitive psychology;  0737: Hispanic American studies

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Psychology, Language, literature and linguistics, American naturalism, Chicana/o literature, Cognitive psychology, Evolutionary psychology, Literary Darwinism, Territoriality, Narratives, Literary criticism, Chicana/o, Naturalism, Rivera, Tomas, Moraga, Cherrie, Paredes, Americo, Anzaldua, Gloria

Number of pages: 206

Publication year: 2009

Degree date: 2009

School code: 1283

Source: DAI-A 71/01, Jul 2010

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781109538236

Advisor: Reesman, Jeanne

Committee member: Fuhrman, Robert, Cantu, Norma, Woodson, Linda

University/institution: The University of Texas at San Antonio

Department: English, Classics, and Philosophy

University location: United States — Texas

Degree: Ph.D.

The emergence of the dark hero in Scott and Byron: A Darwinian perspective

Author: Jobling, Ian D

Abstract: This dissertation contends that contemporary work in evolutionary psychology provides a better psychological foundation for literary analysis than has previously been available to literary critics. I use three major ideas from evolutionary psychology to explain why the dark hero emerged in the work of Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron in the first third of the nineteenth century and why this character was received as it was. Contemporary Darwinism is an ethical egoism in that it posits that the sole reason for the evolution of the traits of organisms is their capacity to propagate the organism’s genes. Scott and Byron were able to perceive and portray the underlying reality of human existence in their egoistic dark heroes. Second, evolutionary psychologists contend that, since biological evolution occurs much more slowly than cultural change, humans are not well adapted to their contemporary environment. The contemporary reading public’s enjoyment of the violence of the dark hero in spite of the relative peaceableness of their society reflects the mismatch between biology and culture. Finally, evolutionary psychological work on variances in mating strategies enables us to see that the dark hero is a representation of the cad mating strategy, and the proper hero, of the dad mating strategy.

Subject: British and Irish literature; Psychology;

Classification: 0593: British and Irish literature;  0621: Psychology

Identifier / keyword: Psychology, Language, literature and linguistics, Scotland, Dark hero, Darwinian, Scott, Sir Walter, Byron, Lord, Lord Byron, Evolutionary psychology

Pages: 384 p.

Number of pages: 384

Publication year: 2002

Degree date: 2002

School code: 0656

Source: DAI-A 63/08, p. 2881, Feb 2003

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493819013, 0493819010

Advisor: Eilenberg, Susan

University/institution: State University of New York at Buffalo

University location: United States — New York

Degree: Ph.D.

Beyond Darwinism: Chicana/o literature and modern scientific literary analysis: Rereading Josefina (Josephina) Niggli and Oscar Zeta Acosta

Author: Nieves, Ervin

Abstract: U.S. multicultural critics have used postmodernism and cultural studies to proffer important critiques of the racist, sexist, and class-conscious American political and social structures portrayed in Chicana/o Literature. Critics have emphasized the social sciences–sociology, ethnography, anthropology, and psychoanalysis–in their analyses, but only recently have they ventured into more quantitative and experimental scientific fields, such as biology. Inspired by the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage series edited by Ramon Gutierrez and Genaro Padilla, this dissertation offers a critical analysis of the multi-genre literatures of Josefina (Josephina) Niggli and Oscar Zeta Acosta using biographical, historical, and scientific perspectives. Part A centers on Niggli’s literary and theoretical debt to folk and behavioral psychology, The Carolina Playmakers, archetypalism, psychological characterization, Mark Twain, Henrik Ibsen, William Shakespeare, Sigmund Freud, Mediz Bolio, Jose Vasconcelos, and Leopoldo Zea. Other possible literary and theoretical influences are explored, such as George Bernard Shaw, Georg Mendel, and John B. Watson. Niggli’s position as an early Chicana and feminist author is explored. The modern sciences of ethology, evolutionary and behavioral psychology, cognitive science, biochemistry, and neuroscience are employed to explicate further important psychological and behavioral issues raised by Niggli. Part B features Acosta’s allegorical and satirical inter-textualization of the ethological views of Konrad Lorenz (On Aggression ) and Robert Ardrey (The Territorial Imperative: A Personal Inquiry into the Animal Origins of Property and Nations ) in his work. Again, using biographical, historical, and scientific perspectives, The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo and The Revolt of the Cockroach People are critically examined in relation to individual and group aggression and violence in The United States, Vietnam, and Mexico.

Subject: American literature; Cognitive therapy; Minority & ethnic groups; Sociology; Psychobiology;

Classification: 0591: American literature;  0633: Cognitive therapy;  0631: Minority & ethnic groups;  0631: Sociology;  0349: Psychobiology

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Psychology, Language, literature and linguistics, Chicana/o, Scientific literary analysis, Acosta, Oscar Zeta, Niggli, Josephina

Pages: 303 p.

Number of pages: 303

Publication year: 2004

Degree date: 2004

School code: 0096

Source: DAI-A 65/12, p. 4566, Jun 2005

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780496908837, 0496908839

Advisor: Lutz, Tom

University/institution: The University of Iowa

University location: United States — Iowa

Degree: Ph.D.

Textual evolution: Adaptation in twentieth and twenty-first century literature, film, and culture

Author: Wright, Gregory W.

Abstract: One of the most common responses to adapted texts–“The book was better”–evinces the often reductive and simplistic critical response to adaptation. Instead of dwelling on the limited critical enterprise of comparisons inherent in many studies of adaptation, this dissertation constructs theoretical models for analyzing adaptation as a process, rather than evaluating works’ supposed fidelity. My theoretical models’ central trope analogizes textual adaptation to biological adaptation to solidify how intertextual relationships operate and change over time in relation to cultural environments. This approach focuses on five original models–influenced by yet adapting meme theory–for exploring adaptation, mapping texts’ associations through synaptic, viral, symbiotic, macrosymbiotic, and emergent paradigms. These models stem from readings of both the content and form of the textual clusters surrounding, respectively: Michael Paterniti’s Driving Mr. Albert’s synaptic connection to Beat literature and Einstein’s brain; Koji Suzuki’s Ring’s viral expansion to other media forms; the symbiotic interdependence of Spike Jonze’s Adaptation and Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief ; Wells’s The War of the Worlds and its macrosymbiotic affiliations to the invasion narratives, spoofs, adaptations, and homages it spawns; and the emergent evolution along orders of complexity between and among the textual threads of George Romero’s zombie movies. Even though this dissertation performs original studies on texts, the process is much more important than the product; in other words, this study’s primary yield emanates from the fresh theoretical groundwork it creates and the interdisciplinary dialogues it initiates among scholars of film, literature, and culture.

Subject: American studies; American literature; Motion pictures;

Classification: 0323: American studies;  0591: American literature;  0900: Motion pictures

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Adaptation, Twenty-first century, Film, Culture, Twentieth century

Number of pages: 281

Publication year: 2007

Degree date: 2007

School code: 0128

Source: DAI-A 68/05, Nov 2007

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780549027898

Advisor: O’Donnell, Patrick

University/institution: Michigan State University

University location: United States — Michigan

Degree: Ph.D.

Jealousy in Cervantes: Emotion, cognition and the novel

Author: Gretter, Sarah

Abstract: Recovering the Iberian Peninsula from the Moorish occupation of seven hundred years (711-1492), Spaniards attempted to project new self-images of Spain with nationalistic zeal. From the late 15th century to the 16th century, the Spanish patriotic passion was further heightened by the Renaissance and the Discovery of America. A variety of ways to celebrate the political and cultural dominance of Spain were explored; nevertheless, no other than the concept of honor neatly encapsulated the national obsession of Spanish Gold Age literature. Among all the authors of this period, Miguel de Cervantes epitomized this prominent fascination of Spanish literature. As Antonio Maravall pointed out, Spanish Baroque authors, poets, and playwrights were preoccupied with repression, power, and authority during the transition from the plenitude of the Renaissance to the instability of the Baroque period. The 17th century literature embodies ideological, social and artistic discourses that underscore social conditions of crisis and conflicts, in which each human being desperately searches for liberating forces of the individual existence. Miguel de Cervantes uniquely condenses those sociopolitical predicaments into the theme of jealousy in his writings. This historical context is also one that has been witness to the rise of the novelistic genre, with Don Quijote being considered the first modern novel. Cervantine scholars have mostly focused on novelistic concepts in the study of Don Quijote, and I argue in this presentation that those elements are inscribed in many of Cervantes’s other works, thanks to his capacity to integrate and describe characters’ senses and their psychological effects. In his works, the concept of jealousy is always present, and I propose that the roots of the novel as a genre were supported by his use of this particular sensory emotion, which is novelistic in nature. Indeed, in Cervantes, jealousy brings together novelistic components: it can trigger humor, as fictional cuckoldry can be a source of laughter in some texts; it also revolves around dialogue, as jealousy plots always involve at least three perspectives; and it is open-ended, as it allows revisiting traditional plots in innovative ways.

By viewing emotion and cognition as a path toward human subjectivity, this presentation opens up multidisciplinary and holistic perspectives to interpret jealously in Cervantes. Within both a historical and cognitive framework, we can shed light on the importance of this emotion not only in the field of Early Modern literature but also in the new interdisciplinary field of cognitive science and literary studies. In the spirit of a call for consilience among the sciences and the humanities, my theoretical approach is grounded in affective and cognitive science, a field of research that aims to explain the mechanisms underlying intelligent behavior by modeling psychological systems that considers the mind and body as a single entity. In light of this cognitive conception of senses, jealousy can be recognized not only as a literary emotion, but also as a mean to explore its effect as both narrative and psychological mechanism in a historical context that generated the birth of the novel, therefore modifying readers’ minds and thoughts as they faced new ways of experiencing characters’ personal and emotional lives.

Subject: Literature;

Classification: 0401: Literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Bakhtin, Cervantes, Cognition, Emotions, Golden age, The novel

Number of pages: 243

Publication year: 2013

Degree date: 2013

School code: 0183

Source: DAI-A 75/04(E), Oct 2014

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781303608766

Advisor: Mancing, Howard

Committee member: No, Song, Ross, Charles, Wagschal, Steven

University/institution: Purdue University

Department: Languages and Cultures

University location: United States — Indiana

Degree: Ph.D.

The brief privilege of consciousness: Ian McEwan, Neo-Darwinism, and the New Atheism

Author: Martin, Margaret

Abstract: This thesis examines Neo-Darwinist and Neo-Atheist elements in three novels by Ian McEwan–Black Dogs , Enduring Love , and Saturday. Using evolutionary psychologist Lee Kirkpatrick’s theories on attachment and religion, it offers a scientific explanation of the effect of religious belief on selected characters from the novels. The thesis also uses theories of Robert Wright to illustrate how McEwan incorporates Neo-Darwinian ideas on morality to show that moral behavior is possible without religious belief. It also presents the views of McEwan’s critics, both secular and religious, and concludes with a brief discussion of how Joseph Campbell’s call for a spiritual and scientific synthesis parallels E. O. Wilson’s call for a new creation myth based on consilience between the sciences and the humanities.

Subject: Modern literature; Ethics; British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0298: Modern literature;  0394: Ethics;  0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Philosophy, religion and theology

Number of pages: 70

Publication year: 2012

Degree date: 2012

School code: 0582

Source: MAI 51/02(E), Apr 2013

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781267654380

Advisor: Smith, Lyle E.

Committee member: Cherin, Patricia H., Borcoman, K. Douglas

University/institution: California State University, Dominguez Hills

Department: Humanities

University location: United States — California

Degree: M.A.

Darwinian evolution in Theodore Dreiser’s “The Trilogy of Desire” and other financier novels at the turn of the 20th century

Author: Fernandez, Jose Octavio

Abstract: Although the influence of scientific discoveries, particularly the development of evolutionary science, has been acknowledged as an element that characterizes American literary naturalism, the direct influence of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871) on many naturalistic writers from the turn of the past century remains a neglected element in studies of American literature. For the past sixty years, critics have studied the influence of evolutionary thinking in realist and naturalistic writers as “social Darwinism,” an interpretation that dates back to Richard Hofstadter’s oft-cited Social Darwinism in American Thought (1944). Despite its marked departure from Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection, the impact of Herbert Spencer’s philosophy on naturalist writers, particularly Theodore Dreiser, has been extensively discussed, whereas the influence of a more authentically Darwinian view of human nature in Dreiser’s work has seldom been explored. This study argues for a re-evaluation of Darwinian evolution as the leading philosophical principle that characterizes American literary naturalism by exploring the direct influence of Darwin’s ideas on the work of scientists, social theorists, and writers at the turn of the 20th century.

This study focuses on the influence of Darwin’s work in scientific, religious, and social discourses, especially as represented in financier novels written from 1880 to 1920. I particularly concentrate on Dreiser’s The Trilogy of Desire , consisting of The Financier (1912), The Titan (1914), and The Stoic (published posthumously in 1947), and other financier novels, including William Dean Howells’s The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885), Frank Norris’s The Pit (1903), Robert Herrick’s The Memoirs of An American Citizen (1905), and Jack London’s Burning Daylight (1910). The primary purpose of my dissertation is to show the multiplicity of interpretations, critiques, and adaptations by a variety of thinkers and authors of Darwinian evolution found in financier novels. The Trilogy of Desire acknowledges not only competition and aggression, but also cooperation and mutual aid as drivers in the evolution of species and social behavior. Rather than sanctioning or criticizing the social and economic order of Gilded Age America, Dreiser in The Trilogy of Desire leads other naturalistic writers in representing straightforwardly the influence of evolutionary processes in human societies.

Subject: American literature;

Classification: 0591: American literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, American literary naturalism, Darwin, Charles, Evolution, Dreiser, Theodore, Trilogy of Desire, Turn-of-the-century, Howells, William Dean, London, Jack, Herrick, Robert, Norris, Frank

Number of pages: 259

Publication year: 2012

Degree date: 2012

School code: 0162

Source: DAI-A 73/10(E), Apr 2013

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781267428196

Advisor: Van Wienen, Mark W.

Committee member: Gandal, Keith, Ryan, Tim A.

University/institution: Northern Illinois University

Department: English

University location: United States — Illinois

Degree: Ph.D.

“I am Legend”: Adaptation, antagonism, and apocalypse

Author: Qualls, Michael C.

Abstract: In 1954 Richard Matheson sold his third novel, I Am Legend , to Gold Medal Publishing. This thesis establishes I Am Legend ‘s place in the evolution of the vampire narrative and horror genre by analyzing the novel both separately and in parallel with the three recognized film adaptations, The Last Man on Earth (1957), The Omega Man (1971), and I Am Legend (2007). The adaptations show the mutable qualities of the novel. The ideas contained within I Am Legend easily find a place in modern society. True success of the book remains the spark of creation it provides: a new biological interpretation of the vampire.

This interpretation lends itself to re-discovery in every era. With the exception of the eighties, a version of I Am Legend has been under development in each decade since the novel was published in 1954. Producers have visited and re-visited I Am Legend for over fifty-years. This thesis examines the variations of the protagonist, Robert Neville, as they are adapted to their unique era environment and deal with survival, science, music, companionship, and women.

This thesis also provides a brief biography of the classic and continues with the necessary biological differences among the I Am Legend vampires. An analysis between good and evil among the varied protagonists culminates with an examination into whether I Am Legend falls under apocalypse or evolution.

Subject: Literature; American literature;

Classification: 0401: Literature;  0591: American literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Adaptation theory, I am legend, Omega man, Richard Matheson, Vampire, Will smith

Number of pages: 96

Publication year: 2012

Degree date: 2012

School code: 0390

Source: MAI 51/04(E), Aug 2013

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781267889010

Advisor: Baker, Anthony

Committee member: Burduck, Michael L., McRae, William

University/institution: Tennessee Technological University

Department: English

University location: United States — Tennessee

Degree: M.A.

“The undiscovered country”:  Theater and the mind in early modern England

Author: Magsam, Joshua

Abstract: As critic Jonathan Gottschall notes, “The literary scholar’s subject is ultimately the human mind – the mind that is the creator, subject, and auditor of literary works.” The primary aim of this dissertation is to use modern cognitive science to better understand the early modern mind. I apply a framework rooted in cognitive science–the interdisciplinary study of how the human brain generates first-person consciousness and relates to external objects through that conscious framework–to reveal the role of consciousness and memory in subject formation and creative interpretation, as represented in period drama. Cognitive science enables us as scholars and critics to read literature of the period through a lens that reveals subjects in the process of being formed prior to the “self-fashioning” processes of enculturation and social discipline that have been so thoroughly diagnosed in criticism in recent decades. I begin with an overview of the field of cognitive literary theory, demonstrating that cognitive science has already begun to offer scholars of the period a vital framework for understanding literature as the result of unique minds grappling with uniquely historical problems, both biologically and socially. From there, I proceed to detailed explications of neuroscience-based theories of the relationship between the embodied brain, memory, and subject identity, via detailed close reading case studies. In the primary chapters, I focus on what I consider to be three primary elements of embodied subjectivity in drama of the period: basic identity reification through unique first-person memory (the Tudor interlude Jake Juggler ), more complex subject-object relationships leading to alterations in behavioral modes (Hamlet ), and finally, the blending of literary structures and social context in the interpretation of subject behavior (Middleton’s A Trick to Catch the Old One ).

Subject: British and Irish literature; Cognitive psychology;

Classification: 0593: British and Irish literature;  0633: Cognitive psychology

Identifier / keyword: Psychology, Language, literature and linguistics, England, Cognitive literary theory, Cognitive science, Damasio, Antonio, Dramatic literature, Early modern, Shakespeare, William

Number of pages: 213

Publication year: 2011

Degree date: 2011

School code: 0171

Source: DAI-A 73/04, Oct 2012

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781267118660

Advisor: Freinkel, Lisa

Committee member: Bovilsky, Lara, Rowe, George E., Saunders, Ben, Toadvine, Ted

University/institution: University of Oregon

Department: Department of English

University location: United States — Oregon

Degree: Ph.D.

The evolution of literary theory: Towards a bio-cultural approach to literature through Jane Austen’s “Northanger Abbey”

Author: Davis, Thomas A

Abstract: This thesis attempts to develop a synthesis of two traditionally conflicting epistemological approaches to literary theory and criticism. Over the past ten years, poststructuralist theory and the developing branch of cognitive and evolutionary literary theory have been at odds with one another. The overall purpose of this thesis strives to find a common ground between the two epistemological approaches to literature. In recent years, the emergence of a third epistemological position, situated between the two binary dichotomies, has sought to resolve the realist/relativist polemic through biocultural approaches to literature. This thesis will attempt to apply the bio-cultural approach to literature. The thesis first evaluates an existing poststructuralist argument, Jacqueline Howard’s Bakhtinian analysis of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey . Following this evaluation, an overview of cognitive and evolutionary theories’ connection to the Romantic period’s development of a brain-science will establish a biocultural approach to Austen’s Northanger Abbey and will situate cognitive and evolutionary theory within a cultural context. Finally, an analysis of Northanger Abbey from a cognitive and evolutionary standpoint will provide a synthesis of Howard’s basic premise and achieve a bio-cultural deconstruction of the realist/relativist polemic.

Subject: British and Irish literature; Philosophy;

Classification: 0593: British and Irish literature;  0422: Philosophy

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Language, literature and linguistics

Pages: 45 p.

Number of pages: 45

Publication year: 2006

Degree date: 2006

School code: 0260

Source: MAI 45/02, Apr 2007

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780542949326

Advisor: Brooks, Christopher

University/institution: Wichita State University

University location: United States — Kansas

Degree: M.A.

Darwinism in the art of Thomas Hardy

Author: Seimiya, Michiko

Abstract: The purpose of my dissertation is to explore Darwinian influence on Thomas Hardy’s fiction and poetry. It is divided into seven chapters. In the first chapter, the definition of Darwinism is given in its recent reincarnation which took place in the 1970s, and the parallel history between studies of Darwinism and Hardy’s literature is shown. In the second chapter, Hardy is discussed in a literary context that includes some contemporary evolutionary intellectuals such as Zola, Henry James, and readers under the strong impact of Darwinism, Hardy’s concept of outer and inner or human nature is expanded by Darwinism. In the third and fourth chapters, his works are explored in terms of this concept, with special attention to sexual love in contrast with loving-kindness in human nature. In the fifth chapter, the ethical implication of evolutionary theories in his major later novels, The Return of the Native, The Mayor of Casterbridge, The Woodlanders, Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure are discussed in terms of the Greek classical tradition. Special attention is paid to the ethical debate caused by the Darwinian concept of humans, namely the controversy between intuitive theory and utilitarianism. This refers to Herbert Spencer and Thomas Henry Huxley, who were deeply influenced by Darwin. In the sixth chapter, an account is given of the theme of non-teleology of Darwin’s natural selection in The Well-Beloved , with reference to heredity in Platonic ideas, and that of time in his poems and epic-drama, The Dynasts . In the seventh chapter, Hardy’s struggles to recover from the upsetting impact of Darwinism is explored in his elegiac “The Poems of 1912-13.” In these and other poems, Hardy expanded and deepened his classically conceived art and revitalized the traditional ethical concept of loving-kindness, which is supported by Darwinian theory of common descent. My conclusion is that Hardy’s intellectual, ethical, and literary struggles were productive and original enough to make a major contribution to English traditional literature, which paved the way for new literature in the twentieth century. In the appendix, the important dates of European literature and evolutionary theory are chronologically shown.

Subject: Literature; Science history; British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0298: Literature;  0585: Science history;  0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Darwinism, Hardy, Thomas, Evolutionary theory, Loving-kindness, Ethics

Number of pages: 189

Publication year: 2006

Degree date: 2006

School code: 4041

Source: DAI-A 68/09, Mar 2008

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780549250418

Advisor: Yasuko, Mikami

University/institution: Japan Women’s University (Japan)

University location: Japan

Degree: Ph.D.

Evolving toward utopia: An exploration of evolutionary ideas in utopias at the turn of the nineteenth century

Author: Walker, Gary L

Abstract: While the utopian novel spends more time being disparaged than encouraged, the results of studying the works opens up new ways of thinking about what is utopian by examining the late nineteenth, early twentieth-century utopian novel through an examination of the evolutionary theories these authors employed to achieve utopia. This dissertation first examines utopian thought, utopian visions, and the thoroughness with which utopianism pervades our thinking, including the progressivism driving nineteenth-century evolutionary thinking. With this background, I then examine the utopian thought of Mary E. Bradley Lane’s Mizora , Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland , and Ignatius Donnelly’s Caesar’s Column , through the evolutionary solutions they employ to achieve, demonstrate the possibility of, and criticize contemporary conditions in hopes of achieving a more utopian society. Each of these novels relies upon similar evolutionary models, though each employs evolution for different results.

Lane argues, in Mizora , that evolution coupled with eugenic planning allowed Mizorians to develop in to highly advanced women capable of great scientific advancements all without the need of or help from men. In Herland , though the women had achieved a great deal of success isolated from men, the women become confronted with the prospect of further advancements by including men in their midst. These women, thinking eugenically, seek to select the right men for further advancements. Caesar’s Column , takes a completely different tack. Here, the men and women are confronted by the viciousness of a primitive “survival of the fittest” and seek to elevate mankind by suggesting altruistic alternatives.

Subject: American literature;

Classification: 0591: American literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Evolutionary, Nineteenth century, Mary E. Bradley Lane, Utopia, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ignatius Donnelly, Lane, Mary E. Bradley, Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, Donnelly, Ignatius

Pages: 170 p.

Number of pages: 170

Publication year: 2004

Degree date: 2004

School code: 0010

Source: DAI-A 65/02, p. 522, Aug 2004

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

Advisor: Lussier, Mark

University/institution: Arizona State University

University location: United States — Arizona

Degree: Ph.D.

Cognitive play: The work of fiction in British print culture, 1656–1725

Author: Steen, Francis Frode

Abstract: This dissertation examines some uses of fiction in British print culture in the decades before and after the Glorious Revolution of 1689. My focus is on the early novel and on fiction-based and occasionally versified political propaganda, genres that came into their own during the seventeenth century in response to a dramatically increased popular access to the medium of print. To understand the forms assumed by fiction during this period, I develop a relatively detailed cognitive model of fiction-based forms of entertainment and persuasion. The model is grounded in an evolutionary theory of pretend play as a form of self-construction and attempts to present an integrated if obviously partial understanding of the interactions of biology, psychology, and culture that make entertaining fictions possible, enjoyable, and effective.

The dissertation has two parts, each dedicated to a major aspect of the media culture that emerged in Britain in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries: the rise of the novel and the spread of political propaganda. Part I develops a cognitive theory of literature and elaborates it through an analysis of the particular concerns and techniques of a selection of early novels, from Margaret Cavendish’s Assaulted and Pursued Chastity (1656) to Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders (1621) and Eliza Haywood’s Fantomina (1725). Part II extends the model of the psychological processes involved in the use of fiction-based entertainment to shed light on some shared features of literature and political propaganda. I focus on the events surrounding the pivotal Exclusion Crisis of 1679-1683, examining some of the period’s largely anonymous political poetry, Aphra Behn’s Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister (1684), and the popular publications surrounding the suspected murder of the Earl of Essex in the Tower of London in 1683.

The ultimate aim of the dissertation is to demonstrate that it is possible to develop a cognitive theory of literature, based in evolutionary theory, that is sufficiently sophisticated to provide genuine insights into the socially embedded mental processes underlying fiction-based forms of persuasion and entertainment.

Subject: British and Irish literature; Mass media;

Classification: 0593: British and Irish literature;  0708: Mass media

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Language, literature and linguistics, Cognitive play, Fiction, British, Print culture

Pages: 369 p.

Number of pages: 369

Publication year: 2002

Degree date: 2002

School code: 0035

Source: DAI-A 63/12, p. 4325, Jun 2003

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493935973, 0493935975

Advisor: Hernadi, Paul, Warner, William

University/institution: University of California, Santa Barbara

University location: United States — California

Degree: Ph.D.

Lifeweaving: Towards a metaphysics of cultural identity

Author: McCutchen, Calvin Kenneth

Abstract: This dissertation is an inquiry into the nature of our humanity from the perspective of the nature/nurture debate, which I posit as an artificial division that has led to flawed theories in both biology and culture. Following a lead from sociobiologists I argue for an understanding of humans as participants in a biocultural existence of evolutionary processes.

Chapter 1 is a historical tracing of anthropology as an academic discipline based upon Emil Durkheim’s theory of social criticism that separates cultural investigations from biological ones.

Chapter 2 is an inquiry into culture as a biological process using field theory as a metaphor for the way biocultural dynamics evolve. The assumptions here are those of quantum physics, which suggests that life is manifested in a biocultural matrix that is viewed as building itself out of elementary quantum phenomena into an open, self-organizing system of existences built on observer-participancy.

Chapter 3 argues that individuated consciousness takes shape gradually within a developing human organism who is born into a field of social relations. Becoming a person is a matter of gathering those relations into the structure of consciousness we call a self .

Chapter 4 lays the groundwork for the narrative character of human existence and postulates a scheme in which life and its organic forms are symbolically integrated in literature. Literature in this context creates a liminal space by which human evolution becomes capable of super-rapid change because narrative is capable of bringing the memory of experience to bear in relation to the imaginative possibilities of the future through individual choicemakers.

Adhering to Iser’s lead, chapter 5 weaves the categories of text, performance and play into a functional model that allows access to cultural worldviews that emerge through the coherence of conspiracy, context, casuistry, and character in a sense of self as choice-maker.

Chapter 6 looks at the literary narratives of Leslie Silko, N. Scott Momaday, and Gerald Vizenor in an effort to map out the cultural landscapes that generate Native American consciousness through a process of grasping how literature functions in that worldview to grandfather individuals into consciousness.

Subject: Cultural anthropology; Minority & ethnic groups; Sociology; American literature;

Classification: 0326: Cultural anthropology;  0631: Minority & ethnic groups;  0631: Sociology;  0591: American literature

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Leslie Marmon Silko, Gerald Vizenor, N. Scott Momaday, Lifeweaving, Metaphysics, Cultural identity, Native Americans, Silko, Leslie Marmon, Momaday, N. Scott, Vizenor, Gerald

Pages: 224 p.

Number of pages: 224

Publication year: 2001

Degree date: 2001

School code: 2502

Source: DAI-A 62/03, p. 1105, Sep 2001

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493197104, 0493197109

Advisor: Bastien, Joseph

University/institution: The University of Texas at Arlington

University location: United States — Texas

Degree: Ph.D.

CULTURAL EVOLUTION

Conceptual foundations of cultural evolution

Author: Reisman, Kenneth

Abstract: The literature on “cultural evolution” is vast and it cuts across a heterogeneous set of disciplines. There are many overlapping strands in this literature, but little agreement from author to author. The one overwhelming trend is the widespread use of certain biological concepts to describe processes of cultural change. What happens to these concepts when they are exported from their home territory and imported into the study of culture? What do we gain by doing this? In this dissertation, I critically examine the basic concepts and assumptions of a biological approach to cultural change. First, I disambiguate widely used, but poorly understood concepts such as “cultural evolution,” “culture,” “social learning,” “cultural inheritance,” and “cultural selection.” Second, I investigate how these concepts relate to actual demographic, social, and psychological processes. Third, I evaluate the significance of certain biological concepts, such as the concept of a selection process, for explaining cultural change. The dissertation does not culminate in a grand thesis about cultural change, but in a methodical analysis of various evolutionary concepts and processes of interest to philosophers, social scientists, and biologists.

Subject: Philosophy; Biology; Psychology;

Classification: 0422: Philosophy;  0306: Biology;  0621: Psychology

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Psychology, Biological sciences, Cultural evolution, Natural selection, Social learning

Pages: 254 p.

Number of pages: 254

Publication year: 2005

Degree date: 2005

School code: 0212

Source: DAI-A 66/08, p. 2956, Feb 2006

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780542286742, 0542286742

Advisor: Godfrey-Smith, Peter

University/institution: Stanford University

University location: United States — California

Degree: Ph.D.

How the Past Remains: George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, and the Victorian Anthropological Doctrine of Survivals

Author: McCabe, Elizabeth Caitlin

Abstract: In this dissertation I demonstrate how English anthropologists and novelists in the second half of the nineteenth century became enthralled by the idea that civilization contained vestiges of distant, primitive ages within it. I argue that, despite their overlapping interests and approaches, Victorian social scientists and literary writers viewed such cultural traces quite differently.

In 1871, Edward Burnett Tylor rested his argument that all mankind evolved from the primitive to the civilized on his “doctrine of survivals”–a theory (influenced by Charles Darwin, among others) that a given society bore evidence of its primitive, savage past in its customs, superstitions, and religious institutions. Tylor envisioned anthropology as a “reformer’s science” bent on ridding advanced society of anachronistic irrationalities, which he often located in the English countryside. As I show, however, his influential notion of cultural survival was fraught with characteristically Victorian tensions over what separated the savage from the civilized and distinguished progress from degeneration: the survival thus becomes in Tylor’s work a contradictory figure.

Similar tensions emerge, I argue, in novels by George Eliot and Thomas Hardy, writers who were deeply engaged in the discourse of evolutionary anthropology throughout their careers. Their representations of England’s disintegrating rural culture often confirm, in their own idioms, Tylor’s view of long-held customs as socially destructive, however illuminating they may be on the course of evolution. Yet, even as Eliot and Hardy anticipated and appropriated elements of survival theory, they critiqued the imaginative limits of Victorian anthropology by finding pervasive function in supposedly useless cultural relics. At the same time, they dramatized the equivocations of the survival concept, showing civilization to be more overrun with primitive ghosts and shadows than even Tylor could admit. In so doing, I contend, they paved the way for early-twentieth-century grapplings with the nature of civilization and its developmental remains–as in the work of functionalist anthropologists who eventually rejected the survival concept and literary writers who relished it as a dynamic figure of civilization’s latent primitivism and lingering past.

Subject: Science history; British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0585: Science history;  0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Social sciences, Cultural theory, Tylor, Edward Burnett, Evolution, Superstition, Victorian fiction, Hardy, Thomas, Eliot, George

Number of pages: 251

Publication year: 2013

Degree date: 2013

School code: 0163

Source: DAI-A 74/09(E), Mar 2014

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781303122859

Advisor: Herbert, Christopher

Committee member: Lane, Christopher, Law, Jules

University/institution: Northwestern University

Department: English

University location: United States — Illinois

Degree: Ph.D.

Illuminating the darkness: The naturalistic evolution of Gothicism in the nineteenth-century British novel and visual art

Author: Dodworth, Cameron

Abstract: The British Gothic novel reached a level of very high popularity in the literary market of the late 1700s and the first two decades of the 1800s, but after that point in time the popularity of these types of publications dipped significantly. However, towards the end of the nineteenth century, the British Gothic novel rebounded in popularity, though not to the level of the early 1800s. This dissertation seeks to address why the publication of truly Gothic novels in Britain decreased during the middle of the century, only to increase once again at the fin de siècle. What this dissertation discovers is that the primary focus on Gothicism in the early Gothic novels in the late 1700s and very early 1800s is no longer given a primary role in the Realist novel, as the unreality and supernaturalism of the early Gothic novel is not conducive to the emerging focus on the real. However, the British Realist novel does indeed maintain more realistic aspects of the Gothic, and therefore expresses the Gothic as a mode rather than as a primary focus of expression. This dissertation looks to relevant works of visual art from the European Continent and Britain in order to establish a network of international, interdisciplinary influence in the Realist movement of the mid-nineteenth century, particularly focusing on the element of Gothicism in that network. As Realism evolves into Naturalism, that international, interdisciplinary network of influence is again revealed in the nineteenth-century novel and visual art of select works from the Continent that had major influence on the novel and visual art of Britain, particularly in terms of the role of Gothicism within that network of Naturalistic evolution. This dissertation establishes that it is as a direct result of Gothicism’s role within this Naturalist network of influence that the British Gothic novel rebounds in popularity at the end of the nineteenth century.

Subject: European history; Art history; British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0335: European history;  0377: Art history;  0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Social sciences, Communication and the arts, Frankenstein, Gothicism, Monstrosity, Naturalism, Realism, Ugliness, Britain, Shelley, Mary, Bronte, Emily

Number of pages: 308

Publication year: 2013

Degree date: 2013

School code: 0138

Source: DAI-A 74/12(E), Jun 2014

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781303298462

Advisor: White, Laura M.

Committee member: Behrendt, Stephen, Gannon, Thomas, Mahoney, Timothy

University/institution: The University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Department: English

University location: United States — Nebraska

Degree: Ph.D.

Innate storytelling: A Darwinian consideration

Author: Swears, William B.

Abstract: Early descriptions of culture as part of Darwinian evolution have been ignored by literary critics, but have seen renewed interest during the last two decades. Evolutionary psychology, anthropology, neuroscience, formalism, and Darwinist literature independently suggest cultural displays that stem from innate mental processes. Sectors of the brain that activate during language use, biographical storytelling, and fictive storytelling have been identified through modem imaging. These disparate sources suggest not only that the human mind encodes perceived reality into narrative to aid in understanding, but also that the narrative falls into a predictable template. Campbell’s monomyth is a possible exemplar of an instinctive template for human storytelling.

Subject: Linguistics; British and Irish literature; Cognitive psychology;

Classification: 0290: Linguistics;  0593: British and Irish literature;  0633: Cognitive psychology

Identifier / keyword: Psychology, Language, literature and linguistics

Number of pages: 41

Publication year: 2010

Degree date: 2010

School code: 0922

Source: MAI 48/06, Dec 2010

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781124112985

Advisor: Crosman, Robert

University/institution: University of Alaska Anchorage

University location: United States — Alaska

Degree: M.A.

Grotesque attractions: Genre history, popular entertainment, and the origins of the horror film

Author: Fiumara, James J.

Abstract: In his seminal article “The Cinema of Attractions: Early Film, Its Spectator, and the Avant-Garde” (1986), Tom Gunning writes that the “relation between films and the emergence of the great amusement parks, such as Coney Island, at the turn of the century provides rich ground for rethinking the roots of early cinema.” While Gunning’s work situates early cinema in general within modern forms of mass popular entertainments, I carve out a slightly narrower path arguing that the long history of displaying cultural attractions that tap into the public’s desire for the odd, the curious, the “abnormal,” and the horrific–what I call grotesque attractions –at institutions such as carnivals, circus sideshows, and dime museums serves as a crucial influence on the formal and thematic conventions of the classic era horror film as well as their promotion, exhibition, and reception.

My project uses the concept of the grotesque as a framework for contextualizing the origins, conventions, and reception of the horror film genre as it develops during the silent and early sound periods in Hollywood and Europe. Throughout this dissertation the grotesque becomes a central characteristic which serves to both define the underlying themes and formal structures of the horror film as well as to connect the horror genre across various media (literature, theater, radio, film) and across institutions of modernity where grotesque objects, animals, and individuals were displayed under the blurred and intertwined banners of “science” and “entertainment.” Like these other grotesque forms, the horror film genre blurs a number of boundaries and categories that organize modern Western culture since the Enlightenment such as natural and supernatural, human and animal, normal and abnormal, science and entertainment, and fact and fiction. Horror films provide a safe haven for experiencing the grotesque and horrific, but at the same time playfully undermine that feeling of safety through publicity strategies and narrative structures that intensify our emotional affect and blur the boundaries between the fictional world and the space of the spectator. While the dominant models of classic Hollywood cinema claim self-effacement, invisibility, and even passivity as defining traits, considering the horror film as a form of grotesque attraction presents an alternative model: one of presentation, attraction, self-consciousness, and interactivity.

Subject: Modern literature; Film studies;

Classification: 0298: Modern literature;  0900: Film studies

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Communication and the arts, Attractions, Freak shows, Gothic, Grotesque, Hollywood, Horror, Film, Popular entertainment

Number of pages: 239

Publication year: 2012

Degree date: 2012

School code: 0175

Source: DAI-A 73/09(E), Mar 2013

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781267351234

Advisor: Corrigan, Timothy

Committee member: Decherney, Peter, Beckman, Karen

University/institution: University of Pennsylvania

Department: English

University location: United States — Pennsylvania

Degree: Ph.D.

The birth of musicology from the spirit of evolution: Ernst Haeckel’s Entwicklungslehre as central component of Guido Adler’s methodology for musicology

Author: Breuer, Benjamin

Abstract: Between about 1860 and the first world war, musicology became an academic discipline, practiced by scholars and supported by the university infrastructure. The decisive methodological change that allowed for this transition from mostly private scholarship to “academicization” was the declared adoption of the scientific method, especially in German-language music research. Among other “music scientists” like Hermann von Helmholtz and Friedrich Chrysander, the Viennese musicologist Guido Adler (1855-1941) is particularly important because, in 1885, he codified the research methods of this new academic discipline in the article “Umfang, Methode und Ziel der Musikwissenschaft” (The Scope, Method, and Aim of Music Science). Adler’s methodological proposals have shaped musicological research habits since, perhaps most famously by separating what he calls “historical” and “systematic” musicologies. While his painting musicology as a science–and therefore as worthy of inclusion in the academy–was successful, Adler’s scientific inspiration for this methodological move has been obscured, partly because the later incarnations of his methodology–like style criticism–drew heavily on contemporary art history rather than on any model from the natural sciences.

In this dissertation, I show that Adler’s initial methodological stimulus derived from biology, and in that discipline from a restructuring of research methods in the wake of Charles Darwin’s proposal of evolution by natural selection. Adler was aware of Darwin’s achievements but his direct sources of biological information were popular and scholarly publications by the German biologist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919). Copied passages from one of Haeckel’s early articles are preserved in Adler’s hand, he was friends with several of Haeckel’s students, and–most importantly–his early methodology resembles strongly Haeckel’s methodological suggestions for biology. Adler’s early musicology was conceived in the spirit of evolution, which promised natural scientists an empirically valid way of reconstructing history by comparative, systematic study. This dissertation demonstrates on what biographical grounds and through which methodical conceits Adler transformed Haeckel’s biology into a working model for musicological research.

Keywords : history of musicology, Musikwissenschaft , Guido Adler, evolution, historiography, Ernst Haeckel.

Subject: Music;

Classification: 0413: Music

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Haeckel, Ernst, Musicology, Historiography, Adler, Guido, Evolution, Entwicklungslehre

Number of pages: 259

Publication year: 2011

Degree date: 2011

School code: 0178

Source: DAI-A 72/11, May 2012

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781124832159

Advisor: Lewis, Mary S.

University/institution: University of Pittsburgh

University location: United States — Pennsylvania

Degree: Ph.D.

“A perfect chaos”: Organism-environment interaction and the causal factors of evolution

Author: Pearce, Trevor Richard

Abstract: In the early 1890s, the American paleontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn lamented that “after studying Evolution for a century we are in a perfect chaos of opinion as to its factors.” This “perfect chaos” was no small matter: a few years earlier, the famed philosopher Herbert Spencer had declared in his book Factors of Organic Evolution that determining the primary causal factors in evolution should demand, “beyond all other questions whatever, the attention of scientific men.” By the 1890s, a full-fledged debate over the importance of various factors was underway among philosophers, psychologists, and biologists: long-defended factors were viciously attacked, and several new factors were proposed. Fifty years later, however, the debate seemed to be settled. Neo-Darwinism, which rose to prominence in the 1890s, had won the day: natural selection, acting on heritable variation due to genetic mutation and recombination, was judged to be the primary factor in biological evolution. But as the decades wore on, many biologists came to question the so-called Modern Synthesis of genetics and natural selection, and in biology today, one again encounters debates over the operation of factors other than selection at several hierarchical levels.

In this dissertation, I analyze historical and modern debates about the relative importance of a subset of these causal factors. I demonstrate that closer attention to the details of both historical arguments and recent experimental work leads to a clearer conception of each factor, making it possible for scientists to address the ‘factors of evolution’ question empirically. The different factors that I examine – constraints, convergence, and ecosystem engineering – stem from different characterizations of how organisms interact with their environments. Constraints on variation are internal factors that bias the production of variants, thus limiting the power of the external selective environment (Chapter 3). Convergence, or the independent evolution of the same traits in unrelated lineages, is often taken to show the opposite – the omnipotence of environmental ‘forcing’ (Chapter 4). Finally, ecosystem engineering complicates the internal-external divide by exploring how organisms modify their physical environments (Chapter 5). Two key historical episodes provide an introduction to many of the conceptual distinctions of the later chapters: the rise of the idea of organism-environment interaction in the 1850s (Chapter 1), and the seminal debate over the factors of evolution in the 1890s (Chapter 2). This dissertation is not, in Charles Darwin’s words, “one long argument.” Instead, it is a series of thematically linked studies, each of which contributes to ongoing historical, biological, and philosophical debates about organism-environment interaction and the causal factors of evolution.

Subject: Biology; Philosophy of Science; Science history;

Classification: 0306: Biology;  0402: Philosophy of Science;  0585: Science history

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Social sciences, Biological sciences, Baldwin effect, Constraints, Convergence, Ecosystem engineering, Environment, Evolution, Perfect chaos

Number of pages: 192

Publication year: 2010

Degree date: 2010

School code: 0330

Source: DAI-A 71/10, Apr 2011

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781124197982

Advisor: Wimsatt, William C., Richards, Robert J.

Committee member: Wimsatt, William C., Richards, Robert J., Jablonski, David

University/institution: The University of Chicago

Department: Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science

University location: United States — Illinois

Degree: Ph.D.

Primitive marriage: Anthropology and nineteenth-century fiction

Author: Noble, Mary Agnes

Abstract: In Primitive Marriage , however, I show that “primitivism” in imaginative literature emerged in the 1870s, when writers such as George Eliot and Thomas Hardy respond to anthropology in their fiction. These novelistic responses reflect the intensive focus of Victorian anthropology on myth and marriage, inaugurated by two influential works: Edward Burnett Tylor’s Primitive Culture (1870), which focused primarily on myth, and John McLennan’s Primitive Marriage (1865).

Victorian anthropologists were influenced by Walter’s Scott’s folklore recovery projects, since he was the first writer to apply theories of cultural evolution to the detailed study of folk culture. Under Scott’s influence, moreover, novels became a unique medium that could integrate the poetry of primitive cultural forms with the naturalistic interpretive lens of the anthropologist, a productive fusion of romance and scientific social analysis. Chapter One examines precisely how Scott’s fiction responds to anthropological themes and concerns raised by own folklore researches and by the proto-anthropological work of late eighteenth-century conjectural historians.

Eliot’s interest in the evolution of marriage and sexuality is entirely absent from Scott’s fiction, and only appears fleetingly, and suggestively, in his introduction to Roy Roy (1817), as I discuss in Chapter One. However, influential works of mid-Victorian anthropology, including McLennan’s Primitive Marriage , lent scientific authority to an emerging popular association between “savage” life and sexual violence. Eliot and Hardy invoke the anthropology of marriage only to subvert it.

In Chapter Two, I explore the implications Middlemarch ‘s allusions to anthropological descriptions of “primitive” male courtship behavior involving ritualistic fights over women. The novel aligns these ritualized expressions of desire with rhetorical forms such as chivalric love literature, and so draws attention to the culturally-constructed nature of a wide range of socially-sanctioned expressions of desire. Eliot thus stresses the commonality between diverse cultures, suggesting not only that desire transcends cultural difference, but also that human societies generally create comparable aesthetic forms to structure desire’s public expression. Thus in Middlemarch , Eliot is careful to historicize everything except heterosexual relations, which are deliberately dehistoricized and transcendentalized.

Like Middlemarch , Daniel Deronda (1876) invokes an idea of “prehistoric” human emotion that is a source of ethical and loving relationships with others. However, whereas Middlemarch subverts cultural evolutionary readings of sexual behavior, Daniel Deronda reintroduces cultural evolution to explain its heroine’s sexual psychology, and rejects universalizing Darwinian claims about women’s biological nature, as I show in Chapter Three. Daniel Deronda ‘s allusions to Darwin’s arguments about motherhood and maternal infanticide are intertwined with allusions to the Medea story, and I argue that the novel makes these rather shocking allusions in order to expose the ways in which nineteenth-century discourse constructed womanhood as a choice between ideal motherhood and monstrosity. The novel instead dramatizes the idea that women’s “primitive” or “natural” propensities are as diverse as men’s, and that primitive emotions like irrational and quasi-religious fear can be harnessed as a form of conscience.

Hardy, too, was interested in the value of the primitive belief, but for its aesthetic rather than for its ethical potential. My fourth chapter shows that Hardy, along with Walter Pater and Andrew Lang, looked to Tylor’s account of myth’s development as a theory of literary evolution, and found in it an implication that contemporary literature might be revitalized by recuperating primitive cultural forms. I show that Hardy’s research and thinking in these areas developed in early novels such as A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873), and came to fruition in The Return of the Native (1878). In Chapter Five, I show that Hardy recuperates other primitive cultural forms, including the folk dance and the ballad, in The Return and in Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891). These novels present folk dancing in sensualized aesthetic terms as a source of primitive ecstasy and “pagan-self-adoration,” implicitly celebrating folk culture as a source of resistance to Victorian sexual mores.

Hardy more explicitly invokes anthropology in the service of social critique in Jude the Obscure (1895), as my concluding chapter shows. In dramatizing contemporary debates over sexual politics, the novel’s heroine, Sue, uses the terms of cultural evolutionism to denounce her society’s sexual mores as “barbarous” or “savage.” In this respect, the novel reflects on a major trend in 1890s public debates over sexuality and marriage: the prevalence of appeals to anthropological theories to support normative claims. The anthropologist Edward Westermarck contributed to these debates with his History of Human Marriage (1891), which suggests that sexual reform will need to accommodate inherited instincts. My chapter shows that Jude engages with Westermarck’s ideas in its staging of the conflict between Victorian marriage laws and the protagonists’ desires for sexual freedom, which the novel codes as Pagan and primitive. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Subject: British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Marriage, Anthropology, Primitivism, Victorian, Eliot, George, Hardy, Thomas, Nineteenth century, Novel

Number of pages: 323

Publication year: 2010

Degree date: 2010

School code: 0181

Source: DAI-A 71/11, May 2011

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781124280172

Advisor: DiBattista, Maria, Nord, Deborah

University/institution: Princeton University

University location: United States — New Jersey

Degree: Ph.D.

Opera, race, and nation in American literature: 1890–1920

Author: Cordasco, Rachel S.

Abstract: Opera, I argue in this study, foregrounds and clarifies the implications of cultural Darwinism in America at the turn of the twentieth century. While this connection may seem surprising at first glance, I explore how opera enabled Frank Norris, Gertrude Atherton, James Weldon Johnson, and Ellen Glasgow to make visible the assumptions of an imperialist foreign policy that was often based on racist assumptions gleaned from Darwinian science. Opera in these writers’ novels and stories helps us interpret how cultural evolutionary theories sustained an entire system of belief based on racial hierarchy and power. This dissertation focuses on the time period 1890-1920 because it was then that Darwinian ideas were most clearly influencing America’s aesthetic and political culture. In opera, the Wagner craze had reached its height and opera houses were springing up across the country to absorb enthusiastic audiences excited to hear their favorite singers and works. At the same time, America was flexing its imperialist muscle, scooping up several former Spanish colonial territories at the end of the Spanish-American War of 1898. These phenomena were fueled by the Darwinian revolution and subsequent emergence of cultural evolution. The idea that human beings emerged from more primitive life forms displaced the traditional worldview of a human-centered universe and prompted many anthropologists, ethnographers, social scientists, and writers to trace human origins and discover the roots of our instincts and impulses. This revised worldview grew into a set of beliefs about cultural evolution and the ways in which human beings develop culture and civilization. Opera, I argue, is a particularly useful field site for exploring and coming to terms with these interconnected anxieties and changes because this art form itself was considered to be the artistic expression of white civilization at its most sophisticated and fully-developed. By thinking about what it meant for opera to carry this burden, we can more fully recognize the connections between the arts, sciences, politics, and religion at the turn of the twentieth century.

Subject: American literature;

Classification: 0591: American literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Opera, Race, Nation, Cultural Darwinism, Imperialism, America, Norris, Frank, Atherton, Gertrude, Johnson, James Weldon, Glasgow, Ellen

Number of pages: 238

Publication year: 2010

Degree date: 2010

School code: 0262

Source: DAI-A 72/01, Jul 2011

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781124369259

Advisor: Zimmerman, David

University/institution: The University of Wisconsin – Madison

University location: United States — Wisconsin

Degree: Ph.D.

Cradles in space: The changeling in folk narrative and modern science fiction

Author: Lawrence, Adam

Abstract: This dissertation considers how modern science fiction (SF) has continually employed elements of European folk narrative to explore subaltern and subterranean culture–meaning, both the politically disenfranchised and biologically deformed figures who threaten to emerge from their underground habitations and infiltrate the most cherished institutions of the upper world. According to legends deriving from England, Wales, Cornwall, Scotland, Ireland, and Scandinavia, it was common practice for the fairies, also called the “Good People” or the “little people,” to abduct human children and leave withered and cantankerous fairies, known as “changelings,” in their place. I argue that the changeling emerges as a “conceptual persona” in the nineteenth century when folklorists and scientists alike began to interpret changeling tales as unsophisticated diagnoses of congenital diseases–before the medical lexicon of “congenital malformation” was even available. The changeling provided the absent lexicon, which was specifically adopted by Victorian British society as an explanation of insubordinate behaviour among children, women, the lower classes, and the non-white races. My five chapters discuss the figure of the fairy changeling as it appears in British and other European legends and as it is adapted in several SF novels of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. To begin, I suggest that these European folk legends describe a “fairy economy,” in which two species engage in various forms of trade and exchange (Chapter 1). Through detailed readings of such folktales as “The Fairy Wife” and “The Speckled Bull” and such legends as “The Caerlaverock Changeling” and “Johnnie in the Cradle,” I argue that the changeling enunciates a particular set of issues that surface in the Victorian period, concerning childcare, reproduction, cross-cultural and cross-species relations, and hybridity, and which are further explored in the realm of modern SF. Both Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde re-imagine the changeling as a representative of the lower-class mob, the atavistic criminal population, and the Gothic underworld (Chapter 2). Shelley’s and Stevenson’s monsters are also clearly prototypical SF creations, related as they are to early speculations on the biologically engineered human. In both The Time Machine and The Island of Dr. Moreau , H. G. Wells modifies these gothic/scientific fictions and their folkloric antecedents by exploring, on the one hand, the future devolution of the species into a two-nation world consisting of fey-like “little people” and monstrous underlings and, on the other hand, a near future hybridization of the species through the radical vivisection of various animal types (Chapter 3). Wells’s two works present vivid attempts to conceptualize a “symbiotic” community, clearly hinted at in the legends involving human-fairy interactions. As I argue through these first three chapters, the changeling narrative presents a fictional narrative that explores human origins through the interaction and exchange with a nonhuman species. Viewed through the lens of SF, the changeling legend conceptualizes species evolution and speculates on the utopian possibilities of cross-breeding cultures and species. Providing an Eastern European perspective, Karel Capek explores the folkloric-cum-evolutionary notions of hybridity and symbiosis, first, in R. U. R. , a craftily disguised melodrama about artificially grown workers called “Robots” and, second, in War with the Newts , a satirical scientific parable about salamanders conditioned and bred to function as a labour force (Chapter 4). In both scenarios, the engineered entities possess the “changeling” instinct to infiltrate and undermine human authority but also present the nightmarish results of co-opting monsters for profit and war. Olaf Stapledon develops this twentieth-century folkloric-cum-evolutionary exploration, first, in two “cosmological” fictions, Last and First Men and Star Maker , which contemplate the future development of the human species and the potential function of symbiotic communities. Adapting these original far-future visions, Odd John and Sirius return us to the quaint environment of folk narrative, conceptualizing new changelings in the form of a mutant superman and a hybrid man-dog. Together, Stapledon’s “composite” fictional world testifies to the resilience of the folkloric tradition and the religious or supernatural fascination with the fearful symmetry of the human organism. Such science-fictional speculations enable us to discover that legends contain within them subversive undercurrents associated with both a rural underclass as well as a “little folk” driven underground by colonization and industrialization. From this perspective, there are some fascinating intersections between folklore and SF, including the crossover between the “alien” and the “fairy,” the abduction motif itself, and the cultural significance of physical metamorphosis as it is consistently presented in changeling narratives and in “alien encounter” SF.

Subject: Modern literature; Slavic literature; Folklore; British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0298: Modern literature;  0314: Slavic literature;  0358: Folklore;  0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Folk narrative, Science fiction, Changeling, Wells, H. G., Stapledon, Olaf, Capek, Karel, Czech Republic, Shelley, Mary, Stevenson, Robert Louis

Number of pages: 423

Publication year: 2010

Degree date: 2010

School code: 0306

Source: DAI-A 73/02, Aug 2012

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780494808870

University/institution: Memorial University of Newfoundland (Canada)

University location: Canada

Degree: Ph.D.

Prehistoric to posthuman: Animality, inheritance, and identity in American evolutionary narratives

Author: Bailin, Deborah Juliet

Abstract: This project examines how Darwinian discourse has influenced representations of the relationship between animality and humanness in twentieth-century American literature. Scholarship in the conceptually rich and growing field of animal studies, to which my dissertation contributes, covers a wide range of topics, from the symbolic and metaphoric treatment of nonhuman animals to the ethics of representation and the politics of animal rights. Recent theoretical work has further broadened the scope of inquiry by raising questions about the cultural construction of animality and its relationship to definitions of the human. Although some scholars have argued for the importance of embodiment in (re)considering twentieth-century representations of the human, challenging the opposition between “animal” and “human,” only a few have addressed how Darwin’s descriptions of prehuman ancestry and a potentially posthuman future might have shaped these representations. My study aims to rectify this critical lack.

By examining how evolutionary narratives of growth, mutation, and transformation intersect with American narratives of history, progress, and identity, my dissertation complicates traditional associations between the cultural impact of Darwin’s ideas and the determinism and social Darwinism often associated with literary naturalism during its classic phase. Beginning with a chapter comparing the treatment of animality and evolution in works by Frank Norris and Jack London, I trace the imaginative and metanaturalistic reshaping of these narratives across the century through chapters on abolition and evolution in novels by William Faulkner and Toni Morrison, evolution as apocalypse in Bernard Malamud’s God’s Grace and Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis Trilogy, and animals, evolution, and language in Edward Albee’s plays.

Varying in the scope of its concerns about natural and cultural inheritance, each of my chapters considers how animality operates as a recursive trope against the disembodiment of the subject, expressing both possibilities and fears about what it means to be human.

Subject: American literature;

Classification: 0591: American literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Animality, Animals, Darwin, Charles, Evolution, Human, Posthuman, Inheritance, Evolutionary narratives

Number of pages: 240

Publication year: 2010

Degree date: 2010

School code: 0117

Source: DAI-A 71/07, Jan 2011

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781124073569

Advisor: Wyatt, David M.

Committee member: Bryer, Jackson R., Nunes, Zita C., Chuh, Kandice, King, Katie

University/institution: University of Maryland, College Park

Department: English Language and Literature

University location: United States — Maryland

Degree: Ph.D.

Nature’s Music: Birds, Beasts, and Evolutionary Listening in the Twentieth Century

Author: Mundy, Rachel

Abstract: In 1913, ornithologist Henry Oldys explained a metaphor of music’s history that brought birdsong together with human music through a shared model of evolutionary change: “there is no escape from the conclusion that the evolution of bird music independently parallels the evolution of human music.” Such evolutionary thinking linking species difference to stylistic change was also a part of music scholarship, borrowed by founding figures including Erich Hornbostel, Carl Stumpf, George Herzog, Guido Adler, and Otto Kinkeldey. Birds were often the transition allowing species development to slip into racial narratives of style; as Daniel Mason wrote, “the songs of the singing birds are very notable examples of ‘natural music’ … Man, in his upward and wonderful course from barbarian to civilization, has but cunningly combined these elements [of natural music].” Despite the power such claims had to make musical difference heard in terms of biological evolution, today’s scholarship on twentieth-century music relies almost entirely on constructions of “otherness” that are imagined outside of the context of evolutionary developments.

My dissertation addresses this lacuna by exploring the repercussions of musical evolutionism for twentieth-century concepts of musical difference, tracing the growing tension between “cultural” and “objective” criteria for sonic data that developed at the center of parallel listening practices that were used, on the one hand, to classify human music, and on the other, in the ornithological identification of birdsong. Initially, these listening practices grew up around a common tradition of collecting recorded and transcribed sounds as though they were biological specimens, with the two fields diverging in mid-century as evolutionary biology became a standardized discipline, while music scholars began to question the value of specimens in inquiries related to human culture. This history laid the groundwork for what manifests today as an opposition between the objective research of birdsong studies, and the cultural knowledge of music scholarship. The relation of these opposed listening practices to a changing evolutionary science provides a historical lineage for the posthumanities’ study of human/nonhuman relations, inviting a re-evaluation of musicological thought on modernist tropes of difference and their relation to the scientific claims of early twentieth-century Musikwissenschaft .

Subject: Cultural anthropology; Music; Science history;

Classification: 0326: Cultural anthropology;  0413: Music;  0585: Science history

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Social sciences, Animal studies, Birdsong, Evolution, Modernism, Music, Sound and vision

Number of pages: 321

Publication year: 2010

Degree date: 2010

School code: 0146

Source: DAI-A 72/01, Jul 2011

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781124331591

Advisor: Cusick, Suzanne

Committee member: Beckerman, Michael, Boorman, Stanley, Hoffman, Elizabeth, Stanyek, Jason

University/institution: New York University

Department: Music

University location: United States — New York

Degree: Ph.D.

“The horror, the horror”: The origins of a genre in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain, 1880–1914

Author: Gilbert, Jonathan Maximilian

Abstract: This dissertation analyzes the origins of the genre of popular fiction known as horror fiction. It traces those origins, in British fiction, to the late Victorian and Edwardian eras when the Gothic genre developed into a number of different genres of popular fiction: mystery, science fiction, and horror. It defines the essential features of the horror genre that differentiate it from other genres, including the Gothic, as being the presence of the monster or monstrous and the supernatural and an aim to produce a response of horror in its readers. In addition to making an historical and theoretical argument in regards to genre in general and this genre specifically, the dissertation looks at the ways in which other discourses (such as advertising, travel literature, sociology) made use of the figures and tropes of horror fiction and, which in turn, informed the development of the themes and tropes of horror fiction. The first chapter argues that while genre is an essential concept for readers, authors, and publishers, there is also no such thing as a “pure” example of any given genre. The first chapter also positions horror fiction within the context of the fictions that present horror without the supernatural (Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness ) and the supernatural divorced from horror (Marie Corelli’s A Romance of Two Worlds ). Chapter Two focuses on the figure of the monster, which becomes over-coded as a representation of multiple and sometimes contrary fears and concerns. The chapter discusses the monster and the feelings of horror it evokes using both contemporary and current anthropological, psychological, and sociological theories to frame the discussion. Chapter Three focuses on the haunted objects that appear in horror fiction and other discourses, such as advertising and political economy, at this time. The final chapter is concerned with the settings of horror fiction and the ways in which those settings differ from those of the Gothic novel. Horror fiction presupposes a realistic milieu such as the suburban home, which is invaded by a supernatural and horrific element. Horror fiction also has a more complex relation to time than its Gothic predecessor and the final chapter concludes with an examination of that relationship.

Subject: British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Victorian literature, Edwardian literature, Horror fiction, Genre fiction, Cultural studies, British literature, Conrad, Joseph, Corelli, Marie

Number of pages: 305

Publication year: 2008

Degree date: 2008

School code: 0190

Source: DAI-A 69/10, Apr 2009

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780549889656

Advisor: Williams, Carolyn

Committee member: Williams, Carolyn, McClure, John A., Kurnick, David, Howes, Marjorie

University/institution: Rutgers The State University of New Jersey – New Brunswick

Department: Literature, English

University location: United States — New Jersey

Degree: Ph.D.

“A biological necessity at work”: Evolution in selected novels of Philip K. Dick

Author: Katz, Jason

Abstract: In selected novels of Philip K. Dick, fear of entropy is the primary catalyst for action, and one way the characters endeavour to escape entropy is through human evolution. Evolution is thought both to counteract entropy and to enable spiritual transcendence to a more permanent universe where entropy cannot follow. This thesis traces the two kinds of evolution found in these novels, the ineffective kind and the effective kind. The first is technological and left-brained; it tends to lead in Dick not to evolution and transcendence but to capitalist oppression, loss of agency, loss of identity, eugenics, and a totalitarian police state, all of which lead instead to devolution and an increase in the entropy of the universe. The second kind of evolution is biological and right-brained, and it stems from human empathy. Empathy, in Dick’s novels, as it grows stronger, becomes telepathy and eventually forms the beginnings of a collective consciousness very much like Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s notion of a noosphere. This collectivity of mankind is brought about by love and empathy and will enable the transcendence and escape from entropy that Dick’s characters seek. This thesis uses historical, philosophical, and scientific contexts to clarify this binary in Dick’s work between left-brained technological devolution and right-brained empathic evolution. At their most ambitious, these novels supply a model for how Dick believes the human race ought to proceed if it intends to survive: not through advanced technological posthumanism, but through the simple advancement and dissemination of love and empathy.

Subject: American literature;

Classification: 0591: American literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics

Number of pages: 154

Publication year: 2007

Degree date: 2007

School code: 0228

Source: MAI 46/03, Jun 2008

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780494344439

University/institution: Concordia University (Canada)

University location: Canada

Degree: M.A.

How the child lost its tail: Evolutionary theory, Victorian pedagogy and the development of children’s literature, 1860–1920

Author: Straley, Jessica L

Abstract: This dissertation argues that Victorian anxieties about human evolution shaped an unlikely genre: children’s literature. The extremely popular and influential theory that the development of the individual repeated the evolution of the species, “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,” turned the child into a vestige of mankind’s primitive ancestry, an animal just beginning a climb up the evolutionary ladder. Around this animal child, I contend, the “golden age” of children’s literature (1860-1920) was forged as an experimental pedagogy for becoming human. Literary critics generally claim that this “golden age” reveled in Romantic fancies of eternal childhood. In response, I show that the newly reinvented genre explored a developmental narrative just as central to Victorian culture as the social progress represented by the Bildungsroman . This project offers a new way to read the “golden age” of children’s literature that complicates how we understand nineteenth-century conceptions of development. It also reveals a fantastic encounter between Victorian literature and science that has been invisible in critical scholarship. Children’s literature. I argue, adopted the theory of recapitulation as a narrative pattern and a pedagogical goal. Charles Kingsley’s The Water-Babies and Lewis Carroll’s Alice books exposed the tumult of human development left wholly to Darwinian nature and sought to cure the child of a bestiality figured as either original sin or paralyzing purposelessness. Part of a later generation more comfortable with Darwinism, Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Books , Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden located within evolutionary development a perfect stage, either purely savage or partly cultivated, that retained the richness of phylogenic and ontogenic youth. Though widely divergent in their uses of recapitulation, the texts studied here each advanced an implicit theory that human evolution and child development relied on imagination, and thus they found a pivotal place for literature within the scientific narrative of ascent. In looking to a genre too often ignored in scholarship, I uncover an ongoing literary and pedagogical conversation about what it meant to become human in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Subject: British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Kingsley, Charles, Kipling, Rudyard, Charles Kingsley, Rudyard Kipling, Evolutionary theory, Victorian, Pedagogy, Children’s literature

Pages: 246 p.

Number of pages: 246

Publication year: 2005

Degree date: 2005

School code: 0212

Source: DAI-A 66/04, p. 1364, Oct 2005

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780542087011, 0542087014

Advisor: Moretti, Franco

University/institution: Stanford University

University location: United States — California

Degree: Ph.D.

“A more glittering, a grosser power”: American film and fiction, 1915–1941

Author: Enfield, Jonathan

Abstract: This dissertation examines the relationships between American film and fiction from 1915-1941. In particular, it stresses the often misunderstood or elided influence that film, especially Hollywood film, exerted on the literary novel, as exemplified by Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy (1925), F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned (1922), William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! (1936), and John Dos Passos’s The Big Money (1936).

Scholars, particularly literary scholars, who analyze film-fiction questions tend to do so either in terms of the adaptation of fiction into film or in terms of a third-term X (e.g., nationhood or subjectivity). In contrast, this dissertation tracks the way in which film in general (as a technological medium) and Hollywood film in particular (as a set of institutional and artistic norms) opened up to period authors not only a new thematic concern but also new epistemological questions and new formal possibilities, all of which changed the way those authors wrote fiction.

Accordingly, after offering an account of period Hollywood cinema that acknowledges the virtues of neoformalist film theory but demonstrates the need for considering spectatorial engagement (both sensory and affective) more broadly and more carefully, the dissertation offers an analysis of the way period film not only helped shape narrative strategies in literary fiction but also contributed significantly to a shift in the relationship between fact and image and in the phenomenology of seeing and describing scenes.

Subject: American literature; Motion pictures;

Classification: 0591: American literature;  0900: Motion pictures

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Language, literature and linguistics, Film, Fiction, Hollywood

Pages: 364 p.

Number of pages: 364

Publication year: 2005

Degree date: 2005

School code: 0330

Source: DAI-A 66/03, p. 992, Sep 2005

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 0542042274, 9780542042270

Advisor: Berlant, Lauren

University/institution: The University of Chicago

University location: United States — Illinois

Degree: Ph.D.

Scientific fictions: Evolutionary science, literary genre, and theories of degeneration in fin de siecle Britain

Author: Yoshii, June M

Abstract: This dissertation analyzes the generic literary manifestations of a pervasive cultural thematic in the 1890s–evolutionary theories of physical and moral degeneration. Throughout, I address a critical absence in literary scholarship on evolutionary discourses of degeneration: that of genre. I argue that one must consider late-Victorian literary forms in order to understand scientific discourses of degeneracy in the British fin de siècle period. Evolutionary discourses of degeneracy structured how people viewed the nature of society, its past, and its future direction. And as a literary form primarily concerned with the construction of narrative, the novel was uniquely positioned as the type of literature that could most thoroughly engage with these broader issues of social and scientific change. Most studies of fin de siècle fiction and degeneration tend to focus either on the institutional and repressive mobilization of degenerationist discourse (Greenslade 1994; Arata 1996) or are an in-depth study of one particular genre (Hurley 1996; Richarson 2003). However, I argue that evolutionary notions of degeneration were far from monolithic or strictly institutional in nature, and that considering the formal and narrative boundaries of literary genre in a comparative context is necessary for seeing the discursive instability of evolution and degeneration in late-Victorian culture. By doing so, we can see the crucial role fiction played in articulating the important social and scientific issues of the time, and how late-nineteenth century evolutionary science was not something separate from literary culture, but a vital part of it.

Each chapter focuses on a fin-de-siècle literary genre and the novels’ textual and discursive relationship to scientific discourses of degeneration. My first chapter analyzes the controversy over the New Woman novel and that debate’s relationship to sexological constructions of deviant female sexuality by comparing Mona Caird’s feminist novel The Daughters of Danaus and Horace Bleackley’s anti-feminist novel Une Culotte . My second chapter focuses on William Morris’ utopian novel News from Nowhere and how Morris’ vision of revolution is explicitly structured around evolutionary notions of nature. My third chapter argues that H. G. Well’s scientific romance The Time Machine uses fictional form to educate the reader in scientific principles and methods. My last chapter focuses on George Gissing’s ambiguous relationship to naturalism by analyzing In the Year of Jubilee ‘s reliance on scientific characterizations of individuals and groups in Gissing’s figuration of literary character.

Subject: British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Fin de siecle, Caird, Mona, Mona Caird, Bleackley, Horace, Horace Bleackley, Morris, William, William Morris, Wells. H. G., H. G. Wells, Scientific fictions, Evolutionary science, Genre, Degeneration, Britain

Pages: 314 p.

Number of pages: 314

Publication year: 2005

Degree date: 2005

School code: 0028

Source: DAI-A 66/08, p. 2943, Feb 2006

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780542291715, 0542291711

Advisor: Marcus, Sharon

University/institution: University of California, Berkeley

University location: United States — California

Degree: Ph.D.

Greek comedy and the evolution of satyr drama

Author: Shaw, Carl A, II

Abstract: Satyr drama is a liminal genre, situated generically between tragedy and comedy. It exhibits elements traditionally associated with both of these genres, but because satyr plays were written by tragedians and performed at the ends of their tetralogies, scholarship has typically prioritized their relationship with tragedy. This study argues, however, that satyr drama had its most significant and consequential relationship with Greek comedy. With a buffoonish and ribald chorus of satyrs, satyr plays were fundamentally comic performances. Like comedy, they regularly exhibited obscenity, sexual humor, happy endings and non-human choruses. They were even performed alongside comedy on the same Attic stage at the same yearly festival. This generic, spatial and temporal proximity created an intimate and fragile interrelationship: comedy and satyr drama each had to remain comic while also remaining generically distinct. As a result, satyr drama’s literary development was influenced by the vicissitudes of the comic genre. When comedy was officially introduced into the City Dionysia in 486 B.C.E., it limited satyr drama’s generic bounds; and when it shifted toward its “satyric” Middle Stage, it created such a generic tension that satyr drama was forced to shift into a new, more satirical, comic niche. In this dissertation, I trace this evolution of satyr drama and demonstrate that it is directly linked with Greek comedy’s own evolution.

Subject: Classical studies; Ancient languages; Comparative literature; Theater;

Classification: 0294: Classical studies;  0289: Ancient languages;  0295: Comparative literature;  0465: Theater

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Language, literature and linguistics, Greek, Comedy, Satyr, Drama

Pages: 182 p.

Number of pages: 182

Publication year: 2005

Degree date: 2005

School code: 0175

Source: DAI-A 66/06, p. 2202, Dec 2005

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 0542200546, 9780542200540

Advisor: Rosen, Ralph M

University/institution: University of Pennsylvania

University location: United States — Pennsylvania

Degree: Ph.D.

To serve and obey: A history of the android, 1850–present

Author: Nocks, Lisa

Abstract: In To Serve and Obey: A History of the Android 1850-Present , I follow the development of the humanoid robot or android from its venerable place in science fiction to its emergence as a serious engineering objective at the end of the twentieth century. Contrary to those who read stories about humanoid robots as allegorical figures, I argue that the idea of creating artificial people metamorphosed form archaic myth into a serious initiative during the industrial and digital revolutions. I focus this alternative reading on stories about androids mass produced to fill social and economic niches. I argue that it is faulty reasoning to assume, as science fiction critics Robert E. Scholes and Eric S. Rabkin did in the 1970’s, that the stories must necessarily be allegories since no one had yet produced an android; and that the necessary time and expense precluded the possibility that they would ever be built. Furthermore, I dispute the idea that early science fiction should be understood merely as historical curiosity. No matter when these stories were written; no matter how well written, or how primitive, they all represent an ongoing interest in the production of humanoid robots, and its potential impact on the human population.

What emerges from this research is evidence that technology and literature have relied on each other for inspiration and together have promoted and advanced what I call here the “android initiative.” The proof, I argue, is in the dozens of humanoid projects now in development, as well as in the willingness of both science fiction writers and robotics engineers to credit each other with inspiration.

While this material is generally organized chronologically, I do not classify storylines according to those categories established by science fiction studies, for instance, “New Wave” or “Golden Age.” Rather, I see similar themes extant throughout the history of the genre; and simply articulated differently depending on contemporary developments in science, computing and engineering, and current events.

Subject: Science history; Literature;

Classification: 0585: Science history;  0298: Literature

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Android, Science fiction, Popular culture

Pages: 270 p.

Number of pages: 270

Publication year: 2005

Degree date: 2005

School code: 0064

Source: DAI-A 66/12, p. 4509, Jun 2006

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780542463112, 0542463113

Advisor: Rose, Jonathan E

University/institution: Drew University

University location: United States — New Jersey

Degree: Ph.D.

From counterculture to cyberculture: How Stewart Brand and the “Whole Earth Catalog” brought us “Wired” magazine

Author: Turner, Frederick Clair, Jr

Abstract: This dissertation traces the history of the Whole Earth network of journalists and publications and its impact on public definitions of new technological, political and economic formations from the early 1960s to the late 1990s. Drawing on archival research and extensive interviews, as well as analytical resources from the fields of media studies and science and technology studies, the project tracks the development of three Whole Earth forums: the Whole Earth Catalog , the Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link (an on-line system popularly known as the WELL), and Wired magazine. It shows how each of these forums brought representatives from the worlds of scientific research and technology development together with journalists, countercultural figures and businessmen. In this way, it argues, the Whole Earth network helped join two seemingly antagonistic American intellectual streams: the critique of agonistic politics that emerged in the counterculture of the 1960s, and the cybernetic theories that Norbert Wiener and his colleagues developed in the weapons laboratories of World War II. Thanks in large part to the Whole Earth network, it concludes, this intellectual fusion and the rhetoric and practices associated with it became cornerstones of 1990s cyberculture.

Subject: Mass media; American history; American studies;

Classification: 0708: Mass media;  0337: American history;  0323: American studies

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Social sciences, Wired magazine, Whole Earth Catalog, Brand, Stewart, Trading zone, California ideology, Electronic frontier, Counterculture, Cyberculture

Pages: 381 p.

Number of pages: 381

Publication year: 2002

Degree date: 2002

School code: 0033

Source: DAI-A 63/10, p. 3410, Apr 2003

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493888637, 0493888632

Advisor: Schudson, Michael

University/institution: University of California, San Diego

University location: United States — California

Degree: Ph.D.

The cultural and historical background of British and American literature

Author: Branyon, Richard A

Abstract: This work has been created to help college students explore the great works of Western literature and to understand the diverse social, economic, political, and cultural backgrounds from which these works have emerged. This work was designed to expose students to the significant writers, texts, and ideas that have influenced modern culture and to illuminate the multifaceted relationships between various academic disciplines. The first sections of the dissertation present background information on the major literary periods, categories, authors, works, and vocabulary terms encountered in a survey course. These sections are designed to help the student place a particular writer or work into a larger context within the historical and ideological development. These sections reinforce the critical views of New Historicism which asserts that literature and culture and closely connected; literature not only manifests the thoughts of the author but also conveys the social conventions or dominant beliefs of a particular era, while at the same time offering criticism of those beliefs. A section on literary criticism provides an overview of several major schools of criticism and presents summary profiles of important figures in modern critical theory. The later sections of this work present information beyond the traditional purview of literary reference works, offering background information from the fields of history, religion, philosophy, psychology, and sociology. One section, which includes brief profiles of major scholars and thinkers of Western culture, serves a crucial function of introducing key figures who have expounded important ideas. The section on historical and scientific events summarizes in chronological order important dates, discoveries, and inventions to provide the student temporal benchmarks for comparing works written in different periods. The final section provides a summary of important library resources to help the student conduct research on literary topics and includes a brief description of major reference works, anthologies, encyclopedias, dictionaries, databases and web sites.

Subject: Comparative literature; American literature; British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0295: Comparative literature;  0591: American literature;  0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Historical background, British, American, Literature, Cultural background

Pages: 480 p.

Number of pages: 480

Publication year: 2002

Degree date: 2002

School code: 0153

Source: DAI-A 63/03, p. 930, Sep 2002

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493609409, 0493609407

Advisor: Furst, Lilian

University/institution: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University location: United States — North Carolina

Degree: Ph.D.

Evolution and the sociology of punishment

Author: Gottschalk, V Martin

Abstract: This dissertation is a work in the sociology of punishment. The overriding question being examined is, “why do humans punish?” The question is examined from an evolutionary perspective. Punishment is here conceived of as the imposition of pain or cost in response to perceived wrongdoing. Part I of the dissertation examines the concept of punishment, existing philosophical justifications for punishment, as well as the major sociological explanations for punishment. Part II of the dissertation outlines the broad contours of modern evolutionary theory, with an emphasis on natural selection. In part III of the dissertation, the modern synthetic view of evolution is used to explore the emergence of the moral underpinnings needed to perceive some acts as wrong, and thus punishable. Chapter 8 then examines the origins of the symbolic capacities needed to communicate wrongful acts through a paleo-anthropological, phylogenetic and semiotic analysis.

Subject: Criminology; Sociology; Criminal justice;

Classification: 0627: Criminology

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Evolution, Sociology, Punishment, New Darwinism, Reciprocity

Pages: 500 p.

Number of pages: 500

Publication year: 2002

Degree date: 2002

School code: 0668

Source: DAI-A 63/01, p. 369, Jul 2002

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493529639, 0493529632

Advisor: Newman, Graeme

University/institution: State University of New York at Albany

University location: United States — New York

Degree: Ph.D.

The crisis of action in nineteenth-century English literature

Author: Markovits, Stefanie Ruth

Abstract: Reading the works of Romantic and Victorian writers, one can see what amounts to a crisis concerning the status of action. The crisis manifested itself regularly in authors’ critical reflections; it is present in William Wordsworth’s claim for a new poetry in which “the feeling therein developed gives importance to the action and situation, and not the action and situation to the feeling,” in Matthew Arnold’s lament for the absence of “great human actions” in modern literature, and in Henry James’s dismissal of “nefarious” plot in The Portrait of a Lady , in favor of the exploration of “an ‘exciting’ inward life.” These writers responded to, and frequently reversed, Aristotle’s dictum in the Poetics: “In a play…they do not act in order to portray the Characters; they include the Characters for the sake of the action.” Aristotelian models of development see character as the product of actions. But in many nineteenth-century works, perception of characters comes not from action, but as a product of in action–that is, from frustrating external and heightening internal action.

Aristotle’s statement became a critical battleground for a variety of historical reasons, including the crisis in faith, a reaction to the failure of the French Revolution, the workings of the laissez-faire marketplace, and the increased role of women in literature. This study explores various aspects of the nineteenth century’s crisis in action through the lens of four writers who participated in it, in both their lives and work: William Wordsworth, Arthur Hugh Clough, George Eliot, and Henry James. The problem of action was a central concern of the post-Romantics. Writers skirmishing over the relative roles of action (or plot) and character in literature redefined heroism and influenced the development of the novel of consciousness. Yet the shift from an emphasis on action to one on consciousness raises ethical concerns: must one do the right thing, or is it enough to will it? How does literary work relate to this question?

Subject: British and Irish literature; American literature;

Classification: 0593: British and Irish literature;  0591: American literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Crisis of action, English, Nineteenth century, William Wordsworth, Arthur Hugh Clough, George Eliot, Henry James, Wordsworth, William, Clough, Arthur Hugh, Eliot, George, James, Henry

Pages: 306 p.

Number of pages: 306

Publication year: 2001

Degree date: 2001

School code: 0265

Source: DAI-A 62/10, p. 3404, Apr 2002

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493437781, 0493437789

Advisor: Yeazell, Ruth Bernard, Bromwich, David

University/institution: Yale University

University location: United States — Connecticut

Degree: Ph.D.

Horror in evolution: Determinism, materialism, and Darwinism in the American gothic

Author: Graff, Bennett

Abstract: Unlike other psychologically-oriented examinations of the American gothic tradition, this study traces the impact of the pre- and post-Darwinian theories of evolution on that tradition. In the first chapter, issues of reception and response are considered in terms of the effect the academic embrace of Jamesian aesthetics and psychological criticism had on the interpretation of the American gothic as a psychological genre in which there could be no place for the materialistic biologism of Edgar Allan Poe and the evolutionary gothicism of Frank Norris, Jack London, and Howard Philips Lovecraft. In the second chapter, Poe is reconsidered in pre-Darwinian rather than pre-Freudian terms, for though he died a decade before the appearance of Darwin’s Origin of Species, his treatment of race and savagery in “Murders in the Rue Morgue” and The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, and of hereditary insanity in “Berenice” and “Fall of the House of Usher” prefigure treatments of race scientists after Darwin would routinely make on the one hand, and the formulation of hereditarian theories of disease and degeneration Cesare Lombroso and Max Nordau would popularize on the other. In the third chapter, after acknowledging the powerful influence of Poe on Frank Norris, this study details the ways in which the latter’s Vandover and the Brute and McTeague incorporate the evolutionary theories of neo-Lamarckism and orthogenesis to create a horrifying vision of a humanity whose behavior remains ever determined by conflicting sexual needs and racial habits. In the fourth chapter, Poe’s influence on Jack London and the attempt London made to link the gothic and naturalist traditions are placed within the context of London’s preoccupation with racial destinies and the fate of socialism, as treated in his lesser-known science fiction fantasies, “The Red One” and The Scarlet Plague. In the last chapter, the evolutionary horror tradition is brought to a close with Lovecraft, whose worship of Poe and philosophical affinities with London and Norris are brought to bear on the personal and national fears of miscegenation, inbreeding, criminality, and immigration Lovecraft’s reactionary fantasies trace in his “Arthur Jermyn,” “The Lurking Fear” and “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.”

Subject: American literature; Science history;

Classification: 0591: American literature;  0585: Science history

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Poe, Edgar Allan, Norris, Frank, London, Jack, Lovecraft, H. P.@

Pages: 282 p.

Number of pages: 282

Publication year: 1995

Degree date: 1995

School code: 0046

Source: DAI-A 56/05, p. 1777, Nov 1995

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

Advisor: Reynolds, David S

University/institution: City University of New York

University location: United States — New York

Degree: Ph.D.

VIRAL MEMES

Infinite transformation: The modern craze over the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam in England and America, c. 1900-1930

Author: Kaiserlian, Michelle

Abstract: Edward FitzGerald’s Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (1859), an English translation of the medieval Persian poems of astronomer and mathematician Omar Khayyám, went largely unnoticed until the turn of the twentieth century when it suddenly exploded in popularity. For three decades, the poem became the center of a predominantly middle-class craze that reached into all corners of British and American life and generated staggering material output as people continuously appropriated and transformed the text. Despite the poem’s ubiquity in the West during this period, the Rubáiyát phenomenon has received little scholarly interest, and the poem itself has been largely forgotten.

In the first critical study of the Rubáiyát craze as a whole and as a creative and historical phenomenon, I examine visual and literary responses to the poem in the form of illustrations, parodies, advertisements, and religio-philosophical debates to determine the Rubáiyát’ s overwhelming and enduring resonance in the culture. I argue that people’s engagement with and their myriad responses to the poem performed a kind of cultural work during a period of great social, economic, technological, scientific, and religious upheaval. I demonstrate how the Rubáiyát became a vehicle through which people processed the rapid changes of modern life and how poem and craze alike provided a tool to define and order an increasingly uncertain and fragmented world.

The Rubáiyát’ s rise to fame was due in large part to the poem’s content, which addressed the deeper questions of human existence; its themes of fate, the brevity of life, and the desire to live in the moment resonated with a culture unhinged by modernization. The audience’s perception of the poem as a text that embodied oppositions–foreign and familiar, old and new–and whose meaning was never clear-cut but multiplicitous and malleable contributed to their passionate and often conflicted responses to it. The West’s interaction with the Rubáiyát both reflected in microcosm and facilitated the culture’s modern metamorphosis. The pervasiveness of the Rubáiyát phenomenon provides a rare glimpse into the processes of cultural adaptation.

Subject: Comparative literature; American studies; Art history;

Classification: 0295: Comparative literature;  0323: American studies;  0377: Art history

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Illustration, Khayyam, Omar, Orientalism, Parody, Popular culture, Rubaiyat, England

Number of pages: 374

Publication year: 2009

Degree date: 2009

School code: 0093

Source: DAI-A 71/02, Aug 2010

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781109586534

Advisor: Facos, Michelle

Committee member: Burns, Sarah, Kennedy, Janet, Losensky, Paul

University/institution: Indiana University

Department: History of Art

University location: United States — Indiana

Degree: Ph.D.

This PhD above might be good – but needs empirical figures to support it. It is examining: a viral meme.

The superhighway to serfdom: How false social norms marketing is hijacking the American Dream

Author: Kordis, Paul L.

Abstract: This dissertation is a qualitative meta-analysis of contemporary and historical literature and other media. The findings suggest that Americans in the late 20th and early 21st centuries tend to both overwork and to suffer from their working conditions. This propensity for overwork appears to be driven by a need to overconsume, which is driven in circular fashion by the fear of losing one’s job or of positioning one’s children to be either underemployed or unemployed–in essence, the fear of failing. The result seems to be that rather than achieving the American Dream, many Americans are caught on an endless treadmill of serfdom while an elite few reap the benefits.

Religious, political, and economic trends are examined as underlying and mutually supporting structures used by the elite to keep people on the treadmill. Chief among the tactics used to achieve this appears to be a process referred to as false social norms marketing. The mechanisms of and the technique for using this process are revealed, followed by an analysis of what a good, decent, free, and just society would be, including suggestions derived from the meta-analysis for positioning America to better fulfill the American Dream.

Subject: Political science; Occupational psychology; Vocational education;

Classification: 0615: Political science;  0624: Occupational psychology;  0747: Vocational education

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Education, Psychology, Human capital, False social norms, Marketing, American Dream

Number of pages: 1297

Publication year: 2007

Degree date: 2007

School code: 0053

Source: DAI-A 68/05, p. 1904, Nov 2007

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780549049432

Advisor: Geroy, Gary

University/institution: Colorado State University

University location: United States — Colorado

Degree: Ph.D.

Moral implications of Darwinian evolution for human preference based in Christian ethics: A critical analysis and response to the “moral individualism” of James Rachels

Author: Bauer, Stephen

Abstract: The topic. This dissertation explores and analyzes James Rachels’s efforts to prove that Darwin’s theory of evolution has catastrophic implications for traditional Christian ethics.

The purpose. The purpose of this dissertation is to explore and evaluate the question of whether or not protology affects ethics. In particular, I propose to distill the implications of evolutionary views of origins for ethics, mainly in reference to the issue of human preference over nature in ethics. I propose to disclose Rachels’s understanding of the implications of evolution on human preference (greater protections for human beings over non-humans) in ethics (such as biblical-Christian ethics), and to evaluate his views on the basis of his internal consistency, and the accuracy of his use of Christian history and biblical data.

The sources. In order to accomplish this purpose, many sources were consulted, starting with the works of Rachels himself. Some of the additional authors consulted include: J. V. Langmead Casserly, Richard Dawkins, Stephen J. Gould, John F. Haught, Cornelius Hunter, Jerry Korsmeyer, Andrew Linzey, John Rawls, Tom Regan, Lewis Regenstein, Michael Ruse, Richard Ryder, Peter Singer, Gerhard von Rad, Stephen Webb, Lynn White, Jr., and Benjamin Wiker.

Conclusions. First, James Rachels is essentially correct in his analysis of the impact of Darwinian evolution on Christian Ethics. Second, possibly Rachels’s greatest contribution is identifying Darwin’s rejection of teleology as the philosophical nerve of Darwinism. Third, Rachels correctly identifies two key pillars of human preference in Christian ethics and shows how evolution undermines each pillar. Fourth, the work of evolutionary theologians corroborate Rachels’s assertion that any kind of theism incorporating Darwin’s theory cannot sustain a traditional Christian view of morality. Fifth, the dependence of evolutionary theologians on Process Theology undermines the grounding of God’s moral authority by limiting His foreknowledge. Sixth, Wiker is correct in his assertion that cosmology affects morality, and that changing from a biblical cosmology to a materialist one will eventually undermine Christian ethics. Seventh, I conclude that in the evolutionary system, rights become grounded in individual functionality, whereas in Scripture they are granted by God, thus providing for them a more secure foundation.

Subject: Religion; Philosophy; Theology;

Classification: 0322: Religion;  0322: Philosophy;  0422: Philosophy;  0469: Theology

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Rachels, James, Moral individualism, Darwinian evolution, Human preference, Christian, Ethics

Pages: 387 p.

Number of pages: 387

Publication year: 2006

Degree date: 2006

School code: 0443

Source: DAI-A 68/01, Jul 2007

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

Advisor: Kis, Miroslav

University/institution: Andrews University

University location: United States — Michigan

Degree: Ph.D.

While this paper in itself seems a load of nonsense, (a meme does not have to be true to spread… Religions are memes) – it’s the first one I’ve seen in over 1000 Abstracts, with a Structured Abstract. So, it’s interesting for that reason.

“Mirror worlds”: Transpacific inspiration and mimetic rivalry in American and East Asian literature, 1945–2005

Author: Packer, Matthew J.

Abstract: One conspicuous trend during the world economy’s shift to the Pacific Rim in the late twentieth century has been the increased reciprocal inspiration and mimetic rivalry between American and East Asian cultures. For much of the past century, for example, the Japanese have been stereotyped as cultural copycats, when transpacific imitating actually has been mutual: as East Asians have looked to the West for models of development and the imagination, so have Americans looked to the Far East—as even representing the future, according to novelist William Gibson. Americans have drawn inspiration from Eastern aesthetics, while East Asians have copied Western technological models, so well even as to out-rival their model—evident in the intense competition between the United States and Japan in the electronics and car industries in the 1980s. In the digital era, the convergence of what philosopher Vilem Flüsser calls the “two peaks of civilization” (East and West) has accelerated and revealed, especially in China’s race to catch up with its Pacific competitors, how these cross-Pacific cultures are becoming the sort of homogeneous high-tech societies Gibson calls “mirror worlds.” But although mutual transpacific copying in architecture, cinema, fashion, design, music, television, technology—and literature—reminds the world of the essential role imitating plays in creative and aesthetic human endeavors, these phenomena in their rivalrous aspects—in the resurgence of nationalism, the disavowal of foreign influence, and the denial of imitation—show more crucially how mimesis affects human behaviors of acquisition: transpacific imitating highlights how desire itself depends on imitation and thus often leads to conflict. Since mimesis also is a literary, aesthetic preserve, the tensions of transpacific rivalry and the challenges of mimetic desire naturally register most vividly in literature of these West and East cultures, and the case studies in this work are of Japanese and western American poetry and fiction. Following an introduction to the mimetic theory advanced by René Girard and a survey of recent transpacific competition, the dissertation includes analyses of literary works by Don DeLillo, Yukio Mishima, Junichiro Tanizaki, Kenzaburo Oe, Jack Kerouac, Kenneth Rexroth, Gary Snyder, Richard Brautigan, Haruki Murakami, and William Gibson. I conclude by emphasizing how private, internal psychological conflicts and international, cross-cultural rivalries depend on mutual imitating and how important it is we come to understand the full implications of our technologically-enhanced capacity to imitate one another—whether in conflict or for positive change.

Subject: Comparative literature; Asian literature; American literature;

Classification: 0295: Comparative literature;  0305: Asian literature;  0591: American literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Transpacific, Inspiration, Rivalry, East Asian, Mimesis

Pages: 232 p.

Number of pages: 232

Publication year: 2006

Degree date: 2006

School code: 0256

Source: DAI-A 68/02, Aug 2007

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

Advisor: Markley, Robert

University/institution: West Virginia University

University location: United States — West Virginia

Degree: Ph.D.

Honouring mystery: The evolutionary fiction of Wayland Drew

Author: Belyea, Andy

Abstract: As the environmental crisis worsens, the time has never been more ripe for a scholarly reclamation of Ontario writer and environmental activist Wayland Drew (1932-1998), known only marginally by Canadian literary scholars for two novels: The Wabeno Feast (1973) and Halfway Man (1989). In addition to these works, Drew published a trilogy, The Erthring Cycle (1984-86), which explores environmental holocaust, and several ecological essays, travelogues, and other nonfictional works. Forming a unique genre of “evolutionary fiction” rooted in the sciences of ecology and evolution and in his intimate knowledge of traditional aboriginal land practices, Drew stands alone in the Canadian literary tradition for making the global environmental crisis the central focus of his writing. His fictional and nonfictional oeuvre launches an unremitting critique of the anthropocentric discourses of humanism and reductivist science, as well as the current debates about cultural identity politics, in the interest of highlighting the “mystery” of evolutionary and cosmological history and our responsibility, as the now-dominant species, to pursue homeostatic living in order to protect the planet for the future of all biotic life. Moreover, Drew recognizes the irony that our species is driven by instincts that, if left unchecked, ultimately may lead to biospheric ruin: human curiosity and an urge for “progress,” for instance, must be restrained if we are to safeguard the future of the planet. Drew argues with a voice unique in the tradition of Canadian Literature that humans must embrace their evolutionary inconsequentiality, and nurture their connections with other lifeforms (via a philosophy of “mutual aid”), as part of a broader survival strategy. His sustained argument is that not only Western nations but all of the Earth’s denizens need to undertake a radical epistemological shift if we are to survive.

Subject: Canadian literature; British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0352: Canadian literature;  0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Drew, Wayland, Evolutionary fiction

Number of pages: 287

Publication year: 2007

Degree date: 2007

School code: 0918

Source: DAI-A 70/07, Jan 2010

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780494493304

University/institution: University of Ottawa (Canada)

University location: Canada

Degree: Ph.D.

Characterization in American independent cinema

Author: Newman, Michael

Abstract: This dissertation explores how characters are constructed in general and how they function in contemporary American independent cinema, a body of films widely regarded as character-driven. Characterization is a process of social cognition: spectators seek to make sense of characters’ behavior by applying real-world skills and knowledge. Characters are sorted into types, with traits corresponding to the spectator’s categorization. Their mental states are inferred by the process of folk psychology and their personalities are constructed on the basis of the spectator’s attribution of their observed behavior to dispositions. Characters’ emotions are understood not only by the manipulation of facial and vocal expressions, but also according to narrative context. Narrative form and cinematic technique streamline characterization to make it more engaging.

In analyses of films including John Sayles’s Passion Fish , Todd Solondz’s Welcome to the Dollhouse, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Hard Eight , and Todd Haynes’s Safe , the dissertation explores the salience of character in American independent cinema. Independent cinema is understood as a mode parallel to Hollywood with its own set of viewing strategies. In contrast to Hollywood’s characterization, independent cinema’s is found to have complexity and dynamism, yet it is also found to have strategically shallow, unchanging characters in some important instances.

Subject: Motion pictures;

Classification: 0900: Motion pictures

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Cinema, Characterization, Independent cinema, John Sayles, Todd Solondz, Paul Thomas Anderson, Todd Haynes, Sayles, John, Solondz, Todd, Anderson, Paul Thomas, Haynes, Todd

Pages: 350 p.

Number of pages: 350

Publication year: 2005

Degree date: 2005

School code: 0262

Source: DAI-A 66/05, p. 1535, Nov 2005

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780542140235, 0542140233

Advisor: Bordwell, David

University/institution: The University of Wisconsin – Madison

University location: United States — Wisconsin

Degree: Ph.D.

The influence of globalization on ecological literacy in Japan

Author: Esposito, John

Abstract: Globalization, understood as an intensification of modernism, has, over the past fifty years in particular, been a powerful force for cultural change. This study examines how one aspect of globalization, Hollywood films, influences Japanese thinking as regards human-nature relationships. A critical discourse analysis of the most popular cinematic texts in Japan over a five-year period (1997-2001) uncovers the latent ideologies and messages linked to a modern worldview. In order to ascertain their influence, a descriptive survey of Japanese culture is undertaken. The modern perspective espoused in contemporary film texts is shown to be antithetical to traditional Japanese values based on an aesthetic appreciation of nature. A social analysis complemented by a focus group study of university students suggests that a modernist ideology and its attendant value system are slowly permeating the collective mindset of the Japanese people. Evidence for a concomitant crisis in cultural values is found in linguistic, behavioral, and attitudinal changes that center on environmental issues. An holistic approach to curricular reform that grounds ecological principles in traditional perceptions of nature is proffered as a way of countering exogenous influences while restoring a sense of balance to the culture-ecosystem.

Subject: Educational sociology; Motion Pictures; Environmental science;

Classification: 0340: Educational sociology;  0900: Motion Pictures;  0768: Environmental science

Identifier / keyword: Health and environmental sciences, Communication and the arts, Education, Ecological literacy, Japan, Films, Globalization

Pages: 428 p.

Number of pages: 428

Publication year: 2003

Degree date: 2003

School code: 0051

Source: DAI-A 64/07, p. 2442, Jan 2004

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

Advisor: Kraft, Richard J

University/institution: University of Colorado at Boulder

University location: United States — Colorado

Degree: Ph.D.

Rethinking the origins of public opinion: An analysis of nation and race in Harwood Childs’ Princeton public opinion syllabus, 1886 to 1933

Author: Bradshaw, Katherine Anne

Abstract: This dissertation is a close reading of a selection of articles from Harwood Childs’ Princeton University syllabus published in 1934. Childs founded Public Opinion Quarterly and taught one of the first university classes in the public opinion. His syllabus is considered the canon of the emerging field. The public opinion literature is recounted as a narrative called the Received Tradition of Public Opinion. Critics of polling are reviewed. The content of the articles are read through the lenses of historical understanding, and recent race and nation scholarship.

Today, the dominant understanding of the concept of public opinion is that public opinion is what polls measure in a manner similar to one-person, one vote. Most people see public opinion polls as a way for people to make their views known to lawmakers and to each other. The literature places the beginning of the study of public opinion in 1936 and 1937. In November 1936, George Gallup correctly predicted Franklin D. Roosevelt’s election as president and the Literary Digest did not. In January 1937, Public Opinion Quarterly first was published.

Those who recount the story of the field emphasize the democratic potential of polling. They tell a progress story culminating with Gallup’s (and others) polling on social issues. The common men responding to polls are wise. However, those who have explained the history of public opinion as polling have overlooked or misunderstood the literature written before the claimed founding.

This analysis of the canon of public opinion shows the common man is not wise. The common man needed instruction by his betters in order to save democracy. The common man was seen as dangerous or irrational and as easily led.

At the least, this dissertation gives support to the critic’s claims that public opinion polling diminishes dissent. The image of a homogeneous united nation of equal responding individual citizens in poll results is at odds with the perception of the nation and its citizens before 1936. Race still matters, even if we have forgotten the assumption of stratification of human beings by nationality as when the term nation was inflected with race. Thinking of public opinion as poll results makes it more difficult to see social stratification and interests that make material differences to people. The success of public opinion as polling and the pollsters’ claims to serve democracy covers relations of power previously visible. The authors of the articles published 1886 to 1934 had no doubts that a few should lead because the many were incompetent. This dissertation suggests Gallup’s claim to make the voice of the common man heard was perhaps not an advocacy of democratic practice, but rather a clever use of “popular dogma” to promote his polls to newspapers and readers.

Subject: Mass media; Education history; American studies; Social research;

Classification: 0708: Mass media;  0520: Education history;  0323: American studies;  0344: Social research

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Social sciences, Education, New Jersey, Public opinion, Nation, Race, Syllabus, Childs, Harwood, Princeton University, Polling

Pages: 274 p.

Number of pages: 274

Publication year: 2001

Degree date: 2001

School code: 0128

Source: DAI-A 62/07, p. 2273, Jan 2002

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493331003, 049333100X

Advisor: Davenport, Lucinda D

University/institution: Michigan State University

University location: United States — Michigan

Degree: Ph.D.

The Horned God: A historical survey of its iconography in the West

Author: Lee, Kelly Gabriel

Abstract: Examines one of the most prevalent images found in perhaps every culture worldwide, in which human and animal attributes are combined and regarded as divine. Representations of this possibly archetypal figure characteristically possess the horns of a bull, goat, ram, or related animal, or else the antlers of a stag. Prominent examples include the “shamanic” figures found in Paleolithic sanctuaries; Greek gods Pan and Dionysus; the Minotaur; Proto-Shiva of the Indus Valley; Celtic god Cernunnos; and the Devil. Also investigates the worship of horned animals, including mythological creatures (e.g., the unicorn or horned serpent), as well as the signification of horns themselves.

Demonstrates that iconography of the Horned God in the West is found not only in prehistoric, ancient, and traditional religion or mythology, but has persisted through the centuries up through the 20th. Chronologically traces subject in its many manifestations from its initial appearance in prehistory through contemporary times. Cultural areas examined: the Paleolithic; Neolithic; Near East; Egypt; India; Crete; Greece/Rome; Celtic/Nordic Europe; Early Christian era; Middle Ages; Mannerism to Neoclassicism; Romanticism; Victorian era; Modern era; Indigenous America; Folk traditions and subcultures. Method adopted is iconographic/iconologic, in which the various images of the Horned God as well as their underlying meaning are examined. Focuses primarily on pictorial representation, but also includes literary depictions, beginning with classical literature. Modern horned gods include those found in the performing arts, film, and popular culture, as well as visual arts and literature.

Two primary areas of inquiry are pursued: (1) the dominant or significant cultural factors (social structure, religious and philosophical views, historical events, psychological attitudes, artistic values) that have contributed to a particular image of the Horned God; and (2) the essential nature of the Horned God.

Concluding analysis argues that representations of the Horned God found in a particular time and place not only express a culture’s response toward “animal nature,” but more significantly, disclose the dynamics of certain underlying tensions or polarities (“the zoocentric”, “the divine,” “the anthropocentric,” and “the diabolic”) that can be seen to determine many of humankind’s underlying concerns.

Subject: Art History; History; Cultural anthropology;

Classification: 0377: Art History;  0578: History;  0326: Cultural anthropology

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Social sciences

Pages: 1397 p.

Number of pages: 1397

Publication year: 1994

Degree date: 1994

School code: 0392

Source: DAI-A 56/05, p. 1562, Nov 1995

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

Advisor: Kremer, Jurgen

University/institution: California Institute of Integral Studies

University location: United States — California

Degree: Ph.D.

SYSTEMS

Hopeful monsters: Literary complexity and contemporary narratives of information

Author: House, Richard Arthur

Abstract: Analogies between objects of literary study and the phenomena investigated by the scientific disciplines have shaped the modern definition of literary studies, particularly since Romanticism produced the modern definition of literature and its organic-formalist heirs, the New Critics, defined the postulates and methodologies characterizing literary reading. Contemporary formalisms in the mathematical and natural sciences, however, have posited a more extensive isomorphism between cultural productions and the natural systems from which they emerge. The mathematical theory of information developed by Claude Shannon, Norbert Wiener, and other researchers in cybernetics theorizes information as an ontological category in which literary language can be categorized and analyzed as communicative systems equivalent in their operations to organic structures and artificial automata. Subsequent programs in cybernetics, such as the autopoietic theory of Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela and current research at the Santa Fe Institute, have developed from such formal equivalence among systems a far-reaching interpretation of the origins and organization of systems in both nature and culture. This interpretation, stressing the autotelic qualities of such systems, has produced new metanarratives of historical development in which the autonomous closure of cultural systems is portrayed as a natural expression of history’s obedience to fundamental laws.

This dissertation investigates the insights into literary reading made possible by the formalisms of information theory, and particularly by the notion that apparent textual noise can produce new information when read in the context of a larger systemic level. However, it resists the conclusion that these productions of meaning testify to the systemic coherence or closure of texts or the cultures that they render. This argument is pursued through the investigation of encyclopedic narratives, which have been credited with the ability to produce total representations of cultural systems through their citations of discourses in which knowledge is produced. My argument–developed in readings of Joyce’s Finnegans Wake , Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow , and Kathy Acker’s Empire of the Senseless –is that such citation might be more productively viewed as a practice in which the information and noise constituting culture are exposed to stochastic interactions and transformations yielding unpredictable events in cultural history.

Subject: British and Irish literature; American literature;

Classification: 0593: British and Irish literature;  0591: American literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Joyce, James, Ireland, Pynchon, Thomas, Acker, Kathy, Information, James Joyce, Thomas Pynchon, Kathy Acker, Literary complexity

Pages: 290 p.

Number of pages: 290

Publication year: 2000

Degree date: 2000

School code: 0030

Source: DAI-A 61/07, p. 2730, Jan 2001

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780599871267, 0599871261

Advisor: Clark, Michael P

University/institution: University of California, Irvine

University location: United States — California

Degree: Ph.D.

Organization and organizations: Volitional evolution and a quadrinary approach

Author: Gibbs, Travis R

Abstract: This study is a theoretical inquiry which suggests that the way information is organized and the way organizational structures arise are a result of the creative interaction between individuals, culture, biology, and environment. These four elements represent a Quadrinary System of development and transformation. It is suggested that the interaction between these elements operates as a result of consciousness, and that the evolution of these elements, their creation, development, and transformation, is the result of volition and not just random mutation and natural selection. Furthermore, it is suggested that the search for truth is, instead, really a search for accepted, cohesive explanations; that the pursuit of science is really an explanation based on the human default mode of determinism and organizational imperatives; that determinism and choice interact in the creation of realities; that validation of scientific inquiry is based on the concept of construct validity, which itself is a creative endeavor; that the scientific search for answers, as in the study of evolution, physics, and cosmology, points to the dynamic nature of rhythms, energy, and consciousness; and that the attempt to apply knowledge without considering the four elements of the Quadrinary System–without considering the creative , and not just the discovered , nature of reality–chains humanity to the past as the most powerful determiner of the present and the future. Lastly, volition, creation, and the Quadrinary System are applied to organizational structures, specifically examining organizational considerations such as decision making, leadership, learning, conflict, development, and transformation. It is suggested that effective creation considers and honors the rhythm of rest as well as the rhythm of doing.

Subject: Occupational psychology; Social structure;

Classification: 0624: Occupational psychology;  0700: Social structure

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Psychology, Organizations, Volitional evolution, Quadrinary

Pages: 230 p.

Number of pages: 230

Publication year: 2001

Degree date: 2001

School code: 1033

Source: DAI-B 61/12, p. 6745, Jun 2001

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493058597, 0493058591

Advisor: Williams, M Willson

University/institution: The Union Institute

University location: United States — Ohio

Degree: Ph.D.

Applications of multilevel selection theory to human business organizations

Author: Kniffin, Kevin Michael

Abstract: Multilevel selectionists advocate a framework that tests for selection at multiple levels of organization. This approach contrasts with alternative proposals such as “selfish gene theory” that contend that selection occurs at only one level of organization. This thesis reviews earlier applications of multilevel selection theory to human social groups, and outlines an approach that is specific to the study of human business organizations. I present findings from an original case study involving a sample of small firms competing in a shared market, and argue that such context-specific tests are necessary to develop a pluralistic evolutionary framework for the study of business organizations. The case study tests two general hypotheses derived from multilevel selection theory. First, I consider whether there exists important variation at the level of firms. Second, I test for relationships between inter-firm variation and measures of firm performance. Significant between-firm differences are reported with regard to the prosocial and antisocial orientations of firm employees. Additionally, significant relationships are reported between measures of firm performance and variable degrees of prosocial values. These findings support the notion that selection at the level of the firm does occur in the environment considered by the case study. This conclusion has relevance for firm operations as much as it bears importance to debates among evolutionary scientists whether such firm-level selection in fact occurs.

Subject: Cultural anthropology; Physical anthropology; Management; Hypotheses; Theory;

Classification: 0326: Cultural anthropology;  0327: Physical anthropology;  0454: Management

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Multilevel selection, Business, Organizations, Firm-level selection

Pages: 201 p.

Number of pages: 201

Publication year: 2002

Degree date: 2002

School code: 0792

Source: DAI-A 63/03, p. 1024, Sep 2002

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493618319, 0493618317

Advisor: Wilson, David Sloan

University/institution: State University of New York at Binghamton

University location: United States — New York

Degree: Ph.D.

Chaos and the microcosm: Literary ecology in the nineteenth-century

Author: Scott, Heidi Cathryn Molly

Abstract: This dissertation investigates literary responses to environmental change in nineteenth-century England. Two tropes, chaos in narrative and the microcosm in lyric poetry, suggest how literary works may have been precursors of ecological science. I argue that literary epistemology in the long nineteenth-century developed precocious theories of the way nature operates based on contingent narrative and microcosm systems. These ideas were adopted as empirical strategies once scientific ecology emerged in the twentieth-century, and both tropes are prominent in twenty-first century ecological science. Ecology appeared late among scientific disciplines partly because it relies on cooperation between reduction and holism: climate change theory, for example, uses microcosm models to develop narratives of environmental contingency. Five chapters consider these two tropes from historical, literary, and scientific perspectives. The first chapter is a historical introduction to nineteenth-century science that traces the development of environmental awareness from industrial pollution and early studies of nature in microcosm, especially in the work of Charles Darwin and Stephen Forbes. Chapter two investigates four narratives of environmental chaos spanning the long nineteenth-century: Gilbert White, Mary Shelley, Richard Jefferies and H.G. Wells emplot the radical new notion of a post-apocalypse environment in narratives that rely on chaotic discontinuity, rather than the coherent gradualism that marked evolutionary theories of the time. Chapter three examines microcosmic imagery in the work of several important poets, including William and Dorothy Wordsworth, John Clare, Percy Shelley, and Matthew Arnold. I argue that the imagination and close observation of nineteenth-century poets helped the nascent sciences conceive of ways to simplify nature without dismembering its complex structures. Chapter four, devoted to the ecological thinking of John Keats, traces his abandonment of teleological narrative in Hyperion in preference for the microcosmic Odes. Finally, chapter five reconciles the two tropes with an excursion into modern ecosystem science, paying particular attention to our contemporary strategies for investigating climate change. This chapter serves as a summation of the dissertation by complicating the dichotomy between chaotic narrative and model-microcosm, and it brings the study into concerns of the present day.

Subject: Ecology; Science history; British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0329: Ecology;  0585: Science history;  0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Biological sciences, Climate change, Ecocriticism, Environmentalism, Epistemology, Industrialism, Romanticism, Nineteenth century

Number of pages: 295

Publication year: 2009

Degree date: 2009

School code: 0117

Source: DAI-A 70/06, Dec 2009

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781109202427

Advisor: Fraistat, Neil

Committee member: Fahnestock, Jeanne, Wang, Orrin, Rudy, Jason, Darden, Lindley

University/institution: University of Maryland, College Park

Department: English Language and Literature

University location: United States — Maryland

Degree: Ph.D.

Network theory and the environment: Understanding human connections to nature

Author: Uzzo, Stephen Miles

Abstract: Sustainability of the human species and the natural systems on which we depend are increasingly at risk. New ways of living sustainably and understanding the human relationship to Nature are needed to assure a future, both for humanity and the living systems in which we exist. The science of complex networks (also known as the “science of networks” or “network science”) is an emerging discipline of increasing importance to understanding interactions within both human and natural systems, but it has not yet been adequately used toward improving the understanding of sustainability and the human place in Nature. Because human-Nature interactions are complex, the study of complex networks may yield the most useful methods and ideas for improving the influence on, and understandings of these relationships. Through a qualitative metastudy of ninety interdisciplinary network studies, a series of key concepts relevant to understanding the intersection of natural and cultural systems is extracted and used to identify important areas of research. They include: (1) The relationship between wholeness and network hierarchy, in particular, how roles of smaller scale systems change when seen functioning within larger scale systems. (2) Network evolution, in particular how nodes with high degree distribution migrate from one part of the network to another through either reciprocity or high link cost over time. (3) Interaction amongst scales of trophic webs, in particular the relationship between local and regional trophic webs. (4) A systematization of network hierarchy and heterarchy[JTV1] , in particular, the interaction amongst individual, cultural, and natural systems (coadaptation).

These concepts comprise a series of tools, which will contribute to advancement of the study for the human interaction with Nature, resulting in improved understanding of the human relationship with Nature, and potentially more durable solutions to problems of sustainability and the human relationship to Nature.

Keywords . complex networks, environment, qualitative metastudy, science of networks, Nature, tektology.

Subject: Ecology; Environmental science;

Classification: 0329: Ecology;  0768: Environmental science

Identifier / keyword: Health and environmental sciences, Biological sciences, Complex networks, Network theory, Environment, Nature

Number of pages: 358

Publication year: 2007

Degree date: 2007

School code: 1414

Source: DAI-B 68/03, Sep 2007

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

Advisor: Fenner, Peter

University/institution: Union Institute and University

University location: United States — Ohio

Degree: Ph.D.

Leaders vs. Managers: It is not what you think

Author: Richardson, James M.

Abstract: This study will argue, inconsistent with Cartesian and Newtonian dynamics, that the constellations of behavior recognized as leadership and management emerged from, and are sustained by, a dynamical, interdependent, and complex autopoietic system consistent with the demands of biological evolution. This study will develop leaders and managers as archetypal, representing archetypes as specific bundles of behavior. These archetypes, leadership and management, will be examined as representative of behavioral environmental adaptations that emerged as a result of the coevolutionary relationship that subsumes the biological system and the environment. As archetypes leadership and management behavior will be developed as resulting from genetics rather than environmental influence.

The study will argue further, consistent with the dictates of the new emerging quantum science that the system supporting leadership and management emerged from, and is representative of, a greater physical system that subsumes all things, the animate and the inanimate, in a web of interdependence. The evidence that a hidden order is at work involving both physics and biology will be examined from the perspective of the leadership and management archetype.

The research will conclude both leadership and management represent evolutionary archetypes, that they are interdependent, embedded in the genetic system, and, working in tandem they comprise an autopoietic system, a system that mirrors the influence of the greater physical system in a self-similar, biofractal like fashion. The research will rely on well accepted and emerging theory in quantum physics, biology, physical and cultural anthropology and psychology to support its conclusions.

Subject: Physical anthropology; Genetics; Psychology;

Classification: 0327: Physical anthropology;  0369: Genetics;  0621: Psychology

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Psychology, Biological sciences, Managers, Autopoietic systems, Leaders, Universal culture, Evolutionary biology, Archetypes

Number of pages: 200

Publication year: 2007

Degree date: 2007

School code: 6009

Source: DAI-A 68/06, Dec 2007

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780549113287

Advisor: Canady, Robert

University/institution: Pepperdine University

University location: United States — California

Degree: Ed.D.

The politics of game theory: Mathematics and Cold War culture

Author: Erickson, Paul

Abstract: Today, game theory—loosely defined as the mathematics of rational decision-making by interacting individuals—is central to our current understanding of capitalist markets, the evolution of social behavior in animals, and the ethics of altruism and fairness in human beings. Yet contemporary game theory was largely forged in the context of America during the Cold War, and the theory spoke to the great problems of that time and place. Cold War intellectuals, from military planners to disarmament advocates, consistently turned to game theory for guidance in their debates on the nature of rationality, conflict, and cooperation in the thermonuclear age, and on the relationship between individuality and group conformity in an America menaced by communism and internal social divisions.

This dissertation examines the game-theoretic legacy of these debates. It argues that, when consulted on Cold War issues, game theory rarely spoke with one voice. Indeed, Cold War game theory led its practitioners to a greater appreciation of the ambiguities involved in any depiction of rational interaction. The unfolding of this process of discovery involved years of reflection, millions of dollars in research grants (from civilian and military funding agencies) and substantial disciplinary discord. As a result, the mantle of game theory was assumed by a wide variety of research traditions with very different epistemological, cultural, and even political commitments that endure to this day. This process has left behind a historical record that is an invaluable resource for us today as we contemplate the apparent triumph of the game as a tool for interrogating both human and natural orders.

Subject: Science history; American history;

Classification: 0585: Science history;  0337: American history

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Politics, Game theory, Mathematics, Cold War, Culture

Pages: 386 p.

Number of pages: 386

Publication year: 2006

Degree date: 2006

School code: 0262

Source: DAI-A 67/09, Mar 2007

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780542888175

Advisor: Mitman, Gregg

University/institution: The University of Wisconsin – Madison

University location: United States — Wisconsin

Degree: Ph.D.

A conceptual analysis of ecosystem health

Author: Milsky, Daniel Jay

Abstract: Systems ecology traces some of its origins to the work of Aldo Leopold and the move away from a resource conservation approach to ecosystem management. Leopold ushered in a model of land management based on concern for the health of the land. This notion of land health was rooted, for Leopold, in a systems ecological framework. The idea that humans are members of ecosystems is perfectly consistent with a systems theoretical view of ecosystem health.

Eric Katz and Robert Elliot both attack the idea that anthropogenic disturbances are natural and they further claim that anthropogenic disturbance in ecosystems undermine the natural values found in ecosystem. But these views are based on the establishment of a human/nature dichotomy–a dichotomy that is false. Recent models in theoretical ecology allow for a conception of ecosystems inclusive of human activity.

The health and function of ecosystems is measurable. An examination of Ascendency theory, Niche theory and Exergy theory illustrates the existence of potentially objective measures of ecosystem health and function. By assessing an ecosystem’s resilience, organization and vigor we get a picture of the overall health of an ecosystem. Over time, ecosystem health can be evaluated and the implications of disturbance and models for action can be assessed. One application of ecosystem health is that it will offer guidance for successful ecosystem restoration.

Subject: Philosophy; Environmental science;

Classification: 0422: Philosophy;  0768: Environmental science

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Health and environmental sciences, Ecosystem health, Restoration, Environmental ethics

Pages: 255 p.

Number of pages: 255

Publication year: 2004

Degree date: 2004

School code: 0799

Source: DAI-A 65/11, p. 4231, May 2005

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 0496149490, 9780496149490

Advisor: Hilbert, David

University/institution: University of Illinois at Chicago

University location: United States — Illinois

Degree: Ph.D.

Arming or disarming the literary canon: Tradition and innovation in the secondary English text-selection process

Author: Roberts, Susan Ragno

Abstract: This inquiry analyzed and interpreted the canon controversy and its role, if any, in the secondary English text-selection process for book-length works taught between 1985 and 1995. It looked at the sociocultural values that were in contention in the selection process, according to Victor Turner’s theory of social dramas. It also addressed tradition as process, according to Patricia Weibust’s theory of harmonic processes. Actual texts used between 1985 and 1995, when the canon controversy attained national prominence, were examined. These texts showed English departments dealing with both social and educational concerns. The literature utilized in the classroom thus contained insights into the contemporary canon controversy and its workings in secondary schools.

Detailed reading lists of book-length works used in secondary English classes from 1985 to 1995 were obtained, and English department heads and teaching staff were interviewed. The material from these reading lists and interviews was analyzed and compared to see values in contention. Through this analysis and examination, it was possible to discover harmonic processes involved in the canon controversy and in the text selection of book-length works in high schools in Hartford, Connecticut, and in the school districts of East Hartford, Glastonbury, Newington, South Windsor, West Hartford, Wethersfield, and Windsor, towns that are adjacent and contiguous to the Hartford school district and that were named in Sheff v. O’Neill .

This study discovered that the national canon controversy did not have any influence on department heads’ or teachers’ role or text choices in the text-selection process for book-length works. While most department heads were aware of the canon controversy, many teachers did not recognize the term or its significance. Evidence of social dramas and harmonic processes were at work in the text-selection process, and some non-canonical book-length works were allowed to enter the secondary reading canon through limens of literary opportunity.

Subject: Language arts; Secondary education;

Classification: 0279: Language arts;  0533: Secondary education

Identifier / keyword: Education, Literary canon, Tradition, Innovation, English, Text selection

Pages: 298 p.

Number of pages: 298

Publication year: 2002

Degree date: 2002

School code: 0056

Source: DAI-A 63/11, p. 3885, May 2003

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493909509, 0493909508

Advisor: Weibust, Patricia

University/institution: The University of Connecticut

University location: United States — Connecticut

Degree: Ph.D.

LINGUISTICS

Evolutionary perspectives on language: A twin study of adult foreign language learning ability

Author: Sheffield, Stephanie Deane

Abstract: In the first chapter, questions regarding the origins and evolution of language are discussed, along with methods for the investigation of such questions, including studies of fossils, archaeology, living primates, and modern human variation. In Chapter 2, primate communication studies, including laboratory and field studies of perception and call production are discussed; also discussed is the finding that primate (and other nonhuman) call perception is remarkably similar to human language sound perception. Ape language studies, as well as their possible relevance to origins of language and “humanness” are also discussed. In the third chapter, the heritability of language ability and disability is investigated, primarily through twin studies, and the conclusion reached that there is ample evidence for a genetic influence on variation in language ability, although this conclusion is based mainly on work with children. In chapter 4, first and second language acquisition are compared, and found to differ in many ways, but it is not clear whether they differ in some essential way or not. Critical periods for language learning are also discussed; it seems likely that different aspects of language learning occur with greatest facility at different times of life, with phonological skill declining first, well before puberty.

In the final chapters, the twin project is presented and discussed. The second language aptitude of 53 pairs of MZ and DZ twins was investigated using the MLAT (Modern Language Aptitude Test of Carroll and Sapon (1959)), a perception test (of discrimination of minimal contrast pairs), and a production test (of twins’ abilities to produce the minimal contrasts). An overall trend toward higher MZ than DZ intraclass correlations was found, but this trend was of statistical significance for the production test alone. There was a negative correlation between age and MLAT3, MLAT5 and production test scores. A questionnaire given to the twins showed high correlations between test scores and such things as foreign language class grades, self assessments of language learning ability, spelling ability and grammatical ability, and musical training and ability. These results and their implications for variation in language ability and its heritability were discussed.

Subject: Physical anthropology; Linguistics; Genetics; Educational psychology;

Classification: 0327: Physical anthropology;  0290: Linguistics;  0369: Genetics;  0525: Educational psychology

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Education, Language, literature and linguistics, Biological sciences, adult learners, language evolution, evolution, primate communication

Pages: 349 p.

Number of pages: 349

Publication year: 1993

Degree date: 1993

School code: 0028

Source: DAI-A 54/10, p. 3796, Apr 1994

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

University/institution: University of California, Berkeley

University location: United States — California

Degree: Ph.D.

Biological rationalism

Author: McKay, Steve

Abstract: I argue that contemporary philosophy of language in the analytic tradition rests on two fundamentally wrong assumptions: empiricism and externalism. After I show why these two assumptions are incorrect. I turn my attention to biological rationalism. Biological rationalism–a research program inspired by the work of Noam Chomsky–is committed to nativism and internalism. I believe biological rationalism provides the best framework to achieve a genuine understanding of language. I try to show this by considering the biological rationalist answers to major problems in philosophy of language.

Subject: Philosophy;

Classification: 0422: Philosophy

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Biological rationalism, Language, Nativism, Internalism, Chomsky, Noam

Number of pages: 401

Publication year: 2007

Degree date: 2007

School code: 0781

Source: DAI-A 70/04, Oct 2009

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780494479391

University/institution: McGill University (Canada)

University location: Canada

Degree: Ph.D.

Language evolution from a simulation perspective: On the coevolution of compositionality and regularity

Author: Gong, Tao

Abstract: The thesis presents a multi-agent computational model to explore a key question in language emergence, i.e., whether syntactic abilities result from innate, species-specific competences, or they evolve from domain-general abilities through gradual adaptations. The model simulates a process of coevolutionary emergence of two linguistic universals (compositionality, in the form of lexical items; and regularity, in the form of constitute word orders) in human language, i.e., the acquisition and conventionalization of these features coevolve during the transition from a holistic signaling system to a compositional language. It also traces a “bottom-up” process of syntactic development, i.e., agents, by reiterating local orders between two lexical items, can gradually form global order(s) to regulate multiple lexical items in sentences. These results suggest that compositionality, regularity, and correlated linguistic abilities could have emerged as a result of some domain-general abilities, such as pattern extraction and sequential learning.

In addition to individual learning mechanisms, the thesis further explores the effects of cultural transmission, social and semantic structures on language evolution. First, it simulates some major forms of cultural transmission, and discusses the role of conventionalization during horizontal transmission in language evolution. Second, it traces the emergence and maintenance of language in some stable social structures, and explores the role of popular agents in language evolution, the relationship between mutual understanding and social hierarchy, and the effect of exoteric communications on the convergence of communal languages. Finally, it studies language maintenance given different semantic spaces, and illustrates that the semantic structure may cause bias in the constituent word order, which can help to predict the word order bias in human languages. These explorations examine the role of self-organization in language evolution, provide some reconsideration on the bottleneck effect during cultural transmission, and shed light on the study of the social structure effects on language evolution.

Subject: Linguistics; Social structure; Computer science;

Classification: 0290: Linguistics;  0700: Social structure;  0984: Computer science

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Applied sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Language evolution, Computational simulation, Coevolution, Compositionality, Regularity

Number of pages: 346

Publication year: 2007

Degree date: 2007

School code: 1307

Source: DAI-A 69/01, Jul 2008

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780549401087

Advisor: Wang, William S-Y.

University/institution: The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)

University location: Hong Kong

Degree: Ph.D.

Trekking through space with Whorf: Language and spatial cognition

Author: Li, Peggy

Abstract: The Whorfian hypothesis, the thesis that the language one speaks has a strong and pervasive effect on the way one thinks, has returned to prominence after a period in intellectual limbo. Since languages differ in how they partition the spatial relationships into semantic categories, the spatial domain has become a popular test-bed for whether profound effects of language on thought exist. This dissertation takes up two such linguistic differences discussed in the current literature.

The first difference involves English and Korean, two languages that make crosscutting semantic partitions (Bowerman, 1996). For example, in English, “putting a block on a cardboard” and “putting a Lego on a Lego board” are described as events of “put on.” Events like “putting a cassette tape in its container” are described as “put in.” However, in Korean, the cassette and Lego events are described with the same verb “kkita” (to fit together tightly), whereas the block event is described by a different verb “nohta” (to place loosely on a flat surface). Therefore, English focuses on the support and containment relationships where Korean focuses on tightness and looseness. The Whorfian hypothesis predicts that Korean and English speakers would come to conceptualize and categorize spatial events differently. In the studies reported, Korean and English speakers categorized spatial actions. Participants’ performance on the various tasks did not always mirror their linguistic descriptions. In fact, Korean and English speakers often categorized events similarly.

The second difference involves languages’ preferences for the spatial frames of reference. Specifically, “relative” languages (e.g., English) prefer deictic or viewer-perspective frame of reference (“to the left”) and “absolute” languages (e.g., Tzeltal) prefer an externally referenced frame (“to the north”). Prior crosslinguistic studies (Brown &Levinson, 1993) showed that the spatial problem-solving strategies of “relative” and “absolute” language speakers differ. The current studies reproduced these different strategies in speakers of a single language (English) by manipulation landmark cues, suggesting that language itself may not be the original causal factor in choice of spatial perspective. The results of the two lines of studies are discussed in terms of the current debate on the relation of language to thought.

Subject: Cognitive therapy; Linguistics;

Classification: 0633: Cognitive therapy;  0290: Linguistics

Identifier / keyword: Psychology, Language, literature and linguistics, Spatial cognition, Linguistic relativity, Benjamin Lee Whorf, Whorf, Benjamin Lee, English, Korean, Tzeltal

Pages: 178 p.

Number of pages: 178

Publication year: 2002

Degree date: 2002

School code: 0175

Source: DAI-B 63/02, p. 1060, Aug 2002

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493578033, 049357803X

Advisor: Gleitman, Lila

University/institution: University of Pennsylvania

University location: United States — Pennsylvania

Degree: Ph.D.

The other within the self: Bilinguals and the construction of emotions

Author: Panayiotou, Alexia

Abstract: My research examines bilingual/bicultural people’s experiences of emotions and how these experiences are connected to the larger debate on the cross-cultural variation of emotions. In this study involving ten Greek/English bilinguals I asked: (1a) Are there emotion terms that are specific to Greek and to English and are therefore untranslatable? (1b) Are there differences in the cultural meaning of linguistically translatable and apparently common emotion terms (such as anger, guilt, shame, love)? (2) Does one’s experience of emotions shift when language shifts?

Three data collection methods were used to address my research questions: (1) semi-structured interviews in both languages; (2) scenarios that elicit emotional responses; and (3) lists of emotions that participants were asked to translate. Since I am focusing on the manifestation of linguistic phenomena, I used a case-study approach in which the primary focus was the language used by the respondents. In this respect, my analysis lies within the framework of discursive and cultural psychology which sees linguistic phenomena as constitutive of social reality and emotions as “psychologically equivalent to statements” (Harré and Gillett, 1994).

My main findings are: (1) certain emotion terms exist only in Greek or English and are therefore untranslatable; and (2) there are emotion terms, that, although linguistically translatable, are culturally un -translatable, i.e., the cultural significance they carry differs in the cultures examined. These conclusions are consistent with the literature on the socio-cultural construction of emotions; however, this literature is problematic in two ways: (1) the field lacks standards for comparing emotion terms, so the conclusions on the cross-cultural variation of emotions are often challenged; (2) the samples of subjects and situations used in cross-cultural research are rarely equivalent . The use of bilingual informants in this research overcomes some of these methodological problems. Bilinguals, as people who cross physical, linguistic and cultural boundaries, offer an optimal cross-cultural comparison of emotion terms because they subjectively experience two languages and two cultures.

Furthermore, the contribution of this research to the literature on emotions is not only the finding that certain emotion terms are linguistically and culturally untranslatable, but also the exploration of how language and experience are intertwined–to the extent that emotional experience shifts when language shifts.

Subject: Social psychology; Developmental psychology;

Classification: 0451: Social psychology;  0620: Developmental psychology

Identifier / keyword: Psychology, Other, Self, Bilinguals, Emotions, Greek-English bilinguals

Pages: 300 p.

Number of pages: 300

Publication year: 2001

Degree date: 2001

School code: 0084

Source: DAI-B 62/11, p. 5431, May 2002

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493476865, 0493476865

Advisor: Gilligan, Carol

University/institution: Harvard University

University location: United States — Massachusetts

Degree: Ed.D.

Sign-sentence theory: A method of encoding and decoding nonverbal communication

Author: Frazier, Phylis Jones

Abstract: Sign-sentence theory is developed as a translating and decoding method for nonverbal communication. The theory incorporates those of White (1982) and Carroll (1986), and draws support from Vygotsky (1934/1962). White’s theory parallels the phases of development of human infants with other mammalians providing a phylogenetic origin of communication. Carroll’s theory shows congruence in the communication of infants and gives evidence of the translating of nonverbal statements to verbal statements by the child him/herself in development. This translating technique is presented with the socio-historical support of Vygotsky’s theory (1934/1962) and the linguistic research of Hirsh-Pasek and Golinkoff (1991) as evidence to support the decoding of samples of nonverbal communication of children. Three studies are provided: One preschool laboratory observational study; one decoding study of a nonverbal dance in a children’s reading group recorded by McDermott, Gospodinoff, and Aron (1981); and one adult-infant interaction recorded by Braunwald (1983). This new theory brings insight to the origin of communication and language. It can provide an efficient decoding device for researchers in the field of communication and related fields who study child language.

Subject: Communication; Linguistics; Preschool education; Developmental psychology;

Classification: 0459: Communication;  0290: Linguistics;  0518: Preschool education;  0620: Developmental psychology

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Education, Psychology, Language, literature and linguistics

Pages: 171 p.

Number of pages: 171

Publication year: 1997

Degree date: 1997

School code: 0169

Source: DAI-A 57/11, p. 4594, May 1997

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780591201901, 0591201909

Advisor: Friedrich, Gustav

University/institution: The University of Oklahoma

University location: United States — Oklahoma

Degree: Ph.D.

GENERAL CONSILIENCE-RELATED DISSERTATIONS

Consilient cognitive literary studies

Author: Slimak, Louis J.

Abstract: Literary studies, as they exist currently, is a tripartite entity. The majority of scholarship produced is literary interpretation of specific texts. Second to interpretation is the production of “theory,” those theoretical paradigms which help guide specific interpretations. There is also scholarship that concerns itself with the empirical investigation of the relationship between reader and text. Not only must these three areas of literary studies become more closely integrated, but they must also become consilient with contemporary knowledge being produced in the sciences, particularly the psychological and cognitive sciences. Interpretation of contemporary authors like Ian McEwan and Richard Powers becomes enriched by an engagement with current cognitive neuroscience, literary theory, like reader response theory and reception theory, becomes hypothesis driven and responsible to developments in the psychology of memory and discourse processing, and the empirical work already being done in literary studies is brought into contact with other disciplines where it can be understood in a wider context. Lastly, consilient cognitive literary studies have direct implications on pedagogical approaches to literature.

Subject: Literature; Cognitive psychology;

Classification: 0401: Literature;  0633: Cognitive psychology

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Psychology, Author, Cognitive, Conflation, Consilience, Empirical, Narrator

Number of pages: 273

Publication year: 2012

Degree date: 2012

School code: 0183

Source: DAI-A 74/04(E), Oct 2013

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781267776389

Advisor: Palmer, William J., Schneider, Ryan

Committee member: Leverage, Paula, Karpicke, Jeff

University/institution: Purdue University

Department: English

University location: United States — Indiana

Degree: Ph.D.

Adaptive rhetoric: Evolution, culture, and the art of persuasion

Author: Parrish, Alex Cortney

Abstract: This work presents a case for the biocultural study of rhetoric. Following in the tradition of E.O.Wilson’s ‘consilient’ program of research into evolution and the arts, I combine the study of biology and culture to create a more complete view of rhetorical theory and practice. This approach entails two related ideas. First, that the human brain evolved to meet the environmental challenges it faced during its period of greatest expansion–the Pleistocene epoch, when it tripled in size. Language, culture, art (including the art of persuasion) are behaviors that help us adapt to our needs as social animals, and must be considered when studying rhetorical practice. A biocultural view emphasizes both specific historical practices shaped by culture and the constraints our physical bodies place on us as rhetors. The second idea a biocultural approach entails is that animal rhetorics should be viewed as analogues or even evolutionary precursors to certain human persuasive activities, allowing us to gather information about the origins of these activities.

A naturalistic view of rhetoric is not alien to the discipline. It has merely been neglected in recent decades. Classical rhetoric provides many examples of naturalistic inquiry and inklings of what today is called a biocultural approach. Even some modern rhetoricians, like Kenneth Burke and George Kennedy, have based their views of rhetoric on knowledge gained from evolutionary biology.

It is thus important to reconcile rhetorical theory with current work in the life sciences. I argue that animal signaling theory is a useful starting point, and that the art of persuasion is a special type of animal signaling. Human rhetorics are heavily dependent on our ability to attribute feelings and beliefs to others, what evolutionary psychologists call our theory of mind. The final chapter of this work applies key concepts from evolutionary psychology to the rhetorical canon memoria , in order to demonstrate the utility of this biocultural approach to rhetorical theory. This offers us a more complete picture of rhetoric as a set of behaviors guided by both nature and nurture, allowing us to see beyond what is often presented as a rigid dichotomy.

Subject: Evolution and Development; Cognitive psychology; Rhetoric;

Classification: 0412: Evolution and Development;  0633: Cognitive psychology;  0681: Rhetoric

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Biological sciences, Psychology, Adaptive rhetoric, Biocultural paradigm, Consilience, Evolution, Rhetoric, Rhetoric of science

Number of pages: 178

Publication year: 2012

Degree date: 2012

School code: 0251

Source: DAI-A 73/11(E), May 2013

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781267476944

Advisor: Arola, Kristin

Committee member: Stiles, Anne, Olson, Wendy, Menchaca, David, Scalise-Sugiyama, Michelle

University/institution: Washington State University

Department: English

University location: United States — Washington

Degree: Ph.D.

Nietzsche and transmodernism: Art and science beyond the modern in Joyce, Stevens, Pynchon, and Kubrick

Author: Marvin, John

Abstract: Nietzsche the philologist was educated to be a close reader of literature, language, and culture, and even the cosmos. At each level of criticism his questions led him to the next; literary, linguistic, social, and ultimately, cosmic. His aerie was built upon the summit of late 19 th century Western Culture, and from its height he believed he saw the beginning of a paradigm upon which to build another, perhaps better, at least civilized world view on the foundation of what he had learned from the glory of the Presocratic Greeks, the brilliance of the Renaissance, and the power of the means of discovery afforded by science, all under the guidance of art.

I argue that Nietzsche’s critical theory can be refined by updating to include 20th century scientific developments; that some modernist artists seem to have been doing something like that updating in their work; that his ideas are reflected, whether by coincidence or design, in their work; and that science as reported in texts written by scientists for laymen, seems to be embarked upon a similar quest. The belief that art and science can, actually must, combine in order for humanity to survive the crises of the fall of the West and modernity is the foundation of what I call transmodernism.

The three initial chapters concentrate on Nietzsche the critic: literary, cultural, and cosmic; Nietzsche’s criticism and 20th century science as parts of the rhetoric human survival; and the meaning of transmodernism relative to Nietzschean ideas. The final four chapters read four texts to show the development of Nietzschean ideas along with art and science through the 20th century through modernism and postmodernism toward transmodernism. The texts read are Finnegans Wake emphasizing James Joyce’s “litter” leitmotif, Wallace Steven’s Notes toward a Supreme Fiction, Gravity’s Rainbow and Thomas Pynchon’s version of a many worlds interpretation of reality, and Stanley Kubrick’s vision of human evolution as husbandry in 2001: A Space Odyssey .

Subject: Literature; British and Irish literature; American literature; Motion pictures;

Classification: 0298: Literature;  0593: British and Irish literature;  0591: American literature;  0900: Motion pictures

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Language, literature and linguistics, Transmodernism, Art, Science, Friedrich Nietzsche, James Joyce, Ireland, Wallace Stevens, Thomas Pynchon, Stanley Kubrick, Nietzsche, Friedrich, Joyce, James, Stevens, Wallace, Pynchon, Thomas, Kubrick, Stanley

Pages: 201 p.

Number of pages: 201

Publication year: 2004

Degree date: 2004

School code: 0656

Source: DAI-A 65/10, p. 3801, Apr 2005

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780496105052, 0496105051

Advisor: Conte, Joseph

University/institution: State University of New York at Buffalo

University location: United States — New York

Degree: Ph.D.

God’s in his lab and all’s right with the world: Depictions of science in 19th century American literature

Author: King, Laurel Allison

Abstract: Over the more than three and half centuries of American literature, the modes of investigation that we now include under the heading “science” have radically changed, as has literature. Up through the beginning of the nineteenth century, literature and science were understood as parts of a unitary endeavor, but by mid-century they had diverged. Science became the province of the professional, while concurrently poets, novelists, and other imaginative writers asserted the autonomy of their art. Despite moving in different directions, science and literature have continued to speak with one another in ways that have helped to shape each. Historians have learned to approach science as only one among other social constructs, and so the subject has been opened to the sort of critical analysis directed at any form of cultural expression. As Clifford Geertz observes, “If like everything else cultural–art, ideology, religion, common sense–science is something hammered together in some place to some purpose by partisans and devotees, it is, like everything else cultural, subject to questioning why it has been built in the way that it has. If knowledge is made, its making can be looked into.” Since American writers have explored the meanings of science and its offshoot technology, literature offers us multiple new perspectives on science as a cultural expression, and marker for change.

Representations of the scientist in American 19th C. literature trace the literary imagination of society, and explore the extension of boundaries from the factual to the imaginative. These points of exchange between science and literature also provide alternative purposes for science in fiction, and identify the issues of morality behind science. They examine the laws that society has set around science in literature, exploring the role of science in legal proceedings, and finally science’s responsibility to humanity. They also delineate an intellectual trajectory of the culture–the fascinating advance from science as magic to science as a respected profession, and posit 20th C. extrapolations of the science as savior by replacing God.

Subject: American literature; Science history;

Classification: 0591: American literature;  0585: Science history

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Nineteenth century, Science, Legal proceedings, Literary imagination

Pages: 228 p.

Number of pages: 228

Publication year: 2000

Degree date: 2000

School code: 0250

Source: DAI-A 61/06, p. 2301, Dec 2000

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780599817371, 0599817372

Advisor: Searle, Leroy F

University/institution: University of Washington

University location: United States — Washington

Degree: Ph.D.

Brainpower: Intelligence in American culture from Einstein to the egghead

Author: Lecklider, Aaron S.

Abstract: This dissertation investigates the cultural politics of intelligence in the United States between 1919 and 1960. Represented alternately–and sometimes congruently–as a threat to democracy, a working class weapon, an imperialist tool, and a signifier of gender transgression, intelligence precipitated tremendous political controversy in these decades. The study begins with Einstein’s appearance in American popular culture following the scientific confirmation of relativity, a development that signaled an opportunity for ordinary Americans to access the cultural capital necessary for negotiating the modern world. The dissertation concludes with the origination of the egghead in the 1950s, a caricature of intellectuals that embodied elitist and un-American ideals in the guise of liberalism. The emergence of representations that envisaged intelligent citizens as dangerously elite and subverting gender norms shifted the language of populism away from discussions of class and power and towards a suspicion of rogue intellect–while also enjoining Americans to conform to conservative models of identity. Yet in spite of these imperatives, marginalized Americans continued to deploy counter-representations of intelligence that supplemented and shaped their demands for equality.

Although twentieth-century Americans conceived many pivotal historical actors–scientists and radicals, Brain Trusters and eggheads–as “too smart,” many others appeared equally dangerous–or advantageous–because they were just smart enough. This project employs an interdisciplinary method to argue that debates over the hyper-intelligent were part of a broader cultural dialogue about the intelligence of average Americans. During the first half of the twentieth century, ordinary intelligence was represented as useful for expanding the political tools of the working class, promoting democracy, and asserting the global hegemony of American culture. By interpreting cultural artifacts such as Tin Pan Alley songs, WPA posters, Cold War science fiction, popular magazine articles, World War II government photographs, and workers education pamphlets, this thesis contends that the contest over intelligence in American culture has comprised a battle over who defines intelligence and who benefits from it rather than a mere contest over who has the most brains. This dissertation challenges scholarship that limits intelligence to the study of intellectuals and uncovers the political stakes in twentieth-century representations.

Subject: American studies; American history;

Classification: 0323: American studies;  0337: American history

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Cold War, Einstein, Albert, Albert Einstein, Intelligence, Culture, Egghead

Number of pages: 348

Publication year: 2007

Degree date: 2007

School code: 0017

Source: DAI-A 68/04, Oct 2007

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

Advisor: Schulman, Bruce J.

University/institution: Boston University

University location: United States — Massachusetts

Degree: Ph.D.

It came from the laboratory: Scientific professionalization and images of the scientist in British fiction, from “Frankenstein” to World War I

Author: MacWilliams, Alison Bright

Abstract: While inklings of the movement to professionalize science can be seen in Britain in the eighteenth century, the real push came around 1830 with the creation of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Subsequent changes in the social position of science over the course of the century were dramatic. Using examples drawn from popular, genre, and “literary” fiction, as well as commentary from scientists, this dissertation examines the public reaction to the process of professionalization in nineteenth century Britain by studying how scientists were portrayed in fiction. What emerges is a dynamic conversation between scientists and authors. The emphasis put on public funding and support necessitated that scientists engage in a dialogue with popular attitudes towards science. Fiction not only responded to science, it could be written by scientists, and furthermore had power to shape both science’s position in society and the way scientists presented themselves to the public at large. Focusing on the foundation of professional science in the nineteenth century, this work examines the interplay between science and fiction by examining the image of scientists in representative works from four overlapping periods, covering the early 1800s through World War I. The results of strategies to improve the public image of science and foster government spending on scientific research are then briefly examined by a look at changes in fiction during the post-war period, up to the early 1930s. Major authors discussed include Mary Shelley, Elizabeth Gaskell, Anthony Trollope, Charles Kingsley, George Eliot, Wilkie Collins, Robert Louis Stevenson, H. Rider Haggard, George Gissing, H. G. Wells, Bram Stoker, Arthur Conan Doyle, M. R. James, George Griffith, and Aldous Huxley. Scientists discussed as part of the professionalization movement include Humphrey Davy, Charles Babbage, David Brewster, Charles Darwin, T. H. Huxley, John Tyndall, Karl Pearson, and J. B. S. Haldane.

Subject: European history; Economic history; British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0335: European history;  0509: Economic history;  0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, History of science, Professionalization, Nineteenth century Britain, Frankenstein, Fictional scientists, Darwin, Charles, Scientific professionalization, Scientist, Fiction, Nineteenth century

Number of pages: 216

Publication year: 2008

Degree date: 2008

School code: 0064

Source: DAI-A 69/10, Apr 2009

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780549879404

Advisor: Rose, Jonathan E.

University/institution: Drew University

University location: United States — New Jersey

Degree: Ph.D.

Student idealists and the specter of natural science, 1870–1910

Author: Cortes, Angel de Jesus

Abstract: This dissertation examines the normative content of collegiate student intellectual life in art, literature, and philosophy during the period 1870-1910. This perspective allows for some precision concerning the nature of student thought at a time when, historians believe, a shifting curriculum provided an infertile terrain for moral instruction. Based on an extensive use of primary documents–especially essays written in student literary publications–I show how a segment of undergraduates I call idealists resisted natural science, its methods, and especially its application to the humanities: first, because they believed it would obscure certain principles that they wanted to see clearly; second, because they feared it would introduce a post-Christian and thus an amoral world.

My sources come from diverse institutions: Harvard, Wellesley, Princeton, Vassar, the University of California, and Smith. Chapter one describes the socioeconomic, religious, and educational backgrounds of students at these schools, so far as available. With this composite in place, I describe the larger intellectual context that shaped the thought of undergraduates.

Chapter two considers late Victorian conceptions of art as expressed by cultural commentators, professors of art, and their students. I show how in the 1860s and 1870s collegians tended to treat art as a vehicle for religious instruction and ethical reflection. By the 1880s, the emergence of an Aesthetic Movement that subordinated moral content to the “art-technique,” plus the influence of certain art historians, led students to apotheosize art, rather than treat it as a means to understanding something greater.

In chapter three, I show how students’ interest in exploring normative conceptions in literature was challenged by an empirical hermeneutic that emerged in the 1880s as the legitimate form of textual analysis. While some idealists’ “literary instinct” led them to reject the “scientific method” in literature, others, in their attempt to avoid it, were driven into a mystical literary experience. Led by some professors, student idealists turned the world of English letters into a romanticized space that functioned as a bulwark against the “Papacy of Science.”

In chapter four, I argue that the dread of natural science led some students to embrace Transcendentalism and reject Pragmatism.

In chapter five, I demonstrate how students’ sacralization of the humanities was intimately related to a narrowing understanding of science. As the humanities expanded in dealing with phenomena of “enduring significance,” science underwent a severe contraction. For most of the nineteenth century, science was a capacious term describing virtually any systematic and rigorous intellectual labor, such as that conducted in philosophy or theology. By the 1880s and 1890s the term commonly only described work in the “natural sciences.” This dissertation describes how idealists responded to this development.

Subject: American history; Education history;

Classification: 0337: American history;  0520: Education history

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Education, Idealists, Natural science, Student intellectuals, Art, Humanities, Literature, Science, Philosophy, Intellectuals, College students

Number of pages: 203

Publication year: 2008

Degree date: 2008

School code: 0165

Source: DAI-A 69/04, Oct 2008

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780549590569

Advisor: Turner, James

University/institution: University of Notre Dame

University location: United States — Indiana

Degree: Ph.D.

Fiction as a guerilla activity: Towards a new science of the human

Author: Gagne, Karen M.

Abstract: This dissertation discusses the difficult but necessary task of dismantling our disciplinary boundaries in order to really begin to understand the who, what, why, when and how of human beings. Sylvia Wynter argues that when Frantz Fanon made the statement “beside phylogeny and ontogeny stands sociogeny” in Black Skin, White Mask (Fanon 1967) that he effectively ruptured our present knowledge system, that our academic disciplines serve to maintain, by “calling in question of our present culture’s purely biological definition of what it is to be, and therefore of what it is like to be, human” (Wynter 2001: 31).

The rupture that Fanon caused remains the space, Wynter argues, that will necessarily move us out of our present Western/European/bio-economic conception of being human, whereby the Self requires an Other for its definition, toward a hybrid nature-culture (2006a: 156) conception that needs no Other in order to understand Self (1976: 85). Anti-colonial workers, from whatever discipline we reside, must work towards the dismantling of the disciplinary boundaries of academia. This means rejecting the artificial separations between the humanities and the sciences, between the activist and the scholar, and between the purely Western mind/body/spirit separation that we abide by. By keeping these boundaries intact, we will never grasp that it is only through poetry (as the generic term for art, “to make”), through our creativity, that humans can have access to whole modes of cognition that were penned up as a result of the colonial/enslavement process and the rise of Western Man from the 16 th century to the present.

It was through the process of “autopoiesis” that a new mode of being human–the Bourgeois Man–was brought forth. It will be through this same process, with a rupture of the same magnitude, that we will be able to leave behind this conception. Unless we work towards the dismantling of the disciplinary boundaries that prevent us from understanding this process, our efforts at serious social change remain a futile endeavor.

Subject: Black studies; Social research; Ethnic studies; Social structure;

Classification: 0325: Black studies;  0344: Social research;  0631: Ethnic studies;  0700: Social structure

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Black studies, Race, Sociology of literature, Poetics, Fiction, Guerilla, Science of the human

Pages: n/a

Number of pages: 211

Publication year: 2008

Degree date: 2008

School code: 0792

Source: DAI-A 69/04, Oct 2008

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780549558835

Advisor: West, Michael O.

Committee member: Diaz-Cotto, Juanita, Martin, William G., Wiener, Diane

University/institution: State University of New York at Binghamton

Department: Sociology

University location: United States — New York

Degree: Ph.D.

 

On paying attention: Particularity in Victorian fiction and empirical thought

Author: Day, Catherine

Abstract: This dissertation is an examination of particularity in Victorian fiction, biological science, and empirical philosophy. Focusing on works by Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, George Eliot, John Stuart Mill, and Walter Pater, this study shows how Victorian writers sought to engage their readers with the seemingly insignificant details of ordinary life–as a way of troubling conventions and habits of thought that deaden human existence and as a means of inciting human capacities of thought, feeling, and imagination. These writers, I argue, shared a common conviction that the challenges of modern social, political, and intellectual life could only be met through a closer engagement with the unnoticed specifics of everyday life. In some cases, these texts bring a heightened attention to the aesthetics of material life (as we see in Bleak House, Marius the Epicurean, or even The Origin of Species ). In other cases, it is a greater sympathetic notice of the details of human nature (as in Bleak House and Daniel Deronda ). In still other cases, it is a matter of bringing intellectual notice or scientific analysis to the seemingly irrelevant specifics of social and natural life (as we see in On Liberty or The Origin of Species ).

Recent literary critical scholarship on the Victorian period, shaped by twentieth-century poststructuralist thought, has shown a lack of interest in the era’s own self-estimation–in a sense of purposefulness integral to the major literary, scientific, and philosophical works of the day. In correction to this criticism, I read the primary texts of this dissertation as purposive, as seeking to have some effect upon the minds of their readers and the conditions of their historical present. At the same time, I read these works as textual performances, and argue that their discursive form is a central component of the moral, intellectual, or political interventions they aim to make in their contemporary moment.

Subject: British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Victorian literature, Victorian science, British novel, Victorian essay, Dickens, Charles, Eliot, George, Particularity, Victorian, Fiction, Empirical thought

Number of pages: 231

Publication year: 2009

Degree date: 2009

School code: 0178

Source: DAI-A 70/10, Apr 2010

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781109395495

Advisor: Arac, Jonathan, Bove, Paul

University/institution: University of Pittsburgh

University location: United States — Pennsylvania

Degree: Ph.D.

Turning a cognitive eye toward Cohan theatre scholarship at the intersection of cognitive science

Author: Wolff, Carl Anthony

Abstract: George M. Cohan reshaped the American theatre and created the modern musical. His success is legendary. How did he develop his theatrical ability? More broadly, how does any actor relate to an audience? Cognitive science has revealed the physiological mechanisms that allow humans to relate to one another: conduits called mirror neurons, so named because they reflect the actions of others within the viewer’s brain. Cohan intuitively mapped the mirror neurons of the audience, allowing him to create productions targeted to his specific, early-twentieth-century American audience. He created theatre in harmony with the tastes of American audiences, democratically negotiated between himself and people of his era. Intuitively, by chance or study, Cohan’s mirror neurons were particularly attuned to his audiences; as such, cognitive theory provides an effective framework for studying the relationship between the Cohan and his audiences.

Subject: Neurosciences; Theater History;

Classification: 0317: Neurosciences;  0644: Theater History

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Biological sciences, Acting, Cognitive, Cohan, Mirror neurons, Stanislavski

Number of pages: 70

Publication year: 2012

Degree date: 2012

School code: 0234

Source: MAI 51/04(E), Aug 2013

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781267798978

Advisor: Cless, Downing

Committee member: Grossman, Barbara, Ndounou, Monica

University/institution: Tufts University

Department: Drama

University location: United States — Massachusetts

Degree: M.A.

The Science of Science: Kuhn, Hull, Giere, and the Rise of Naturalized Epistemology

Author: Hamza, Oussama D.

Abstract: This thesis concerns very recent developments in naturalized epistemology–an alternative to foundationist philosophy of science. Since the 1920s, foundationism has been the predominant philosophy of science through various strains of positivism. However, historicized philosophy of science undermined positivism at midcentury–notably through Thomas Kuhn, the most influential figure of the ‘historical turn.’ Subsequent to this revolution, the philosophy of science branched in two directions. On one side were philosophers who developed historicized strains of positivism. On the other were philosophers who took historicized philosophy of science a step further into the domain of scientific philosophy of science (also known as naturalized epistemology). This thesis explores the development of naturalized epistemology from its beginning with positivism through the historical turn with Kuhn to two of its strongest contemporary advocates, David Hull and Ronald Giere, who advocate evolutionary and cognitive theories of science. Finally, I will make a general assessment of problems with naturalized epistemology followed by the conclusion.

Subject: Philosophy of Science;

Classification: 0402: Philosophy of Science

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology

Number of pages: 141

Publication year: 2012

Degree date: 2012

School code: 0823

Source: MAI 52/04(E), Aug 2014

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780494953792

Advisor: Turner, Stephen R.

University/institution: University of New Brunswick (Canada)

University location: Canada

Degree: M.I.S.

 

The human animal: Tangles in science and literature, 1870–1920

Author: Nichols, Rachael L.

Abstract: This dissertation reexamines literary and scientific inquiries into the relationship between the human and the animal in the U.S. at the turn of the century. Departing from a critical consensus that reads analogies between human and animal as symptomatic of the period’s fears of degeneration, I argue that new literary forms developed out of a desire to imagine what the human might become in the new century. Acknowledging the optimistic curiosity driving the creation of forms such as literary naturalism and early science fiction allows us to see literature thinking with, not against, science. Alongside proliferations in form, I also consider how writers explored the ideological potential of the human animal. This potential has been difficult to see given the history of the human animal as a negative association, particularly in the U.S. context, where national identity as well as gender and race hierarchies had long been expressed through comparisons of humans to animals. I argue that the rhetorical force of the human-animal as a marker of inhumanity lost its heft as it shifted from metaphorical epithet to literal description. Paradoxically, as the human-animal acquired the status of fact, it was reinvigorated as a site for reimagining the human outside the pre-existing frames of race, gender, and class.

To describe the complex interweavings of human and animal in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literature, I theorize a concept of entanglement derived from Darwin, who used it as a metaphor for the process of evolution. My chapters analyze descriptions of human-animals that emphasize the inextricability of the one from the other. Characters like the missing link in Jack London’s Before Adam, the urban dandy werewolf in Frank Norris’s Vandover and the Brute, and the human-turned-microbe in Mark Twain’s 3,000 Years Among the Microbes possess double identities and speak overtly of their entanglement, claiming their right to be both at once. Even Tarzan, the epitome of white manhood, astonishingly declares, “My mother was an Ape.” These figures show how thinking through human-animal relation opened up a way of seeing the human as enmeshed in an animate world and subject to unpredictable growth.

Subject: American studies; Science history; American literature;

Classification: 0323: American studies;  0585: Science history;  0591: American literature

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Twain, Mark, London, Jack, Darwin, Charles, Literary naturalism, Animality, Evolution

Number of pages: 241

Publication year: 2010

Degree date: 2010

School code: 0175

Source: DAI-A 72/05, Nov 2011

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781124515816

Advisor: Kaplan, Amy

University/institution: University of Pennsylvania

University location: United States — Pennsylvania

Degree: Ph.D.

Conjectural criticism: Computing past and future texts

Author: Kraus, Kari Michaele

Abstract: Broadly conceived, this dissertation re-imagines the role of conjecture in textual scholarship at a time when computers are increasingly pressed into service as tools of reconstruction and forecasting. Examples of conjecture include the recovery of lost readings in classical texts and the computational modeling of the evolution of a literary work or the descent of a natural language. Conjectural criticism is thus concerned with issues of transmission, transformation, and prediction. It has ancient parallels in divination and modern parallels in the comparative methods of historical linguistics and evolutionary biology. It also stands in contradistinction to current practices of archival or documentary reading, which foreground the material specificity of texts. The object of conjecture is notional rather than empirical; possible rather than demonstrable; counterfactual rather than real. This subjunctive mode is not antithetical to the humanities, but central to it. Whether it is a student of the ancient Near East deciphering a fragmented cuneiform tablet or a musician speculatively completing Bach’s unfinished final fugue or a literary scholar using advanced 3D computer modeling to virtually restore a badly damaged manuscript, the impulse in each instance–vital and paradoxical–is to go beyond purely documentary states of objects.

The dissertation develops a computational model of textuality, one that better supports conjectural reasoning, as a counterweight to the pictorial model of textuality that now predominates. “Computation” is here broadly understood to mean the manipulation of discrete units of information, which, in the case of language, entails the grammatical processing of strings rather than the mathematical calculation of numbers to create puns, anagrams, word ladders, and other word games. A dissertation thus proposes that a textual scholar endeavoring to recover a prior version of a text, a diviner attempting to decipher an oracle by signs, and a poet exploiting the combinatorial play of language collectively draw on the same library of semiotic operations, which are amenable to algorithmic expression and simulation.

The intended audience for the work includes textual scholars, specialists in the digital humanities and new media, and others interested in the technology of the written word and the emerging field of biohumanities.

Subject: Literature; Information systems; Language;

Classification: 0401: Literature;  0723: Information systems;  0679: Language

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Language, literature and linguistics, Digital humanities, Conjectural criticism, Computing, Textual scholarship

Pages: 272 p.

Number of pages: 272

Publication year: 2006

Degree date: 2006

School code: 0188

Source: DAI-A 67/09, Mar 2007

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780542846564

Advisor: Eaves, Morris

University/institution: University of Rochester

University location: United States — New York

Degree: Ph.D.

Switchbacks: Ascending the Catskill Mountain High Peaks

Author: Kurtz, Kathryn

Abstract: Switchbacks: Ascending the Catskill Mountain High Peaks is a work of Literary Nonfiction encompassing the genres of nature writing, memoir, and essay. It clarifies a contribution to: (1) theory and practice of Literary Nonfiction, especially in the genres of nature writing, memoir, essay, and narrative journalism and (2) Catskills literary regionalism. The work is organized in two parts: (1) a critical discussion of the scholarly and artistic context and creation of the Catskill essays; and (2) the Switchbacks Introduction and seven essays.

This theory of Literary Nonfiction examines the works of Aristotle, Charles Darwin, Ayn Rand, Barry Lopez, Steven Pinker, and the following literary, scientific, and philosophic movements: mimesis, Objectivism, natural selection, realism, and naturalism. Established is a basis for the accuracy of a work of Literary Nonfiction. Three specific claims support the accuracy of Literary Nonfiction: (1) Nonfiction evolves in a metaphorical process similar to Darwin’s theory of evolution; (2) Facts in the landscape are represented as facts in a narrative by the act of a rational mind; and (3) When the pattern of thought reflects the pattern of the landscape, mind and reality are integrated in an accurate narrative.

This creative work makes a contribution to Catskills literary regionalism. The works of John Burroughs, the artistic works of Thomas Cole, and ecological work of Michael Kudish are examined. The architectural narrative of this work of Literary Nonfiction is what is called “switchbacks,” for the narrative structure is the same as the trail structure in the Catskills. These are climbing narratives on three levels: (1) evolution; (2) adaptation; (3) integration. The work is comprised of an Introduction that examines the Kaaterskill Falls area and seven chapters. The seven chapters chronicle Catskill high peak climbs of (1) Blackhead Range; (2) Windham; (3) Plateau; (4) Hunter; (5) Slide; (6) Balsam Lake; (7) Graham. The structure of the work as a whole is a dragon’s back in that each peak contains a subplot with rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution, plus the whole work has a main climax of the same pattern.

Subject: Journalism; American literature; Rhetoric; Composition;

Classification: 0391: Journalism;  0591: American literature;  0681: Rhetoric;  0681: Composition

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Language, literature and linguistics, Switchbacks: Ascending the Catskill Mountain High Peaks, Original writing, Creative nonfiction, Catskill Mountains, New York, Nature writing, Literary nonfiction

Pages: 267 p.

Number of pages: 267

Publication year: 2006

Degree date: 2006

School code: 1414

Source: DAI-A 67/09, Mar 2007

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780542867279

Advisor: Tallmadge, John

University/institution: Union Institute and University

University location: United States — Ohio

Degree: Ph.D.

AGAINST POSTMODERNISM

Knowledge and the limits of postmodernism: Social constructionism in film and media studies

Author: McEwan, Paul Alexander

Abstract: Social constructionism is the idea that all knowledge, including science and history, is deeply imbued with the biases and preconceptions of the person who holds the knowledge and the society in which that person lives, so that knowledge can be said to be created rather than discovered. This dissertation examines the influence of social constructionism in film and media studies with reference to the humanities more generally, and argues that social constructivist arguments have, in general, been accepted too readily. Careful attention to the substance of social constructivist arguments and to the practice of knowledge gathering in the humanities reveals the significant flaws in social constructionism as an epistemology.

This work traces the history of social constructionism from the philosophy of science and from theorists such as Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault. It considers the ways in which the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s influenced the rise of social constructionism in the academic humanities. The particular uses of social constructionism in 1970s film theory are then described and considered.

The argument for epistemological realism herein is based on three broad principles, laid out in chapters three through five. In chapter three I consider the work of theorists whose work has been influential in the rise of social constructionism–Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway, and Richard Rorty–arguing that despite the varying benefits of the projects these theorists undertake, they either fail to fully consider the implications of their position or are unable to account for its weaknesses.

In chapter four I consider the implications of the social construction of history and argue that social constructionism is not necessarily apolitically progressive epistemology, drawing on Oliver Stone’s JFK and D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation to demonstrate my point. In this section I also analyze the work of Hayden White and Vivian Sobchack

In chapter five I argue that the theory of social constructionism is not reflected in the practice of knowledge gathering in the humanities and is useless for that practice. The limits of postmodern concepts of knowledge are best revealed in their inappropriateness for fundamental academic research.

Subject: Motion Pictures;

Classification: 0900: Motion Pictures

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Knowledge, Postmodernism, Social constructionism, Film, Media studies

Pages: 219 p.

Number of pages: 219

Publication year: 2003

Degree date: 2003

School code: 0163

Source: DAI-A 65/01, p. 7, Jul 2004

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

Advisor: White, Mimi

University/institution: Northwestern University

University location: United States — Illinois

Degree: Ph.D.

Post-poststructuralism: Anti-semiotics and the recovery of proper linguistic function

Author: Guleserian, Jeff Todd

Abstract: Recently, Poststructuralism has moved to the forefront of linguistic theory and has given birth to an “open” view of meaning. Infusing itself into contemporary postmodern culture, Poststructuralism not only threatens the putative notions of truth, but also questions whether knowledge of truth is even possible. Particularly, it challenges the thesis that human language can be a proper vehicle for communicating and retaining truth’s content effectively. Instead, it relegates communication to the realm of hopeless subjectivity.

This dissertation not only critiques semiotics and the structural and poststructural philosophies it spawns, but it also proposes a new model of linguistics based on Alvin Plantinga’s Proper Function. The ultimate aim is to preserve the notion of univocal meaning in thought and written and spoken communication. To accomplish this, this paper will show that linguistic production is a subset of a properly functioning cognitive process that yields warranted belief.

To open the way for a new description of linguistics, the task first is to critique the predominant linguistic theory: Poststructuralism. To accomplish this, careful attention is given to delineate Saussure’s system of structural linguistics. Next, this dissertation will document the reliance of Poststructuralism on the tenets of Saussure’s system, concluding that Poststructuralism is built on a Saussurean foundation. Subsequently, the paper will turn to a critique of Saussure and a demonstration of how this entails the demise of Poststructuralism. As structuralist linguistics is undermined, therefore, so then are the cognitive claims of Poststructuralism.

After undermining Poststructuralism, Structuralism, and their understandings of linguistics, the topic will turn to the formation of another model of linguistics based on Alvin Plantinga’s Proper Functionalism. What will be seen is that the human linguistic apparatus takes subjective awareness, assigns a signifier to it, and creates differentiated thought. The assignment of signification is controlled by a belief-forming mechanism a la Plantinga. The result is a reliable assignment of value to thought that holds currency throughout a linguistic community. Moreover, this stabilization of meaning extends to other verbal and nonverbal signifiers such as context and tone. The discussion will conclude with the repercussions of this model and the advantages it holds over other systems that rely on deontology or justification.

Subject: Linguistics; Philosophy;

Classification: 0290: Linguistics;  0422: Philosophy

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Language, literature and linguistics, Post-poststructuralism, Poststructuralism, Anti-semiotics, Semiotics, Linguistic function, Postmodernism

Pages: 162 p.

Number of pages: 162

Publication year: 2006

Degree date: 2006

School code: 0345

Source: DAI-A 68/01, Jul 2007

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

Advisor: Blount, D

University/institution: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

University location: United States — Texas

Degree: Ph.D.

Cognitive narratology: A practical approach to the reader-writer relationship

Author: Ripley, Debra Ann

Abstract: This work seeks to isolate and highlight, through the lens of cognitive narratology, several key moments in the development of the relationship between the author and the reader. This study is of particular importance at this point in literary studies because of the nihilistic and ever fragmenting effects of the most influential critical approaches of the 20 th century. The result of much critical theory in the past three decades has been an increased focus on the untouchably individual and personal at the expense of the notion of shared human experience.

Some of the basic principles of cognitive processes can be applied to literary texts to illuminate the surrounding cognitive systems that breathe life into the written artifact. The elemental participants in this exchange are the reader, the author and the text. All three of these parties are necessary to the full picture of cognitive practices. The reader and author are key in that they are the real, embodied minds who use tools and strategies inherent to the human brain. Cognitive processes offer a window into why readers often explain that they feel or suspect certain things, but are unable to pinpoint the cause. Although we are immersed in our processes, that proximity often functions to make the processes harder to see rather than easier to see.

A cognitive approach to narrative also makes clear that narrative is the property of every human mind. Stories form the foundation for all of our thinking because they are the foundation of all of our memories. We are context dependent systems that derive meaning based upon situational cues and relationships. In this way, it is everyone who has access to narrative processes rooted in cognition, not just a privileged artist. The difference between people who are considered to be great artists and the rest of us is not a matter of them having a particular genius; it is a matter of them better using their inherent ingenuity.

Subject: Rhetoric; Composition; Cognitive therapy;

Classification: 0681: Rhetoric;  0681: Composition;  0633: Cognitive therapy

Identifier / keyword: Psychology, Language, literature and linguistics, Cognitive narratology, Reader-writer relationship, Narratology

Pages: 279 p.

Number of pages: 279

Publication year: 2005

Degree date: 2005

School code: 0116

Source: DAI-A 67/01, Jul 2006

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780542501142, 0542501147

Advisor: Long-Hoeveler, Diane

University/institution: Marquette University

University location: United States — Wisconsin

Degree: Ph.D.

Anti-professionalism, pluralism and the problem of critical authority: An inquiry into the disciplinary structure and logic of English

Author: Hastings, Howard

Abstract: Cultural Studies has traditionally posed the form and organization of disciplines within modern research universities as itself a problem for critical practice, particularly the manner in which individual disciplines define fields and objects of research in conformity to a larger, unexamined logic of institutional organization whose knowledge production is also the reproduction of a specific national culture. In this dissertation, however, I argue that current accounts of disciplinarity which emphasize the hierarchical and exclusionary character of disciplinary knowledge are inadequate to explain the expansive and inclusive tendencies of humanities disciplines such English, which require more the constant incorporation of new methodologies and subject areas in search of fresh perspectives than a steady accumulation of bounded, retrievable knowledge. My inquiry first reviews recent debates over the nature of professionalism in English which have attended its assimilation of deconstruction, feminism, and Cultural Studies, to foreground a structural contradiction arising from the accommodation of literary texts valued as the expression of uniquely individual and privatized experience to the requirements of disciplinary knowledge production. The remainder then examines the genesis of this contradiction by turning to the historical development of English, especially its emergence in nineteenth-century U.S. universities, where displacement of the traditional classical curriculum by an elective, and the evolution of a pluralist system of formally equal, departmentalized disciplines, radically altered the conditions under which cultural artifacts, especially texts, could circulate with authority. As English professionals negotiated the boundaries of their field with neighboring disciplines, the pre-disciplinary construction of English as object of rhetoric grounded in common sense epistemology and ideals of stylistic perspicuity was recast in a form amenable to routine research, in part by an adaptation of positivist methodology to literary criticism emphasizing literary form to stabilize critical authority. By the mid-twentieth century, in the context of a now thoroughly monolinguistic criticism, this formalist emphasis enabled a methodological pluralism adaptable to other fields and subject matters, becoming one condition for emergence of U.S. Cultural Studies. I close with speculation as to how the structural contradictions and monocultural tendencies of disciplinary English may carry into Cultural Studies as well.

Subject: Literature; Philosophy; American history; Language arts; Education history;

Classification: 0401: Literature;  0422: Philosophy;  0337: American history;  0279: Language arts;  0520: Education history

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Social sciences, Education, Language, literature and linguistics, Pluralism, Critical authority, Disciplinary structure, Logic, English, Antiprofessionalism

Pages: 713 p.

Number of pages: 713

Publication year: 2005

Degree date: 2005

School code: 0883

Source: DAI-A 66/11, p. 4014, May 2006

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780542379529, 054237952X

Advisor: Smith, Paul H

University/institution: George Mason University

University location: United States — Virginia

Degree: Ph.D.

Manifestations of chaos in an economic theory of the organization

Author: Zimm, Alan Douglas

Abstract: The social sciences have failed to develop a body of theory comparable to that attained in the physical sciences. One possible reason is that the Scientific Method is an improper paradigm for investigating the social sciences.

This dissertation argues that the social sciences are undergoing a broad “paradigm shift” battle between competing methodologies, triggered by the failure of the Scientific Method to develop social science knowledge. This failure is a broad psychological event with sociological ramifications.

Toward advancing this hypothesis, three central points are addressed: (1) Human behavior based on simple principles can result in complex or chaotic behavior. Such behavior may be more ubiquitous than supposed. To support these contentions, a simple computer simulation of a human organization is demonstrated to be chaotic. In addition, a simple equation representing growth in organizations, analogous to May’s Logistic equation, is derived and shown to be chaotic. These could be representative of many other fundamentally chaotic human processes. (2) The Scientific Method is shown to be inappropriate for investigating chaotic systems. (3) If a paradigm shift in methodologies in the social sciences is underway, characteristic symptoms, taken from historical examples, should be present. In addition, another set of possible symptoms can be developed by examining human cognitive processes. The current state of the social sciences is surveyed, looking for these characteristic symptoms. All of the anticipated behaviors are discovered.

The failure of the Scientific Method to develop social science knowledge has resulted in a disruption of human cognitive processes allowing implantation of erroneous mental models into many social science communities. Many of the conflicts within the social sciences today, manifested in aspects of Postmodernism, Critical Theory, Cultural Marxism, the denial of self-evident truths, the unrestrained use of metaphor as a substitute for reasoned theory development, and other pathologies, can be traced in part to the disruption of mental models and cognitive processes.

Subject: Public administration; Economics; Economic theory; Chaos theory; Studies;

Classification: 0617: Public administration;  0501: Economics;  0511: Economic theory

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Chaos, Organization, Scientific paradigm, New institutional economics

Pages: 457 p.

Number of pages: 457

Publication year: 2003

Degree date: 2003

School code: 0208

Source: DAI-A 64/09, p. 3476, Mar 2004

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

Advisor: Burke, Catherine G

University/institution: University of Southern California

University location: United States — California

Degree: D.P.A.

The sound of meaning: Theories of voice in twentieth-century thought and performance

Author: Kimbrough, Andrew McComb

Abstract: This dissertation addresses the problem of the denigration of the voice in poststructural theory and contemporary performance criticism. The problem has antecedents in twentieth-century language philosophy. Saussure defines language as a compendium of arbitrary words recognized according to the degrees of phonetic difference between them. Since for Saussure the arbitrary words of language also designate arbitrary concepts, he concludes that the sounds of words cannot be thought constituent of their sense. After Saussure, structuralism dislodges the voice from its privileged position in the phonologic discourses of Western thought. Poststructuralism views meaning as a product of socially constructed language systems, and it argues that neither the voice nor the speaking subject can be afforded linguistic agency. A strain of contemporary theatre criticism, premised upon poststructuralism, interprets the postmodern stage as a site in which the voice, language, and the speaking subject come under critique and suspicion, stripped of agency and communicative efficacy.

This dissertation investigates twentieth-century theories of voice, language, and speech in order to define the status of the voice in various disciplines ranging from paleoanthropology, phenomenology, structuralism, speech act theory, theatre semiotics, the philosophies of technology, and media studies. By comparing the status of the voice in other disciplines, this dissertation argues for a recuperation of the voice against the denigration evident in poststructural theory and performance criticism. Relying on Heidegger’s phenomenal view of language, the autonomy of the voice in speech act theory and theatre semiotics, the centrality of vocalized language in human evolution, and the resurgence of orality in electronic media, this dissertation argues that the voice continues to act as an important and primary signifying agent on the postmodern stage, regardless of poststructural arguments to the contrary.

Subject: Theater; Communication; Philosophy;

Classification: 0465: Theater;  0459: Communication;  0422: Philosophy

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Communication and the arts, Voice, Performance, Poststructural theory

Pages: 315 p.

Number of pages: 315

Publication year: 2002

Degree date: 2002

School code: 0107

Source: DAI-A 63/04, p. 1189, Oct 2002

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 0493635912, 9780493635910

Advisor: Wade, Leslie

University/institution: Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

University location: United States — Louisiana

Degree: Ph.D.

Minimal foundationalism in literacy studies

Author: Leder, Nevin B

Abstract: Literacy studies–the study of what it is to be literate, how literacy is acquired, and most importantly, how written texts are related to meaning–is currently heavily influenced by antifoundationalist philosophy. According to this perspective, there is nothing “more firm or stable than mere belief or unexamined practice” (Fish, 1989, p. 343). Paradoxically, this position has been taken as axiomatic among numerous literacy theorists, but, by taking this position, these scholars align themselves with classical skepticism, and, therefore, expose themselves to classical refutations of that position, in particular, Kant’s argument that human perception is subjective yet informed by a priori intuitions that must be accepted as veridical since denying them entails logical contradiction. With these arguments Kant established a minimal foundation for both philosophy and science that can be effectively employed in literacy studies.

Most natural scientists reflexively adopt a Kantian position since their work requires a synthesis of rational analysis and empiricism, but social scientists, literary scholars, and some philosophers, particularly since Wittgenstein, have moved increasingly toward a skeptical position in which thought is equated with language and language is seen as merely “contingent” on, rather than reflective of, reality, a position that has led to extreme skepticism in literary interpretation, indeed to the view that texts are nothing more or less than the discourse community takes them to be.

However, literacy studies is also strongly associated with linguistics, which, since Chomsky, has endorsed the very nativist perspective antifoundationalists explicitly reject. Moreover, the generative program in linguistics has sparked a “cognitive revolution,” which is also strongly nativist.

Although routinely portrayed as Enlightenment dogmatists by antifoundationalists, cognitive scientists are acutely aware of the limitations of computational processes and, some, notably Fodor, have concluded that there must also be an “abductive” mental capacity that allows humans to make appropriate decisions quickly in myriad circumstances, but which cannot be modeled by known computational algorithms. Philosophers of language, particularly Davidson, have made similar observations, arguing that computational models of language cannot explain the sorts of ad hoc adjustments interlocutors constantly make in ordinary conversation; these observations are also pertinent to literary interpretation. Although the ultimate source of this free, abductive capacity remains mysterious–and thus susceptible to antifoundationalist claims–models of interpretation that include computational algorithms along the lines of Chomsky, Katz and others, and pragmatic principles along the lines of Grice, offer a much better explanation of how interpretation is possible than antifoundationalism can, and also provide rational methods for choosing among competing interpretations. Because literacy requires mastery of both computational and abductive processes, a rational approach to literacy studies offers one of the best windows on how the mind integrates these processes, and thus simultaneously provides a potential bridge between literary and scientific study.

Subject: Rhetoric; Composition; Language; Language arts; Philosophy;

Classification: 0681: Rhetoric;  0681: Composition;  0679: Language;  0279: Language arts;  0422: Philosophy

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Education, Language, literature and linguistics, Foundationalism, Literacy, Antifoundationalism

Pages: 369 p.

Number of pages: 369

Publication year: 2002

Degree date: 2002

School code: 0128

Source: DAI-A 63/09, p. 3174, Mar 2003

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493831169, 0493831169

Advisor: Stock, Patricia L

University/institution: Michigan State University

University location: United States — Michigan

Degree: Ph.D.

CRITIQUES OF BIOPOETICS

Against biopoetics: On the use and misuse of the concept of evolution in contemporary literary theory

Author: Bankston, Bradley

Abstract: This dissertation is a critical assessment of “biopoetics”: a new literary theory that attempts to import ideas from evolutionary science to the study of literature. Borrowing from the field of evolutionary psychology, the biopoeticists argue that some literary forms and themes are particularly valuable because they result from our innate and evolved cognitive structure; they also attempt to create a normative aesthetic from the idea that evolution is progressive. In its first half, this study examines the claims of evolutionary psychology and their application by the biopoeticists; in the second half, it examines the idea that evolution is progressive, and considers the implications this may have for literary theory. In its conclusion, this work argues that biopoetics, conceived from a dissatisfaction with other contemporary literary theories–and in particular with such theories’ politicization of literature–is more dubious in its assumptions and reasoning, and more programmatically political, than the approaches that it seeks to replace.

Subject: Literature;

Classification: 0298: Literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Biopoetics, Evolution, Literary theory

Pages: 233 p.

Number of pages: 233

Publication year: 2004

Degree date: 2004

School code: 0107

Source: DAI-A 65/06, p. 2195, Dec 2004

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

Advisor: Freedman, Carl

University/institution: Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

University location: United States — Louisiana

Degree: Ph.D.

Literary studies and the Third Culture

Author: Carbonell, Curtis D.

Abstract: This dissertation is predicated on the notion that the concept of the Third Culture describes a dominant intellectual force in contemporary society and that literary and cultural studies thinkers must learn to engage it while maintaining and understanding the rich and varied history of humanistic thought (even its most skeptical kind). The Third Culture describes a move beyond the traditional categories of the “sciences” and the “humanities” to show how they have been transgressed and are being transgressed. Thus, such a new concept needs to address these disciplines that properly reflect how the sciences and humanities intersect. To do so, this dissertation analyzes the Third Culture through several avenues from critical theory to evolutionary biology to contemporary literature and culture. These avenues converge by viewing the sciences and the humanities as compatible domains, even while recognizing their important distinctions.

Beginning with a cultural reading of the Wedge strategy, an Intelligent Design agenda aimed at reinserting theism into secular culture via the mechanisms of Postmodernity (media tools of an advanced post-industrial society), this dissertation announces the need for attention paid to finding common ground between humanists and scientists because of the difficulty of finding such ground (we don’t read each other carefully enough) and because both are being attacked by the same parties (i.e., from the right by politically motivated theists). It follows by arguing via Michel Foucault and cognitive literary studies that John Brockman’s use of humanism is misguided in his definition of the Third Culture. It then attempts a proper approach to the sciences and the humanities by revising E.O. Wilson’s consilience of reductive unification via Stephen Jay Gould’s consilience of equal regard. It presents Gould’s thought as a corrective, in that he spent a career problematizing key categories within the institution of orthodox evolutionary biology. As an example of how literary studies should not engage the Third Culture, it then critiques Joseph Carroll’s form of Literary Darwinism as faulty for failing to problematize categories such as “Darwinism,” in its political agenda to challenge postmodern cultural theory. As an attempt at praxis reflecting the overall methodology and theory utilized in this dissertation, it provides a literary reading of Ian McEwan’s novel, Enduring Love (1998), that represents the sciences and humanities as fully consistent with this dissertation’s conception of the Third Culture. In the end, it presents the Third Culture as a viable field of investigation for literary and cultural studies thinkers. The final product hopes to be an example of how one might approach the Third Culture: in an irenic spirit that values both domains of the sciences and the humanities.

Subject: Social research; Literature;

Classification: 0344: Social research;  0401: Literature

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Literary studies, Humanities, Sciences, Critical theory, Third Culture

Number of pages: 206

Publication year: 2009

Degree date: 2009

School code: 0071

Source: DAI-A 70/09, Mar 2010

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781109349979

Advisor: Cooper, Mark, Berry, Ralph

University/institution: The Florida State University

University location: United States — Florida

Degree: Ph.D.

 

The emergence of women’s creative identity through narrative construction

Author: Murray, Alison Elaine

Abstract: This dissertation investigated whether women’s traditional work, that is, the work of nurturing others, could rightly be classified as a form of creative expression. This was achieved through a theoretical analysis of the concept of creativity and a qualitative study of Virginia Woolfs creative identity as articulated in her female character, Clarissa Dalloway, in her novel, Mrs. Dalloway (1925/1993) and coeval diary entries (1978, 1980). Five historical epochs were identified in the history of the concept of creativity, which were thematically determined, including, (1) ancient philosophies, (2) philosophies of the 4th to 15th centuries, (3) philosophies of the 16th to 18th centuries, (4) philosophies of the 19th century, and, finally, (5) philosophies of the 20th century. Whereas men’s evolving conceptualizations of creativity were largely categorical, and appeared to value rationalism, individualism, control, mastery, and even superiority, women’s generated systems of thought were more characteristically integrative, systemic, practical, and intent on the interpersonal. The study of Virginia Woolfs narrative revealed the same. In the process of writing her novel, Mrs. Dalloway (1925/1993), Woolf and her character, Clarissa Dalloway, were simultaneously recreated. Both of these women’s creative identities, in fact, were inherently relational, as opposed to individualistic and isolated–a creative identity that is consistent with traditional models of men’s development. Findings revealed from both the theoretical study of the concept of creativity and Virginia Woolfs creativity identity were used to construct a more universal theory of creativity that acknowledged the developmental strengths of both men and women. Additionally, findings were discussed relative to optimism, the narrative construction of a woman’s creative identity, and education.

Subject: Philosophy; Developmental psychology; Womens studies; British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0422: Philosophy;  0620: Developmental psychology;  0453: Womens studies;  0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Social sciences, Psychology, Language, literature and linguistics, Women, Creative identity, Narrative construction, Virginia Woolf, Woolf, Virginia

Pages: 471 p.

Number of pages: 471

Publication year: 2002

Degree date: 2002

School code: 0017

Source: DAI-A 63/02, p. 620, Aug 2002

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493570952, 0493570950

Advisor: Youngman, Deborah J

University/institution: Boston University

University location: United States — Massachusetts

Degree: Ed.D.

Finding mind, form, organism, and person in a reductionist age: The challenge of Gregory Bateson and C. H. Waddington to biological and anthropological orthodoxy, 1924–1980

Author: Peterson, Erik L.

Abstract: By the middle of the twentieth century, scholars in the life sciences had completed a “Modern Synthesis” of Darwinian evolution and genetics. As the self-styled “architects” of the synthesis saw it, nothing in biology made sense unless it was contextualized by their version of neo-Darwinian evolution. By the middle of the 1970s, a new field called “sociobiology” emerged to bring even the social sciences into the synthesis. Recently, however, historians, philosophers, and life scientists have begun to question the sufficiency of the Modern Synthesis and the sociobiological “New Synthesis.” Some scholars speculate that neo-Darwinism is too closely tied to a reductionistic notion of heredity that privileges the behavior of DNA over that of higher levels like organisms and groups.

This dissertation explores the work of two scholars, Gregory Bateson (1904- 1980) and Conrad Hal Waddington (1905-1975), who promoted an explicitly “organismic” theory of evolution as a refinement of neo-Darwinism decades before the sociobiological synthesis. Trained at Cambridge in the 1920s, Bateson spent the majority of his career working in the social sciences in the United States. Waddington initially studied paleontology at Cambridge, but Bateson encouraged him to study embryology and genetics. Both were trained when a fascination with “organicism” motivated work in British life sciences. Bateson and Waddington remained friends throughout their lives, despite living on different continents. Much of their communication passed through anthropologist Margaret Mead, Bateson’s former spouse and partner in ethnographic fieldwork, and also a frequent host to Waddington in his travels to the United States. Through their relationship, Bateson and Waddington found personal and intellectual support for continued work on their organismic evolutionary theory in the life and social sciences.

This dissertation is the first to examine their mutual influence in detail. A study of this kind is important not only because it addresses a historical lacuna, but because their holistic evolutionary theory was not the version of evolution that came to dominate the life and, eventually, social sciences in the mid-1970s–though there is growing support for organicism today. The experiences of Bateson and Waddington reveal the extent to which the formation of neo-Darwinism and the proposed sociobiological synthesis were complex and negotiated, rather than linear and discovered, meta-theoretical processes. The organicism of Bateson and Waddington continues to serve as an alternative to the genetic reductionism at the base of contemporary neo-Darwinism and sociobiology.

Subject: Modern history; Science history;

Classification: 0582: Modern history;  0585: Science history

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Bateson, Gregory, Waddington, C. H., Reductionism, Evolutionary biology, Mead, Margaret, Holism

Number of pages: 517

Publication year: 2010

Degree date: 2010

School code: 0165

Source: DAI-A 72/03, Sep 2011

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781124457659

Advisor: Sloan, Phillip R.

University/institution: University of Notre Dame

University location: United States — Indiana

Degree: Ph.D.

The maternal instinct: Mother love and the search for human nature

Author: Vicedo Castello, Maria Margarita

Abstract: In this dissertation I examine scientific views about the maternal instinct from the turn of the nineteenth century to the 1970s in the United States. I focus on several episodes of intense discussion about the role of instincts in human behavior: The reception of Darwin and Spencer’s evolutionary ideas and their integration in psychology by William James. The rise of the feminist movement and the challenge of Charlotte Perkins Gilman to evolutionary justifications of gender roles. The debate about instincts between John Watson and William McDougall. The reception of psychoanalysis and development of child analysis in the 1940s and 50s. The rise of ethology after WWII, and John Bowlby’s appropriation of views about animal behavior in what he called the Ethological Theory of Attachment.

I show that the search for a female nature centered around the maternal instinct has to be understood in the context of women’s fight for equality in the public and private realms. I show that scientists have not provided evidence to assert that there is a maternal instinct. Finally, I show that the search for human nature and, specifically for a female nature, is a prescriptive enterprise that aims to justify gender roles based upon men and women’s natural reproductive functions.

At the end of this study I comment upon recent developments in sociobiology and evolutionary psychology. Here, I show how historical analysis presented in this study can illuminate recent scientific controversies and clarify persistent confusions about the maternal instinct, mother love, and human nature.

Subject: Science history; Behaviorial sciences; Womens studies;

Classification: 0585: Science history;  0384: Behaviorial sciences;  0453: Womens studies

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Psychology, Maternal instinct, Love, Human nature, Ethology, Biological determinism

Pages: 589 p.

Number of pages: 589

Publication year: 2005

Degree date: 2005

School code: 0084

Source: DAI-A 66/11, May 2006

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780542392733, 0542392739

Advisor: Mendelsohn, Everett, Galison, Peter

University/institution: Harvard University

University location: United States — Massachusetts

Degree: Ph.D.

Cultural displacement and dislocation: Darwinian fictions of empire, 1850–1900

Author: Graff, Ann-Barbara

Abstract: In this dissertation, I examine the nexus, or rather interplay, of Darwinian evolutionary theory and other modes of cultural discourse; I explore the diverse and multiple ways in which Darwinian evolutionary theory is appropriated to alternatively disrupt and buoy cultural ideologies of empire. In the Introduction, “The Positively More Social Darwin,” I attempt to locate Darwin’s thesis within its general historical context and relate it to developments in intellectual history. In Chapter 1, “Walter Bagehot; or, Physics, Politics and the ‘Selling of Figs,'” I analyze Bagehot’s attempt to represent the unique English political character not just as a product of evolution but as the ultimate (though not necessarily the inevitable) expression of it. in Chapter 2, ” India Orientalis or ‘England in the East’: Imag(in)ing India and the Crisis of Representation,” I argue that whereas in other colonial encounters the British had no difficulty in asserting their hegemony, India challenged basic assumptions about language, culture, and racial hierarchies, forcing the British to reevaluate their representation of themselves and the Empire. The chapter ends with a discussion of Dilke’s Greater Britain , a work which problematizes progress and liberty by imparting a new grammar of domination and relying on Darwinian tropes. In Chapter 3, “‘Administrative Nihilism’: The Evolution of Ethics After Darwin,” I analyze three utopian fictions, Butwer-Lytton’s The Coming Race , Butler’s Erewhon , and Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau in light of Huxley’s concern about the failure of Darwinian evolutionary theory to adequately address the social and ethical implications of evolution. In Chapter 4, “Righting Evolution: Women’s Responses to Darwin,” I examine how maternity was isolated and variously problematized by women writers concerned with Darwin’s marginalization of women. I analyze the work of Cobbe, Linton and Gilman in conjunction with various New Woman and contra New Woman authors, whose alternative views of sexual selection challenge not only Darwin but the assumed privilege of heredity, class and gender. in Chapter 5, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Daniel Deronda and ‘the mystical enthusiasm for race and nation,'” I explore the theme of degeneration and renewal (the idea of Jerusalem) in two novels of empire.

Subject: British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Charles Darwin, Darwin, Charles, Cultural, Fictions, Empire

Pages: 347 p.

Number of pages: 347

Publication year: 2000

Degree date: 2000

School code: 0779

Source: DAI-A 61/06, p. 2311, Dec 2000

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780612498808, 0612498808

Advisor: Nyquist, Mary E

University/institution: University of Toronto (Canada)

University location: Canada

Degree: Ph.D.

Evolutionary epistemology and antirealism

Author: Thomson, Edward Paul

Abstract: Traditionally, the central tenet of scientific realism has been the view that reasons for accepting a scientific theory are reasons for believing that it is true. I begin by developing a naturalized “evolutionary” epistemology which provides positive reasons for thinking both that our best scientific theories are neither true nor progressing toward truth as some ideal limit, and that our scientific method will not prove a reliable means of production of stable theories even in the long run. Since I assume that we will continue to accept our theories and judge them to be better or worse, this means that accepting a theory need not involve the belief that it is true, and so a new, non-realist attitude toward science is called for.

Various “internal” realisms have been proposed as successors to traditional scientific realism, but I show that these positions give rise to the very skeptical consequences that they were designed to preclude. Reasons are also given for rejecting the more moderate forms of scientific realism which have recently been advanced by Nancy Cartwright, Ronald Giere, and Ian Hacking. After responding to the charge that any kind of anti-realism must be a schizophrenic or unnatural doctrine which cannot do justice to the enterprise of science, I employ my evolutionary epistemology to undermine Bas van Fraassen’s characterization of theory acceptance as a kind of commitment, and suggest that even his Constructive Empiricism is not a skeptical enough position in the philosophy of science.

I conclude by developing an anti-realist, pragmatic account of theory acceptance which accommodates the skeptical conclusions of my evolutionary epistemology, while displaying the scientific enterprise as rational, successful, and progressive.

Subject: Philosophy;

Classification: 0422: Philosophy

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, epistemology

Pages: 215 p.

Number of pages: 215

Publication year: 1990

Degree date: 1990

School code: 0181

Source: DAI-A 51/05, p. 1644, Nov 1990

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

Advisor: van Fraassen, Bas C

University/institution: Princeton University

University location: United States — New Jersey

Degree: Ph.D.

BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION – DARWIN, WALLACE, etc.

“Greedy for facts”: Charles Darwin’s information needs and behaviors

Author: Currier, James David

Abstract: Aptly describing himself as “greedy for facts” and exercising “industry in observing and collecting facts”, Charles Darwin passionately sought and assiduously organized, managed, communicated, and used information throughout his life. From a 21st-century information age perspective, Darwin can be seen as a pre-Melvil Dewey, multidisciplinary, Victorian era proto-information manager, whose skillfully-employed information behaviors were fundamental to realizing his seminal Origin of Species (1859) and in influencing his life-long scientific development. A large body of research about Darwin exists but little has been written in the library and information science (LIS) field regarding Darwin and his pivotal relationship with information. Human information behavior (HIB) is an emerging LIS subfield, which has principally studied the information needs and information seeking behaviors of modern era human beings. Cambridge University is the foremost provider of print and electronic access to more than 14,000 transcribed and edited extant letters written by and to Darwin. Using historical case study methodology, this dissertation applies an HIB-oriented approach to investigate and inventory Darwin’s information needs and behaviors through analysis of his surviving correspondence and other primary and secondary Darwin-related scholarly sources. A general framework is developed, designating five interrelated, broad context information behavior (BCIB) classification categories for conceptualizing Darwin’s information behavior roles: as information seeker, organizer, manager, communicator, and user. In the vein of Ellis et al.’s (1993) study designating eight information seeking behaviors exhibited by contemporary British scientists, this dissertation utilizes grounded theory to derive and explain more than fifty descriptive information behaviors (DIBs) exhibited by Darwin. DIBs are conceptual constructs which are used to specify and describe, via words and examples from Darwin’s correspondence and writings, the relevant characteristics and nuances of his diverse information behaviors. A case study examines and explicates the crucial ways in which Darwin’s information behaviors proved instrumental in preserving priority for his evolutionary ideas during a crisis period involving rival evolutionary theorist Alfred Russel Wallace in 1858. An information-related timeline of Darwin’s life, graphic models, and digital photographs illustrating his information behaviors are presented. Limitations of the study and areas for further research are also discussed.

Subject: Biographies; Science history; Information systems;

Classification: 0304: Biographies;  0585: Science history;  0723: Information systems

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Social sciences, Information needs, Darwin, Charles, Evolution

Number of pages: 318

Publication year: 2007

Degree date: 2007

School code: 0178

Source: DAI-A 68/05, Nov 2007

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780549081593

University/institution: University of Pittsburgh

University location: United States — Pennsylvania

Degree: Ph.D.

Alfred Russel Wallace’s and August Weismann’s evolution: A story written on butterfly wings

Author: Novak, Jakub

Abstract: The topic of this dissertation is the work and careers of Alfred Russel Wallace (1823- 1913) and August Weismann (1834-1914). A Briton and a German, they were pre-eminent evolutionary biologists of their generations. Each contributed an accomplishment that became seminal for modern biology: Wallace was a co-discoverer of natural selection, while Weismann pioneered the concept of the “continuity of germ-plasm,” a theoretical principle that placed the neo-Lamarckian inheritance of acquired characters out of bounds.

This account provides a long biographical view of these accomplishments, examining in detail how Wallace and Weismann worked toward them, and how the principles they discovered affected their subsequent work. However, the story does not end there. Some of Wallace’s and Weismann’s views departed from the theoretical principles they became famous for, or at least from the way those principles are understood today: in 1868, Wallace proposed that important evolutionary processes were guided by spirit “intelligences;” in 1895, Weismann proposed a supplementary concept of “germinal selection” that re-introduced the inheritance of acquired characters into evolutionary theory. Taking into account these seeming departures, as well as a variety of other projects Wallace and Weismann worked on, makes it possible to define their work in a way that transcends their signature discoveries. Wallace emerges as a biologist whose work amalgamated passions for natural history, natural law, and moral and social philosophy; Weismann as a brilliant speculative thinker intent on precisely calibrating the links between the biological processes of development, heredity, and variation.

A special emphasis is placed on Wallace’s and Weismann’s work with Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), a subject for which they both had a special fondness. They believed Lepidoptera offered an especially suitable material for evolutionary research. As both (coincidentally) expressed it in poetic terms, the story of evolution was “written on butterfly wings.” Yet the story, as best they could read it, did not fully conform to a neo-Darwinian script. Butterfly wings were icons less of idealized evolution than of the theoretical challenges the self-avowed “Darwinians” Wallace and Weismann had to meet, sometimes at the cost of exploring and advocating principles that would be later judged un-Darwinian.

Subject: Science history;

Classification: 0585: Science history

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Wallace, Alfred Russel, Weismann, August, Darwinism, Butterflies, Evolution, Lepidoptera

Number of pages: 350

Publication year: 2008

Degree date: 2008

School code: 0181

Source: DAI-A 69/10, Apr 2009

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780549847618

Advisor: Creager, Angela N.H.

University/institution: Princeton University

University location: United States — New Jersey

Degree: Ph.D.

Mutant phoenix: Macroevolution in twentieth-century debates over synthesis and punctuated equilibrium

Author: Princehouse, Patricia Maria

Abstract: Questions of macroevolution, the emergence of species and higher taxa, emerged as a distinct locus of evolutionary theory in the early 1970’s. The ensuing controversy moved paleontology into a central role as a source of evolutionary theory. The new ideas diverged from what Julian Huxley called the “true blue Darwinian stream.” This dissertation argues there is no one true Darwinism; the Modern Synthesis is only one of many Darwinian conceptions of evolution. I argue there was a slightly earlier “German Synthesis,” led by Otto Schindewolf and Richard Goldschmidt but destroyed by German National Socialism and World War II, the remnants of which influenced young US paleontologists in the 1970s and is one reason their views were so controversial to their teachers. I argue against the adequacy of what I call the “eclipse model” in the historiography of evolution, which holds that Darwinian thought was “eclipsed” for some time before the Modern Synthesis. Using primarily published sources and oral history interviews I conducted for this dissertation, I then turn to the paleobiology revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, and the furor over Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould’s speciation concept, punctuated equilibria. These two paleontological developments merged with the developing fields of evolutionary and developmental biology and genomics in the 1990s to produce what can rightly be called a new, pluralistic Darwinian Synthesis in which natural selection, though remaining of critical importance for adaptation, is not the main force responsible for patterning the history of life on earth. Rather, patterns of biodiversity arise within a rich mix of complex factors including a large role for random, contingent, and stochastic factors in ecology, mass extinction, and a strong patterning effect from the nature and structure of genetic and genomic variation.

Subject: Science history;

Classification: 0585: Science history

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Macroevolution, Synthesis, Punctuated equilibrium, Evolution

Pages: 349 p.

Number of pages: 349

Publication year: 2003

Degree date: 2003

School code: 0084

Source: DAI-A 64/09, p. 3453, Mar 2004

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

Advisor: Mendelsohn, Everett

University/institution: Harvard University

University location: United States — Massachusetts

Degree: Ph.D.

The C-value enigma

Author: Gregory, Timothy Ryan

Abstract: This thesis is an investigation of the evolution of genome size in animals. The haploid nuclear DNA contents (genome sizes, or “C-values”) of eukaryotes vary more than 200,000-fold, and bear no relationship to organismal complexity or the presumed number of coding genes. The basis for this enormous variation in genome size has remained an unsolved puzzle in evolutionary biology for more than 50 years. The initial “C-value paradox” was solved with the discovery of non-coding DNA, but a new and multi-faceted “C-value enigma” has emerged. The thesis begins with a brief review of the history and central concepts of the puzzle, followed by a thorough discussion of the relationship between DNA content and cell size and the presentation of a mechanistic model which may account for it. Patterns of genome size variation in mammals, birds, amphibians, and insects are discussed, and the implications of non-coding DNA for developmental, physiological, and ecological characteristics are explored in these key groups. A novel method of DNA quantification (Feulgen image analysis densitometry) is also presented and used to provide several hundred new invertebrate genome size estimates. Finally, the implications of the C-value enigma for evolutionary theory are considered in the context of the hierarchical theory of macroevolution developed by palaeontologists. A set of appendices comprising a compilation of roughly 3,000 animal genome sizes is also provided in an effort to facilitate the ongoing study of the C-value enigma.

Subject: Genetics; Zoology;

Classification: 0369: Genetics;  0472: Zoology

Identifier / keyword: Biological sciences, Genome size, Haploid, C-value enigma

Pages: 894 p.

Number of pages: 894

Publication year: 2003

Degree date: 2003

School code: 0081

Source: DAI-B 64/01, p. 51, Jul 2003

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780612759817, 0612759814

Advisor: Hebert, Paul D N

University/institution: University of Guelph (Canada)

University location: Canada

Degree: Ph.D.

Between “The Origin of Species” and “The Fundamentals”: Toward a historiographical model of the evangelical reaction to Darwinism in the first fifty years

Author: Lamoureux, Denis Oswald

Abstract: The present thesis examines twelve prominent evangelical post-Darwinian controversialists in the first fifty years after the publication of Charles Darwin’s famed On the Origin of Species (1859).

The argument of this thesis unfolds in two parts. It begins with a review and critique of James R. Moore’s historiography, deeming his method deficient. The French cultural anthropologist-philosopher Lucien Levy-Bruhl suggest that human cognition is made up of two radically distinct modes of thought: mythopoeic thinking that predominantly characterizes the mindset of ‘primitives’, and scientific/philosophical thought that is preeminent in ‘moderns’. Developing this notion, the present thesis proposes that dogmatic/religious systems and philosophical/scientific programs are not only different notions for coming to terms with the world, but they also provide mutually exclusive conceptual frameworks for this task. The proposed historiographical model is then applied to Charles Darwin’s religious development in order to demonstrate its efficacy and to establish a diachronic definition of the elusive term “Darwinism”.

The second half of this thesis reviews the twelve evangelical controversialists under the rubrics: ‘Interventionists’ and ‘Providentialists’. In 1860, Harvard botanist Asa Gray recognized that there were three approaches for relating final causality to the origin of life. First, it could be infused into matter at the beginning of creation by God, and thus the forces of nature would be preordained to produce the organic world. The second view includes the first with “insulated interpositions, or occasional direct action, engrafted upon it” by a “now and then, and only now and then” Deity. And last, final causality is possible in the creation of the living world with the ‘conflation’ of divine action and the forces of nature. Gray also astutely observed that most individuals oscillate between these three positions. The present thesis employs a modified version of Gray’s categorization. It labels the botanist’s second view as ‘interventionism’, and joins his first and third approaches under the category ‘providentialism’. The proposed categorization brings order to the complex reaction of the twelve prominent evangelicals to Darwinism.

Finally, the present thesis is NOT a treatise to solve the current evolution/creation controversy. Nor is it a philosophical defense for or an argument against divine activity in the physical world. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Subject: Theology; Science history; Religious history;

Classification: 0469: Theology;  0585: Science history;  0320: Religious history

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Social sciences

Pages: 330 p.

Number of pages: 330

Publication year: 1991

Degree date: 1991

School code: 0412

Source: DAI-A 53/08, p. 2859, Feb 1993

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780315688063, 0315688068

University/institution: University of St. Michael’s College (Canada)

University location: Canada

Degree: Ph.D.

Romancing the gene: The human genome as our 5 million-year-old story

Author: Clogston, Christi L.

Abstract: One of the most heroic science projects undertaken in the last century is the massive and institutionally coordinated DNA sequencing of the entire human genome. Evangelically promoted by scientists to the general public, the Human Genome Project (HGP) developed a messianic veneer, promising molecular salvation for incurable diseases and nearly-divine control of our biological destiny. While the Herculean task of sequencing the entire human genome seems to literalize human condition to a set of DNA base-pairs, the meaning of the human genome has a mythic dimension: to definitively know the human genome is to ultimately know ourselves.

This dissertation examines the many metaphors used to promote and explain the HGP to various audiences. Scientists coined some of the most popular genome metaphors used to communicate the HGP’s value to governments, scientific organizations, and to the public. Many genome metaphors used in public discourse reveals an unconscious religious or mythological impulse: the Holy Grail of Molecular Biology , the Book of Life , a Form of Secular Soul , the Blueprint of Humanity, and a Human Map . However, not all human genome metaphors are equal; some are created with a particular social or policy agenda in mind.

This work considers the different ways the human genome is changing the way we are thinking about ourselves, as a species, as groups, and as individuals. Comparing our genomes to each other’s, to that of the chimpanzee and to Neanderthals, the human genome is reorienting humanity as a biological species. The HGP occurs during a time in the United States when the role of religion in society is once again, being hotly debated.

Looking at how the HGP has inspired a number of artists who use portions of human genome DNA sequences as the basic for creative works, it is clear that the human genome is more than just a DNA sequence. Considering the artistic forms that have emerged from the HGP, and how the Project is affecting our psychological and mythological processes, both personally and culturally, the human genome is a touchstone for an emerging creation myth, a new genomythology .

Subject: Philosophy of Science; Science history;

Classification: 0402: Philosophy of Science;  0585: Science history

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Social sciences, Human Genome Project, Depth psychology, Post-genomics

Number of pages: 258

Publication year: 2009

Degree date: 2009

School code: 1142

Source: DAI-A 73/03, Sep 2012

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781267044136

Advisor: Paris, Ginette

University/institution: Pacifica Graduate Institute

University location: United States — California

Degree: Ph.D.

 

EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY

“Sex in mind”: The gendered brain in nineteenth-century literature and mental sciences

Author: Malane, Rachel Ann

Abstract: Victorian authors such as Charlotte Brontë, Wilkie Collins, and Thomas Hardy created fictions in dynamic conversation with the prevailing ideas of mental science. They did not merely inject scientific ideas into their texts; they merged the findings of phrenology, neurology, psychology, and other sciences into their own vision of how the brain functions. In analyzing these authors’ distinct views and the nineteenth-century scientific community’s understanding of mental processes, it is evident that the primary common denominator is the notion that mental functions are inherently, biologically gendered. Brontë’s focus on the potential threats to the female brain space and the thoughts contained therein highlights her specific concern about women’s need to retain mental boundaries. The ideal of psychological romance comes with its dangers, she maintains, that are the result of the female brain’s naturally permeable quality, and its tendency towards empathetic consciousness. As part of an attempt to scientize the psychology of his characters, Collins looks to Victorian-era medical knowledge to explain the physiological causes and treatments of brain ailments. Showing a fascination with the pathological mind, he creates narratives that explore mental maladies across the spectrum from minor irritation to fatal insanity. Collins’ work points to an increasing nineteenth-century fixation on aberrant brain function and the desire of both scientists and the culture at-large to create diagnostic categories that systematically incorporate gender. Hardy explores the potential casualties of relationships that attempt to share mental spaces through tragic depictions of the clashing of gendered minds. With support from both evolutionary theories and physiological psychology, Hardy’s novels show the dangers of excessive male reason and the risks of overwhelming female emotion. Each of these novelists, like many of their contemporaries, creates a biological basis for their characters’ behaviors through a confirmation of the gender-determined function of the brain that was also present in scientific findings. For Victorian authors, realism involved more than a revealing account of the inner psyche. It also meant demonstrating the material connection between mind and body, and accurately portraying the effects of gendered physiology.

Subject: British and Irish literature;

Classification: 0593: British and Irish literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Gendered, Brain, Mental sciences, Nineteenth century, Charlotte Bronte, Wilkie Collins, Thomas Hardy, Bronte, Charlotte, Collins, Wilkie, Hardy, Thomas

Pages: 279 p.

Number of pages: 279

Publication year: 2004

Degree date: 2004

School code: 0165

Source: DAI-A 64/11, p. 4058, May 2004

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

Advisor: Vanden Bossche, Chris R

University/institution: University of Notre Dame

University location: United States — Indiana

Degree: Ph.D.

Intimate beyond words: Reconsidering the cinematic subject in light of neuroscience

Author: Uricaru, Ioana Maria

Abstract: In the past three decades, there has been a considerable amount of work done in the humanities attempting to acknowledge the results of science and revise some radical tenets of 60s and 70s critical theory. An increased interest in the role and functioning of emotions, feeling and affect has emerged in domains as diverse as political theory, linguistics, history and the study of cinema, literature and other arts.

In my dissertation, I am narrowing down the two regna to specifically film theory and the neuroscience of emotion, trying to assess the consequences that the latest findings of the latter might have on the formulation of the former. The very nature of film theory as a field of critical analysis and interpretation led to an increased privileging of the discursive quality of cinema, and – following the dominant paradigms of semiotics, psychoanalysis, structuralism, cultural studies and poststructuralism – film has been regarded more and more as a text, and spectatorship as a discursive operation.

As a practitioner, spectator and scholar of cinema it is my conviction that while both the film and the person are indeed constituted as an intersection of discourses, they also have the ability to break through the system of discursive practices and disintegrate it, as well as to generate it in a new configuration. I found a theoretical basis for thinking of cinema in this way in the phenomenological insights of Roland Barthes’ writing about the punctum and in Vivian Sobchack’s critique of psychoanalytically inflected semiotics.

The neuroscientific research on emotion and particularly the model of the self proposed by Antonio Damasio seem to validate the intuitions of phenomenologists and offer a notion of the subject that is not exclusively constructed by discourses, but rather molded and permanently redrafted through the interaction between the brain-body and the world. The first chapter is dedicated to explaining this model of the self offered by neuroscience, and to examining the role that emotion and feeling have in the constitution of the self, with its increased layers of sophistication of which the discursive components (language, higher cognition, narrative) are just the tip of the iceberg.

The second chapter looks at the consequences of re-inserting the emotional, experiential self back into the system of discursive practices. The relationship between discourse and experience in the continuous formation of the self is not easy to pin down; they are not completely separate, as discourse results in the generation of emotion and vice versa, and emotional experience is not immune to the power of discourse.

The private emotional experience introduces an unknown, since it can be wildly different and essentially unquantifiable from person to person (which may explain why it has been repressed, being perceived as uncontrollable and hence monstrous). It is the possible crack in the grand narrative through which various totalizing social constructivist projects can slip away, the discomfort that can lead a person to reject the most coherent, effective discursive construction and spring into action against it. It is also the potential locus where manipulation can be applied to extraordinary effects that defy rational explanation.

It follows that we have to recognize the potential of the individual and the private, rounded up to the next integer or treated wholesale. Cinema spectatorship, for example, becomes a much more private affair, and it becomes clear that responses that we can count on as filmmakers or that we can unequivocally theorize as scholars are only those of a rather superficial nature. In the third chapter I will examine some of the film theories that proposed various ways of understanding what cinema does to its viewers. I will focus on theories of editing because editing is arguably the most overtly discursive practice in filmmaking and it is also a possible argument for the specificity of cinema. Looking closely at some theoretical frameworks that tried to elucidate the power of cinema and prescribe possible ways of handling or resisting that power, I will argue that they always assumed the existence of a non-discursive component in the interaction between film and spectator, even if most of these theoretical models attempted to suppress it, minimize it, explain it away or otherwise control it.

In the fourth chapter I am examining three cinematic texts belonging to the same environment – auteur Romanian cinema from the 2000s – and argue that they are exemplary for a fresh move to reconsider the individual experience as the nexus of political, ideological and existential processes. Embracing the long-take, continuous-time realism aesthetic, these films question the power of discourse both through their content and through their form, looking for a new equilibrium between the tools of cinema and its function. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Subject: Film studies;

Classification: 0900: Film studies

Identifier / keyword: Communication and the arts, Film editing, Film practice, Film theory, Neuroscience of emotion, Phenomenology, Romanian cinema, Neuroscience, Cinematic subject, Emotion

Number of pages: 246

Publication year: 2011

Degree date: 2011

School code: 0208

Source: DAI-A 73/01, Jul 2012

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781124951843

Advisor: Kinder, Marsha

Committee member: Lippit, Akira, Damasio, Antonio

University/institution: University of Southern California

Department: Cinema-Television(Critical Studies)

University location: United States — California

Degree: Ph.D.

Contemporary cognition: Computers, consciousness, and self-definition in cognitive science and late 20th century fiction

Author: Ericson, Gwen Rossmiller

Abstract: Cognitive science, a convergence of linguistics, computer science, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy of mind, and anthropology, offers a set of concepts about mental function that create a useful framework for examining the presentation of mind in contemporary literature. This dissertation undertakes a survey of the descriptions of mind that arise from cognitive science and compares these descriptions to those found in five works of recent fiction: Richard Powers’s Galatea 2.2 , Poul Anderson’s Harvest of Stars , Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash , Susan Daitch’s The Colorist , and Don DeLillo’s White Noise .

A small number of literary scholars have begun working in the area of cognitive science, analyzing its theoretical discussions of language, subjectivity, and consciousness. This work discusses the main points raised by these scholars, demonstrating that they are working most predominately with general theories of language processing and linguistic frameworks. Cognitive science, however, also proposes structural models of mind arising from research in neurology and cognitive psychology. Much of its view of mind is historically based in a computational framework that shapes current definitions of mind to a great extent. The novels by Powers, Anderson, and Stephenson present views of the human mind that are informed by the computational metaphor. Each author uses computation as a comparative model to illuminate his own view of human nature.

Cognitive science further presents occasionally conflicting views of consciousness and self-definition that to a great extent reflect the instability, self-reflexivity, and self-doubt present in much of contemporary literature. The novels by Daitch and DeLillo reiterate this fact in their structure, theme, and characterization, demonstrating how self-definition suffers under the constant change in the characters’ surroundings and the contamination of the original that makes up the landscape of contemporary culture.

Subject: Literature; American literature;

Classification: 0298: Literature;  0591: American literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Computers, Consciousness, Self-definition, Cognitive science, Fiction, Twentieth century, Powers, Richard, Anderson, Poul, Stephenson, Neal, Daitch, Susan, DeLillo, Don, Richard Powers, Poul Anderson, Don DeLillo, Susan Daitch, Neal Stephenson

Pages: 157 p.

Number of pages: 157

Publication year: 2001

Degree date: 2001

School code: 0193

Source: DAI-A 62/05, p. 1828, Nov 2001

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493245706, 0493245707

Advisor: Casaregola, Vincent

University/institution: Saint Louis University

University location: United States — Missouri

Degree: Ph.D.

Evolution of Cognitive Development

Author: Frankenhuis, Willem Eduard

Abstract: Adapting to social environments requires extracting relevant information (e.g., goals and intentions) from social interactions, and using that information to guide current action (e.g., if friendly, then approach) and long-term developmental trajectories (e.g., in a dangerous world, I may die young, so I might reproduce sooner rather than later). This dissertation studies the evolved psychological mechanisms that infants and children use to meet some of these challenges. To do so, it uses experimental approaches as well as formal modeling.

One line of research focuses on infants’ ability to detect social agents in their environment and to learn about them, including their interactions. One project examines when infants begin to perceive social environments as hierarchically organized (around 8 to 10 months). Another project studies how 4- and 10-month-old infants perceive agents engaged in an antagonistic chase, and how such perceptions develop in the first year of life. Two other projects review existing work on the development of human social cognition.

A second line examines the psychological mechanisms that individuals use to sample ‘cues’ (i.e., information in their environment) in order to develop adaptive phenotypes. One project uses a formal model to explore what designs evolve when organisms face a tradeoff between learning about their environment (‘sampling’) and tailoring their phenotype to the local ecology (‘specialization’). This model generated individual differences in learning strategies, resulting in a novel hypothesis about the causes of individual differences in sensitivity to environmental influences. A second project analyzed this finding in more detail. Further, the model showed that even when developing organisms have repeat opportunities to learn about their environment, some might incorrectly infer its state and develop a maladaptive phenotype accordingly. A third project discussed this ontogenetic pathway, and other ones, which might lead adaptive mechanisms to produce maladaptive outcomes for some individuals.

Both lines of research use adaptationist thinking from biology to explore hypotheses about cognitive development. Though this approach undergirds behavioral biology, it is uncommon in developmental psychology; therefore, a larger goal of this dissertation is to contribute a small piece to the integration of adaptationist thinking into the science of human development, and into psychology more generally. Ultimately, it might be possible to fulfill Charles Darwin’s intriguing prophesy, stated at the end of his book On the origins of species : “Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation” (1859). Below I describe each chapter in order.

Chapter 1 reviews infants’ understanding of biological motion understanding, and such motion is used to cue into the social world. Chapter 2 examines infants’ perceptions of chasing– a ubiquitous, ancient, and fitness-relevant mode of interaction–focusing on how infants’ and children’s understanding of chasing develops during the first year of life. Chapter 3 reports four experiments investigating what motion properties of chasing attract infants’ attention using eye-tracking methods. Chapter 4 reports five experiments, using looking times, to examine infants’ understanding of social dominance based on physical size differences between agents, including its developmental trajectory.

Chapter 5 describes a mathematical model investigating how natural selection shapes developmental mechanisms so that they tend to construct adaptive phenotypes, given a tradeoff between sampling cues to the environmental state and specialization (i.e., ontogenetic tailoring of the phenotype to local conditions). Chapter 6 elaborates on one result from the model: Individuals receiving more consistent environmental information specialize their phenotype earlier in ontogeny than individuals receiving less consistent experiences. This result generates several novel empirical predictions, which remain to be tested.

Chapter 7 discusses three ways in which adaptive developmental mechanisms may produce maladaptive outcomes: (1) risky strategies may enhance fitness on average, yet have fitness-detrimental consequences for a subset of individuals; (2) a mismatch between phenotype and ecology may result when organisms experience environmental change across ontogeny; (3) organisms may learn about their environment in order to develop an adaptive phenotype–when cues indicate the environmental state probabilistically, as opposed to deterministically, sampling processes may produce mismatch. Chapter 8 contains a commentary that criticizes the idea that the insecure attachment styles have evolved for the benefit of the group.

A general conclusion of the dissertation is that studying developmental mechanisms in light of the selection pressures that shaped them illuminates existing findings and generates new ones. This is no coincidence: Any feature of a phenotype must be the product of a developmental process, and so aspects of phenotypes will have to be modified through changes in the developmental system; thus selection will act on developmental mechanisms, favoring those that tend to construct adaptive phenotypes. This insight resolves many existing tensions between evolutionary and developmental psychology, creating the potential to unify them, while plugging both into the life sciences.

Subject: Developmental psychology;

Classification: 0620: Developmental psychology

Identifier / keyword: Psychology, Cognitive development, Evolution, Life history, Individual differences, Cognition, Plasticity

Number of pages: 310

Publication year: 2012

Degree date: 2012

School code: 0031

Source: DAI-B 74/03(E), Sep 2013

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781267753526

Advisor: Barrett, H. Clark

Committee member: Johnson, Scott P., Silk, Jody B., Boyol, Robert

University/institution: University of California, Los Angeles

Department: Anthropology

University location: United States — California

Degree: Ph.D.

Intuition and emotion in early modern England: MacBeth and the sense of disgust

Author: Hague, Alex

Abstract: The following paper addresses the limitations of current history research on the early modern emotions, looking specifically at early modern performances of Macbeth and how contemporary empirical research into the emotion of disgust might further our understanding of a typical audience experience.

Subject: European history; British and Irish literature; Cognitive psychology;

Classification: 0335: European history;  0593: British and Irish literature;  0633: Cognitive psychology

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Psychology, Language, literature and linguistics, Disgust, Early modern, Emotions, Historical phenomenology, Intuition, Macbeth

Number of pages: 62

Publication year: 2009

Degree date: 2009

School code: 0076

Source: MAI 48/02, Apr 2010

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781109470024

Advisor: Collins, Michael

University/institution: Georgetown University

Department: English

University location: United States — District of Columbia

Degree: M.A.

Eating disorders as a case study of cultural maladaptation

Author: Sheridan, Kevin Eric

Abstract: Evolutionary theories of human behavior differ on the cause of biologically maladaptive human culture and behavior. For example, human behavior ecology tends to view human cultures primarily (if not exclusively) adaptive, with seemingly maladaptive practices holding adaptive potential. Evolutionary psychology views cultural maladaptation as a form of environmental mismatch, in which previously adaptive psychological mechanisms become maladapted to novel environments. Dual-inheritance theory posits that culture acts as a separate inheritance system with genetic inheritance. These systems may occasionally act in opposition to each other, thus enabling cultural maladaptation. This study examines a particular case of potential cultural maladaptation; eating disordered behavior. Referencing available medical literature, it is established that eating disorders carry substantial fitness costs. Second, the cultural and historical underpinnings of eating disorders are examined. A worldwide survey of health professionals establishes that eating disordered behavior is spreading throughout the world with the increasing globalization of Western sociocultural and economic norms. Finally, a cognitive model underpinning eating disordered behavior is tested within a university student population sample. This model predicts that the values of status, wealth, self-control and attractiveness positively correlate with each other, while negatively correlating with reproductive potential. This model was supported by the results of the cognitive measure.

Subject: Biology; Physical anthropology;

Classification: 0306: Biology;  0327: Physical anthropology

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Biological sciences, Cognitive anthropology, Evolutionary psychology, Dual-inheritance theory, Eating disorders, Anorexia nervosa, Human behavioral ecology, Anorexia, Cultural maladaptation

Number of pages: 199

Publication year: 2007

Degree date: 2007

School code: 0792

Source: DAI-A 68/11, May 2008

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780549338314

Advisor: Wilson, David S.

Committee member: Garrutto, Ralph, Little, Michael, Miller, Ralph

University/institution: State University of New York at Binghamton

Department: Anthropology

University location: United States — New York

Degree: Ph.D.

Social symmetry: A theory of altruism and cooperation

Author: Homer, Gregg Stanley

Abstract: The ubiquity of human altruism and non-simultaneous cooperation has confounded scholars from disciplines as diverse as evolutionary biology, economic game theory, social psychology, political science, and sociology. For biologists, the conundrum arises from the inconsistency between altruism and cooperation, on the one hand, and Darwin’s theory of natural selection, on the other. For social scientists, altruism and cooperation violate one of the basic tenets of their respective disciplines–the rational self-interest assumption. The literature offers a variety of theories attempting to explain altruism and cooperation. In some cases, these theories have provided satisfactory explanations for limited factual settings, but in the main, they leave far too many common examples unexplained.

This dissertation offers a theory of altruism and cooperation based on a strong emotional preference for social symmetry. This theory claims that a human preference for geometric and temporal symmetry could easily have propagated as the result of any number of fitness advantages, including better mate selection, hunting and gathering, shelter construction, ground footing, vehicle construction and operation, corporeal balance, information storage and processing, and hand tool construction and use. Symmetry is also evident in our art, music, architecture, and literature. So powerful is this preference that it generalized to our social environment. As a result, gains and losses between individuals are interpreted as broken and restored symmetries. Rational calculations of risk and reward are preempted by the power of the actor’s emotional preference.

Subject: Social psychology; Economic theory; Social structure;

Classification: 0451: Social psychology;  0511: Economic theory;  0700: Social structure

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Psychology, Social symmetry, Altruism, Cooperation, Reciprocity, Evolution

Number of pages: 152

Publication year: 2007

Degree date: 2007

School code: 0212

Source: DAI-A 68/09, Mar 2008

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780549244141

Advisor: Hensler, Deborah R.

University/institution: Stanford University

University location: United States — California

Degree: J.S.D.

Scientific aesthetics: The nature of beauty in the phenomenal universe as determined by the work of Immanuel Kant reevaluated within a twenty-first century context

Author: Sukys, Paul

Abstract: The proposition advanced in this study is that science shapes philosophy and, therefore, cannot be separated from the philosophy of aesthetics. Three questions arise: (1) Why choose science as the guiding principle for aesthetic judgments? (2) How can science be used as a measure of artistic beauty? (3) How well does science work as a measure of artistic beauty? The study explores the philosophy of Immanuel Kant which provides a basis for making aesthetic judgments based on certain a priori human faculties. Kant speculates that humans perceive order and unity individually, yet, through disinterest, measure that existential event to arrive at a universal concept of beauty. The contemporary theorists, Alexander Argyros and T. J. Fraser, provide a framework that integrates Kant’s theories with modern scientific discoveries. In addition, several cognitive theorists, including Antonio Damasio, Stephen Roa, Warren Meck, and Keith Stanovich, demonstrate that the brain functions in ways that mirror Kant’s a priori faculties. Therefore, since the human cognitive system appears to work best when perceiving order and unity, the most aesthetically pleasing artifacts are likely to be produced by artists who intuitively incorporate the law-like structures of the universe into their art to create orderly, unified artifacts. Experiments conduced by Richard Taylor, David Jonas, Adam Micolich, Colin Clifford, Branka Spehar, and Ben Newell, involving the works of Jackson Pollock and/or Piet Mondrian demonstrate that those artifacts that are unified and orderly without seeming to be so, have a broad appeal among artistic spectators when contrasted to works that do not exhibit those qualities. These studies raise the question of why the fractal works of Pollock should evoke pleasure while the flat line paintings of Mondrian do not. Some experts suggest that evolutionary factors may explain this preference. Further research is needed to unravel the relationships between automatic responses and choice in determining artistic beauty. Recent experimental support for Kant’s epistemological and aesthetic theories also suggests that the metanarratives of the Enlightenment may still be relevant within the twenty-first century Postmodern context.

Subject: Fine arts; Art history; Philosophy;

Classification: 0357: Fine arts;  0377: Art history;  0422: Philosophy

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Communication and the arts, Scientific aesthetics, Beauty, Phenomenal universe, Twenty-first century, Kant, Immanuel

Pages: 252 p.

Number of pages: 252

Publication year: 2006

Degree date: 2006

School code: 1414

Source: DAI-A 67/12, Jun 2007

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780542997648

Advisor: Tallmadge, John

University/institution: Union Institute and University

University location: United States — Ohio

Degree: Ph.D.

Gender differences in intensity of emotional response: An evolutionary perspective

Author: Kleyman, Emily Z

Abstract: According to the evolutionary paradigms of Trivers’ (1972) theory of parental investment and Buss &Schmitt’s (1993) Sexual Selection Theory, the parental behaviors and mate-selection preferences of males and females are different. Such that, vis-à-vis different reproductive physiology and parental demands, females’ attractiveness to males is largely a product of their fertility or physical attractiveness and males’ attractiveness to females is largely a product of their ability to acquire and share resources or status.

Because emotions are defined as adaptive systems of mechanisms that are designed to monitor our interactions with our environments and signal its fitness-promoting significance, we expected participants to experience emotional responses to environmental changes that signaled changes in sex-appropriate personal characteristics.

In studies 1 and 2 it was hypothesize: that male subjects would experience a more intense emotional response to changes in their status and female subjects would experience a more intense emotional response to changes in their physical attractiveness. For study 3 it was hypothesized that male subjects would experience a more intense emotional response to changes in their wives’ physical attractiveness and female subjects would experience a more intense emotional response to changes in their husbands’ status. Results revealed a significant 3-way interaction in each of the three studies, which supported the hypotheses of differential effects of environmental cues on the male and female participants.

Subject: Psychology; Experiments; Social psychology; Cognitive therapy;

Classification: 0623: Psychology;  0623: Experiments;  0451: Social psychology;  0633: Cognitive therapy

Identifier / keyword: Psychology, Mating, Evolutionary psychology, Gender differences, Emotional response

Pages: 164 p.

Number of pages: 164

Publication year: 2000

Degree date: 2000

School code: 0046

Source: DAI-B 61/09, p. 5034, Mar 2001

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 0599930365, 9780599930360

Advisor: Hass, R Glen

University/institution: City University of New York

University location: United States — New York

Degree: Ph.D.

Traditions and male homosexual behavior

Author: Cvorovic, Jelena

Abstract: This dissertation proposes a solution to a puzzle that confronts evolutionary explanations of behavior: tolerated male homosexuality. It will argue that tolerated male homosexuality in traditional societies occurs as a response to polygyny.

Darwinian selection applies to any inheritable phenotype. Because traditions can be inherited at 100% frequency, in contrast with genes, all descendants can inherit a tradition. Not only do genes involved in the transmission of traditions respond to selection but also traditions themselves. The realization that the frequency of a particular tradition is influenced by selection allows a new approach to human behavior: the persistence and spread of a particular tradition is explainable in the same way as any stable, inheritable phenotype, that is, by its contribution to an individual’s success in leaving descendants.

Traditions often imply restraint on appetite. Appetite is the main cause of competition, conflict and violence. Traditions may have been selected for because they tempered the r-strategy male genotype, increasing the parental investment of both males and females. Parental or K strategy is the essence of social behavior and is at the expense of mating behavior, r. Male homosexual behavior is r behavior, as opposed to K.

Due to the intense competition among males for females, polygynous societies are characterized by a high degree of violence among males. One means of reducing this conflict is to allow male homosexual activity to be a substitute for heterosexual intercourse. When this occurs, the homosexual behavior is usually closely regulated in regard to age, modus and behavior of the participants. This explanation is supported by the examination of the 54 societies identified as tolerating male homosexual behavior by cross-cultural researchers.

Subject: Cultural anthropology;

Classification: 0326: Cultural anthropology

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Traditions, Homosexual, Men

Pages: 484 p.

Number of pages: 484

Publication year: 2001

Degree date: 2001

School code: 0010

Source: DAI-A 62/05, p. 1874, Nov 2001

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493244099, 0493244093

Advisor: Steadmon, Lyle

University/institution: Arizona State University

University location: United States — Arizona

Degree: Ph.D.

Why old age: Non-material contributions and patterns of aging among older adult Tsimane’

Author: Schniter, Eric

Abstract: Little is known about why humans have an extended juvenile development and long post-reproductive lifespan. While older adults’ non-material contributions to younger generations can help explain human life history, even less is known about development of skills and abilities in small-scale society, and whether older adults suffer from social depreciation as traditional skills become replaced with novel skills related to market interactions. As the relative size of older aged populations burgeons across cultures, so does prevalence of increased health risk, abuse, neglect, and discrimination. Solutions to these problems are not well understood. This study among the Tsimane’ of the Bolivian Amazon, focusing on development of special skills and older adults’ roles in the enculturation process, provides evidence of positive intergenerational contributions and the circumstances that both threaten and contribute to wellbeing of older adults. Three components of these contributions have been investigated: (a) knowledge and expertise; (b) development and transmission of important skills over the lifecourse; (c) roles as social mediators, child-rearers, skill transmitters, and informal leaders. Data has also been collected on psychological well-being, social support, and health of older adults, to see if those who contribute more are better off. Results indicate that complex skills essential to survival take decades to learn. Wellbeing of older Tsimane’ is contingent on their roles in culture transmission; they specialize in storytelling, increase involvement in kin affairs, and are most identified as experts and transmitters. Variance in market acculturation found among study villages shows that adults in more acculturated villages are valued less, as difficult traditional skills become replaced with convenient novel skills. These findings, which help explain when and why older Tsimane’ are supported, also support the hypothesis that large brains and delayed development, with relatively late onset of adult productivity, enable the long and slow life history that characterizes humans. Payoffs of sustained early life learning among foragers are realized only later in life, but such an investment is only worthwhile given the long lifespan, health improvements, and important cultural transmission contributions to younger kin made by older adults in the context of a kin-based society with relatively stable traditions.

Subject: Cultural anthropology;

Classification: 0326: Cultural anthropology

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Aging, Old age, Older adults, Tsimane’, Bolivia

Number of pages: 639

Publication year: 2009

Degree date: 2009

School code: 0035

Source: DAI-A 71/02, Aug 2010

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781109608557

Advisor: Gurven, Michael

Committee member: Tooby, John, Gaulin, Steven, Cosmides, Leda

University/institution: University of California, Santa Barbara

Department: Anthropology

University location: United States — California

Degree: Ph.D.

Looking for a few good males: Female choice in evolutionary biology, 1915–1975

Author: Milam, Erika Lorraine

Abstract: Looking for a Few Good Males reveals the changing importance of human behavior as the object of ultimate study in evolutionary and behavioral studies of animals between 1915 and 1975. Although a seemingly straightforward theoretical concept in evolutionary biology, “female choice” of mating partners was developed and employed in very different ways by population geneticists, ethologists, and organismal biologists. In the first decades of the twentieth century, biologists investigated female choice in animals as models for understanding the evolution of complex mating behavior in humans. By the 1940s, the evolution of human behavior largely disappeared as a reason motivating biologists to investigate the behavior of animals. As part of the neo-Darwinian research program known as the modern evolutionary synthesis, evolutionary biologists and population geneticists became interested in understanding the process of evolution in natural animal populations, rather than seeking to uncover the pattern of behavioral evolution in the animal kingdom. Concurrently, biologists interested in animal behavior shied away from anthropomorphic notions of choice as they strove to increase their professional standing. In the 1960s, as a reaction to the rising star of molecular biology, organismal biologists once again hoped to claim authority in understanding human social and sexual behavior through evolutionary theory. Despite the resistance with which social scientists received sociobiological theories applied to humans, sociobiology came to be the dominant paradigm within which biologists interested in sexual selection and female choice created the history of their discipline. The commensurate return to zoomorphism (the converse of anthropomorphism, or the tendency to read animal nature into human behavior) among organismal biologists studying the evolution of social and sexual behavior meant that, for them, the only relevant research from the preceding decades was that on individual animals; genetic and ethological research on female choice from the 1940s through the 1960s was not incorporated in what became the standard history of sexual selection. Thus, this dissertation not only uncovers lost mid-century research programs of female mate choice, it also explores the disciplinary stakes inherent in writing the history of sexual selection and female choice.

Subject: Science history; Biology;

Classification: 0585: Science history;  0306: Biology

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Biological sciences, Female choice, Evolutionary biology, Julian Huxley, Theodosius Dobzhansky, Ernst Mayr, Nikolaas Tinbergen, Ronald Aylmer Fisher, Huxley, Julian, Dobzhansky, Theodosius, Mayr, Ernst, Tinbergen, Nikolaas, Fisher, Ronald Aylmer

Pages: 294 p.

Number of pages: 294

Publication year: 2006

Degree date: 2006

School code: 0262

Source: DAI-A 67/09, Mar 2007

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780542887741

Advisor: Mitman, Gregg A, Nyhart, Lynn K

University/institution: The University of Wisconsin – Madison

University location: United States — Wisconsin

Degree: Ph.D.

The functional significance of waist-to-hip ratio

Author: Spencer, Tanya Dee

Abstract: Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) may be important and highly visible “honest advertisement” of general and reproductive health and, hence, physical attractiveness. Research shows that men and women aged 18-86 agree on what constitutes attractive WHRs: .7 for women and .9 for men. However, stimuli used in previous studies confound weight with WHR because the line drawings or photographs are altered to yield a range of WHRs and the actual body mass index (BMI) is not available. The purpose of the present study was to compare the predictive power of WHR and BMI in explaining the variance in attractiveness judgements. Unretouched photographs of men and women that varied by WHR and BMI were rated by men and women on several dimensions (masculine, feminine, good-looking, sexy, intelligent, interested in having children, capable of having children, age, weight, weight category, attractiveness for marriage, attractiveness for brief casual sex) and ranked according to global preference. Results showed that photographs of WHRs of .7 for females and only .8 for males were seen as most attractive. However, ratings of attractiveness were largely determined by BMI of the person pictured, although WHR was a sole predictor of age estimates and masculinity ratings. People with high BMIs were generally seen as less attractive and less intelligent. Raters, particularly women, were quite accurate at estimating the weight of people pictured. Ratings were largely consistent across rater characteristics, including sex, and ratings (pictures presented in random order one at a time) and rankings (pictures presented in random order simultaneously). Self-report anthropometric measurements were also found to be fairly reliable. These results suggest that BMI, not WHR, may be the best predictor of judgements of physical attractiveness.

Subject: Psychotherapy; Social psychology;

Classification: 0622: Psychotherapy;  0451: Social psychology

Identifier / keyword: Psychology, Waist-to-hip ratio, Attractiveness, Body mass index

Pages: 147 p.

Number of pages: 147

Publication year: 2002

Degree date: 2002

School code: 1099

Source: DAI-B 63/08, p. 3940, Feb 2003

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780612707801, 0612707806

Advisor: Mazmanian, Dwight S

University/institution: Lakehead University (Canada)

University location: Canada

Degree: Ph.D.

Cerebrating the novel: Toward a neurocognitive analysis of contemporary American fiction

Author: Faye, Jefferson Eitig

Abstract: The quest to understand the relationship between the human brain’s anatomy, self-awareness, and behavior has led to the development of a field known as cognitive neuroscience. The increasing popularization of neuroscience has inspired a sub-genre of literature which addresses the complexities of self-consciousness. The novelists of this study–Tom Robbins, Kurt Vonnegut, Don DeLillo, William Hjortsberg, and Joseph McElroy–provide a neurologically-based cultural analysis in sophisticated literary forms. They are largely concerned with the increasingly apparent schism between the previously-dominant psychoanalytic approach to human behavior and the emerging, primarily biological study of the mind. Their novels–neurotexts–demonstrate an awareness of the brain’s biological processes and reject many psychology-based behavioral theories. Neurotexts establish direct links between neuroscience and character behaviors, motivations, and relationships, attributing actions to the interaction of anatomical, biological, and environmental conditions. Neuroscience can be used to explain unusual narrative structures or structural relationships within their novels.

The authors of neurotexts have argued that neurology-based theories address the complexity of human behavior more thoroughly than Freudian models. Tom Robbins attacks psychoanalysis in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1976), explaining human behavior with twentieth-century interpretations of Darwin’s theory of natural selection. In Galapagos (1985), Kurt Vonnegut attributes behavior to cerebral evolution and individual responses to environmental conditions. Don DeLillo’s Ratner’s Star (1976) and White Noise (1984) are novels whose forms and plots are built upon the conflicts between different sets of cerebral structures in the brain. Rather than using psychoanalytic theories to explain his characters’ behaviors, DeLillo attributes behavior to differences between the left and right hemispheres’ information processing tendencies; he also contrasts the responses of the hypothalamic, limbic, and hemispheric structures to environmental stimuli. William Hjortsberg rejects Freud’s legacy in Gray Matters (1971), explaining the relationship of human behavior to environmental influences and anatomical development. Hjortsberg also applies these theories while discussing the formation of societies and social interaction. In Plus (1976), Joseph McElroy demonstrates the connections between physiological growth and increased cognitive capabilities in an isolated environment, relying upon neuroanatomy to explain human consciousness.

Subject: American literature; Literature;

Classification: 0591: American literature;  0298: Literature

Identifier / keyword: Language, literature and linguistics, Robbins, Tom, Vonnegut, Kurt, DeLillo, Don, Hjortsberg, William, McElroy, Joseph, postmodern

Pages: 339 p.

Number of pages: 339

Publication year: 1997

Degree date: 1997

School code: 0045

Source: DAI-A 58/05, p. 1708, Nov 1997

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780591420845, 0591420848

Advisor: LeClair, Tom

University/institution: University of Cincinnati

University location: United States — Ohio

Degree: Ph.D.

Why films make us cry but videogames don’t: Emotions in traditional and interactive media

Author: Frome, Jonathan

Abstract: This dissertation addresses several questions about why and how media generate emotions. When we watch a horror movie, why do we scream but not flee in terror? Why do we think of emotional responses to artworks as highly individual while, at the same time, we can accurately describe some emotional responses as common to most audiences? Why do we have emotional responses to fictional media? Why do different media tend to generate different kinds of emotions? What are the differences between emotions created by interactive and traditional media?

I present a model of emotional response that aims to answer these questions. The model is based on four main theories. The first is a theory of emotions, based on current psychological research rather than introspection, which argues that we must think of emotions broadly, as constant features of our conscious experience rather than discrete and occasional responses to specific situations. The second is a multi-level theory of mind that challenges most accounts of why we respond emotionally to media; this theory is premised on the notion that most of our mental activity is not consciously accessible. The third theory describes how we appraise reality in degrees and argues that our emotional responses to artworks are proportional to the degree to which we appraise those artworks as real. The final theory describes how specific features of artworks can generate four different types of emotions and argues that the different roles taken by audiences of traditional and interactive media are key to the differences in our experience of these media.

Based on this foundation, I investigate the specific question of why films make us cry and videogames don’t.

Subject: Motion pictures; Philosophy;

Classification: 0900: Motion pictures;  0422: Philosophy

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Communication and the arts, Films, Videogames, Emotions, Interactive media, Media

Pages: 320 p.

Number of pages: 320

Publication year: 2006

Degree date: 2006

School code: 0262

Source: DAI-A 67/09, Mar 2007

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780542887789

Advisor: Bordwell, David

University/institution: The University of Wisconsin – Madison

University location: United States — Wisconsin

Degree: Ph.D.

PHILOSOPHY

Modal concepts in the biological sciences

Author: Zinser, Jason

Abstract: “Modality” refers to the concepts (and surrounding controversies) of “possibility” and “necessity.” Recently, a great deal of attention paid to these concepts in metaphysics. Not surprisingly, this literature has not been adopted in the field of philosophy of biology. In this work, I ague that there is a need to understand how modal concepts function in biology. Biologists already employ modal concepts in a variety of contexts. However, they do not explain how these concepts function or ought to function within the biological domain. From a philosophical perspective, there is a framework for how modal concepts operate in physics. But this framework cannot be adopted by the biological sciences. Since work on modality is relatively new to philosophy of biology, I spend the first three chapters justifying, defining, and restricting the project of creating a modal framework in biology. In the penultimate chapter, I present and criticize the single account of “biological possibility” found in the literature, which is offered by Daniel Dennett. Finally, I provide a positive account of how we should apply modal concepts in the biological sciences.

Subject: Philosophy;

Classification: 0422: Philosophy

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Modal concepts, Biological sciences, Philosophy of biology, Dennett, Daniel

Number of pages: 101

Publication year: 2007

Degree date: 2007

School code: 0071

Source: DAI-A 68/09, Mar 2008

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780549252658

University/institution: The Florida State University

University location: United States — Florida

Degree: Ph.D.

An evolutionary approach to intuitionism and moral realism

Author: Basik, Nathan

Abstract: This dissertation supports universalistic trends in political thought by arguing for a physiologically based moral sense underlying a realist version of evolutionary ethics. The project begins by arguing for a methodological anarchy that paradoxically works against the epistemological gap between natural and social science embodied in the “bifurcation thesis.” Chapter Two examines the roots of moral intuitionism, and stresses the contradiction between the ubiquity of intuitions in moral philosophy and the simultaneous rejection of intuitionism, a contradiction that motivates the effort to ground moral intuitions more rigorously in physiology. Chapter Three extends the argument for naturalistic moral psychology by demonstrating how it could complement, rather than contradict, Charles Taylor’s notions of moral frameworks and ontology. The ways in which conceptual and technological advances in science are being applied to moral philosophy are treated in Chapter Four. Chapter Five defends moral realism, but since evolutionary ethics is widely construed as a nonrealist position, Chapter Six uses evolutionary convergence to support the compatibility of evolutionary and realist moral perspectives. The final chapter briefly considers some relativistic concerns before sketching an evolutionary realist stance and applying it to several concrete issues generally regarded as moral concerns. Evolutionary moral realism simultaneously contributes to second order ontological and epistemological debates and clarifies positions regarding first order normative principles, such as consequentialism and contractualism. For both philosophers and scientists the broadest contribution of evolutionary realism is the notion that progress on any of these debates within moral philosophy will require integrating abstract theory with concrete empirical findings.

Subject: Philosophy; Political science;

Classification: 0422: Philosophy;  0615: Political science

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Social sciences, Evolutionary ethics, Intuitionism, Moral realism, Moral sense, Ethics

Number of pages: 333

Publication year: 2008

Degree date: 2008

School code: 0093

Source: DAI-A 70/02, Aug 2009

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9781109027044

Advisor: Hanson, Russell

Committee member: Isaac, Jeffrey, Craiutu, Aurelian, Todd, Peter

University/institution: Indiana University

Department: Political Science

University location: United States — Indiana

Degree: Ph.D.

Representing fictions in film

Author: Sellors, Christopher Paul

Abstract: All theories of fiction in film proceed on metaphysical assumptions, yet too frequently inquiries into these foundations are avoided for the pragmatics of the theory. Film theory has been largely dominated by an anti-realist metaphysical framework that positions the fictional contents of films in the minds of spectators, rather than as the objects referred to through filmic representation. As a result, film theory lacks a clear distinction between the fictional contents that spectators attend to and spectators’ mental engagement with film. We have not learned one of philosophy’s cardinal rules: not to confuse metaphysics with epistemology. The problem stems from the presupposition that spectators make-believe the fictions they attend to, rather than take the material representation as referring to the fictional contents. We lack a clear understanding of how things that do not exist can be represented and narrated in a primarily indexical medium. Moreover, if fictions are determined through engagement by readers and spectators, then we abandon a general theory of fiction altogether, since definitions of fictional modes become partially determined by the representational practices of the various media. Despite an apparent plausibility, anti-realist accounts are unable to meet the basic common-sense view that everyone that sees a certain film sees the same fiction. Certainly there can and should be differing views about what a fiction may be interpreted to mean by each individual that engages it, but this does not license relativism about fictional contents. In contrast, I advocate a realist metaphysical stance rooted in modal philosophy and the theory of objects. Only by first addressing what fictions are can theories of representation, narration, perception, hermeneutics, and spectatorial agency, for instance, be established. I conclude that if the theory of fiction can be rid of its spectatorial anti-realism, then we can locate across all media of fiction the same basic representational and narrational components. Narration and representation, then, are concerns for the study of the aesthetics and history of film, and not its ontology.

Subject: Motion Pictures; Philosophy;

Classification: 0900: Motion Pictures;  0422: Philosophy

Identifier / keyword: Philosophy, religion and theology, Communication and the arts, Film, Fiction, Metaphysical realism

Pages: 241 p.

Number of pages: 241

Publication year: 2002

Degree date: 2002

School code: 0146

Source: DAI-A 63/08, p. 2729, Feb 2003

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780493809625, 0493809627

Advisor: Allen, Richard

University/institution: New York University

University location: United States — New York

Degree: Ph.D.


You think this is a GAME?

Voila!

Even More Biocultural Dissertations:

And – so, that (above) is the list I initially compiled from a ProQuest search.

Others that have kindly since contacted me, to also let me know of their biocultural thesis/dissertation, include:

Hengel, Edward, `Genes, Memes and Themes, A Darwinian Look at Literary Motifs.’, MA Thesis, Mercy College, NY, USA, 2009.

Norwood-Büdke, Zachary, `From object to affect in literary experience, interpretation, and evaluation.’  PhD, The University of Auckland, 2013 (https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/handle/2292/20531)

Scalise Sugiyama, Michelle `Feminine Nature: An Evolutionary Analysis of Hemingway’s Women Characters’ PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1997.

Lange, Benjamin, 2008, M.A. thesis in Linguistics on the sexual selection of communication: (Lange, B. P. (2008). Kommunikative Dimensionen sexueller Selektion. M.A. thesis at the University of Kassel, Department of Language and Literature).

Lange, Benjamin, 2011, PhD in Psychology with experimental and historiometric studies on the evolution of language and literature: Lange, B. P. (2011). Verbal proficiency as fitness indicator: Experimental and comparative research on the evolutionary psychology of language and verbal displays. Doctoral dissertation at the University of Kassel, Department of Human Sciences, Institute of Psychology.). See: http://www.benjaminplange.de/forschung/publikationen/

Mellmann, Katja (2006) Emotionalisation – From the off hours poetry to the book as a friend: An emotion-psychological analysis of the literature of the Enlightenment, PhD.

 

Bruno Arquié, (2015) “From Darwin to literature: an evolutionary perspective on five novels of Ian McEwan and Margaret Drabble (Enduring Love, The Peppered Moth, Saturday, The Sea Lady, Solar), PhD thesis, under the direction of Georges Letissier.

aka

Arquié, Bruno, “De Darwin à la Littérature : un regard évolutionniste sur cinq romans d’Ian McEwan et de Margaret Drabble” (2015)

 

————————–

Abstracts – from the above `additional list’:

And so, the Abstracts (where available) for these “new additions” to the list:

Abstract:  `From object to affect in literary experience, interpretation, and evaluation.’ 

Author: Norwood-Büdke, Zachary

What happens in our heads when reading, and what is the relation between the reading experience and everyday experience? Philosophers and literary theorists have puzzled over these questions since (at least) Plato’s Phaedrus, with new answers offered yearly. However, as I argue, we have not been able to know ‘what happens in our heads’ with any assurance until the advent of neuroscience. Only within the past twenty years have we begun observing activity in our brains with any specificity, and only within the past ten years have we begun tracing—from photons to neurons, from reflected light to sensory transduction (Lumpkin & Caterina, 2007)—the interconnectivity between real and fictive properties and between everyday experience and the reading experience. My thesis harnesses data coming out of the neurosciences and puts them to use for literary theory and criticism, with two principal foci: I seek to clarify the nature of literary ‘meaning,’ or how readers translate textual codes into rich cognitive representations; and I offer a neurobiological account of literary ‘value’ and ‘evaluation,’ or how we come to think of works as ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ and how we may then adjudicate between competing values. An important neuroscientific programme guiding my research is ‘grounded cognition.’ Grounded cognition explains (a) how memory encodes into innate, modality-specific systems in the brain—visual, emotional, auditory—and (b) how acquired memories, from perception, reactivate while reading, generating ‘situated simulations’ of textual contents, or what could be thought of as a type of ‘simulated’ perceptual experience (Addis, 2009; Barsalou, 1999, 2008). Grounded cognition thus offers a uniform account of the relation between innate systems, perceptually acquired memory, and how we simulate and respond to fictional events. Taking cues from grounded cognition, I argue that the reading experience is correlative with perceptual experience, so that how we find meaning in and value perceptual objects and events, in general, explains how we find meaning in and value simulated objects and events in particular literary passages. I have loosely dubbed my approach to literary theory ‘neurocriticism.’ The ‘neuro’ prefix signifies my source of empirical data—namely cognitive, social, and affective neuroscience—while ‘criticism’ signifies the consequences of these data when applied to literary analysis. Neuroscience has its limits, to be sure, and neuroscientists often get things wrong; I have therefore also relied heavily on philosophic work to frame neuroscientific findings, and to select between competing neuroscientific explanations. By offering a neurobiological account of literary meaning and value, and showing how this account militates for and against competing interpretations of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, I believe my thesis makes some headway towards achieving a new wave of reader response theories taking their cues from neuroscientific research.

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Title: Persistent Mythologies: A Cognitive Approach to Beowulf and the Pagan Question
Author: Luttrell, Eric G.
Abstract: This dissertation employs recent developments in the cognitive sciences to explicate competing social and religious undercurrents in Beowulf. An enduring scholarly debate has attributed the poem’s origins to, variously, Christian or polytheistic worldviews. Rather than approaching the subject with inherited terms which originated in Judeo-Christian assumptions of religious identity, we may distinguish two incongruous ways of conceiving of agency, both human and divine, underlying the conventional designations of pagan and Christian. One of these, the poly-agent schema, requires a complex understanding of the motivations and limitations of all sentient individuals as causal agents with their own internal mental complexities. The other, the omni-agent schema, centralizes original agency in the figure of an omnipotent and omnipresent God and simplifies explanations of social interactions. In this concept, any individual’s potential for intentional agency is limited to subordination or resistance to the will of God. The omni-agent schema relies on social categorization to understand behavior of others, whereas the poly-agent schema tracks individual minds, their intentions, and potential actions. Whereas medieval Christian narratives, such as Bede’s Life of St. Cuthbert and Augustine’s Confessions, depend on the omni-agent schema, Beowulf relies more heavily on the poly-agent schema, which it shares with Classical and Norse myths, epics, and sagas. While this does not prove that the poem originated before the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons, it suggests that the poem was able to preserve an older social schema which would have been discouraged in post-conversion cultures were it not for a number of passages in the poem which affirmed conventional Christian theology. These theological asides describe an omni-agent schema in abstract terms, though they accord poorly with the representations of character thought and action within the poem. This minimal affirmation of a newer model of social interaction may have enabled the poem’s preservation on parchment in an age characterized by the condemnation, and often violent suppression, of non-Christian beliefs. These affirmations do not, however, tell the whole story.
Description: xi, 266 p.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/12089
Date: 2011-09

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Emotionalisierung – Von der Nebenstundenpoesie zum Buch als Freund: Eine emotionspsychologische Analyse der Literatur der Aufklärungsepoche

Google-translation of this title: Emotionalisation – From the off hours poetry to the book as a friend: An emotion-psychological analysis of the literature of the Enlightenment

Author: Mellmann, Katja

Abstract: There has long been a consensus on an “emotionalisation” of 18th century German literature. To date, though, the finding has been based first and foremost on the poetological self-descriptions of contemporaries. The emotionalisation tendency has not yet been systematically verified in literary texts themselves. This is primarily because current literary studies do not have an appropriate range of measures for objective description of emotional text effects. Based on emotion theories from evolutionary psychology and ethology, the present study develops a new literary-psychological descriptive system. The emotional effects of literary texts can be plausibly reconstructed and communicated with the processes of text analysis using this new system.

In the historical part of the study, fundamental structural innovations within leisure poetry of the early enlightenment and the Rococo are brought out and identified as necessary prerequisites for the emotionalised literature of the Sentimentalism and Storm and Stress periods. Detailed text analyses demonstrate how these basic innovations are newly combined after 1750 and assigned new functions, and how the prototype of modern literature arises out of this process.

Subject: Literary studies; Reader response theory;

Identifier / keyword: Psychology, Language, literature and linguistics, Neo-Darwinian, Evolutionary psychology, Emotions, Reader response, 18th-century German literature

Pages: 479 p.

Number of pages: 479

Publication year: 2006

Degree date: 2005

Place of publication: Paderborn

Country of publication: Germany

ISBN: 978-3-89785-453-6

Advisor: Eibl, Karl

University/institution: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

University location: Germany

Degree: Doctorate of Philosophy.

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Also, this dissertation below was particularly excellent (just in my own view) – since (as of 2013), 10 of the top 20 RoI films are Horror Films:

Clasen, Mathias, ‘Monsters and Horror Stories: A Biocultural Approach’, unpublished PhD dissertation, Aarhus University, Denmark, 2012


 

And – for more detail on the evolutionary systems (or, complexity) view of narrative and bioculture in general, see, this book chapter:

StoryAlity #132The holon/parton structure of the Meme, the unit of culture – and the narreme, or unit of story – book chapter (Velikovsky 2016)

And for a great consilience & creativity & evolution reading list, see:

StoryAlity #71On Consilience in the Arts / Humanities / Communication

Comments, always welcome.

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JT Velikovsky

High-RoI Story/Screenplay/Movie and Transmedia Researcher

The above is (mostly) an adapted excerpt, from my doctoral thesis: “Communication, Creativity and Consilience in Cinema”. It is presented here for the benefit of fellow screenwriting, filmmaking and creativity researchers. For more, see https://aftrs.academia.edu/JTVelikovsky

JT Velikovsky is also a produced feature film screenwriter and million-selling transmedia writer-director-producer. He has been a professional story analyst for major film studios, film funding organizations, and for the national writer’s guild. For more see: http://on-writering.blogspot.com/

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ADDITIONAL REFERENCES

Velikovsky, J. T. (2016). `The Holon/Parton Theory of the Unit of Culture (or the Meme, and Narreme): In Science, Media, Entertainment and the Arts.‘ In A. Connor & S. Marks (Eds.), Creative Technologies for Multidisciplinary Applications. New York: IGI Global.


– Comments always welcome…

(PS – Also – if I have missed your own biocultural dissertation, please accept my humble apologies, and please add it, in a Comment below-! And thanks in advance.)

6 thoughts on “StoryAlity #97 – Bio-cultural Dissertations

  1. Pingback: StoryAlity #116 – StoryAlity Theory @ `Interventions and Intersections’ 2014 (UWS PG Conference) | StoryAlity

  2. Pingback: StoryAlity #116 – StoryAlity Theory @ `Interventions and Intersections’ 2014 (UWS PG Conference) | StoryAlity

  3. Pingback: StoryAlity #71 – On Consilience and Creativity… | StoryAlity

  4. Pingback: StoryAlity #135 – PhD Dissertation Addendum | StoryAlity

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