Dissertations from School of Arts and Sciences

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"A Monster Turned to Manly Shape": Monstrosity on the Renaissance Stage
Degree Awarded: Ph.D. English Language and Literature. The Catholic University of America, This dissertation examines the change from medieval descriptions of physically monstrous races and creatures to the depictions of monstrosity as a moral or mental state on the Renaissance stage. Renaissance audiences were still fascinated by physically grotesque monsters, as evidenced by the popularity of broadside ballads featuring monstrous births, but despite the fact that the stage is an ideal vehicle for displaying visual difference, there are very few visually remarkable monsters in Renaissance drama. This work therefore examines the villains and avengers of the Renaissance stage who look human but behave like monsters in order to provide a more complete understanding of the social, moral, and philosophical significance of their actions. Although there have been many studies of medieval monsters, there have been few studies of Renaissance monsters aside from scholars who examine the significance of the monstrous or deformed body in public exhibitions and broadsides, such as Lorraine Daston, Katherine Parks, and Mark Burnett. This study, therefore, offers a new understanding of monstrosity in the Renaissance, and how these villains are conceived of as monsters of the mind: they reject human reason and sympathy in favor of fulfilling their own monstrous passions. This dissertation contributes to the growing field of monster studies. Its offers a new interpretation of what it means to be a monster on the Renaissance stage, expanding upon the definition of monstrosity in the Renaissance to more closely align with period debates and ideas about the boundary between the human and inhuman. This study begins by outlining the late medieval understanding of monstrosity and then examining the diminishment of physical monsters in Renaissance literature. The first chapter considers medieval works such as The Sultan of Babylon and Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. The study then moves to the consideration of early modern discussions of monsters and monstrosity in Francis Bacon, Sir Thomas Browne, Michel de Montaigne, Thomas Wright, and William Rankin in order to establish what type of behavior is categorized as monstrous. In the remaining chapters, the study proceeds through a selection of Renaissance tragedies, including Norton and Sackville's Gorboduc, Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy, Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine The Great, and William Shakespeare's Richard III and Othello. Instead of simply creating monsters whose appearances reveal their moral corruption, these dramatists create a range of characters whose bodies may or may not be indicative of their mental state: a character who appears different (whether because of race or other physical difference) is not necessarily villainous, but the character who appears "normal" and acts kindly may hide monstrous intentions. They demonstrate that the line between human and monster lies not in the body, but in the ability to control the passions through human reason and conscience.
Abortion and Religion: The Politics of the American Catholic Bishops
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Politics. The Catholic University of America, Abortion and Religion: The Politics of the American Catholic BishopsMargaret Sammon Parsons, Ph.D.Director: Stephen Schneck, Ph.D.Prior to the 1960s, the American Catholic bishops avoided political involvement unless it directly impacted the Church. Initially, the bishops' main priority for their flock was protection from anti-Catholic discrimination and assuring the nation that Catholics were loyal and patriotic Americans. After Roe v. Wade, the bishops engaged in politics more directly by denouncing the Court's decision, thus laying the foundation for decades of debate over the issue of abortion. By 1976, candidates had recognized the importance of the Catholic vote and both parties began courting the bishops. Since then, the bishops have amassed significant political leverage, primarily due to their near-singular focus on abortion. This dissertation will be the first to examine how the bishops' decision to focus primarily on abortion has been the wellspring of their increased political power. I will discuss the history of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and its political involvement through 2008. This includes an examination of the relationship between the Catholic Church and both the Democratic and Republican parties, including a discussion of the presidential elections from 1976-2008. I will also analyze the changing attitudes toward abortion among key subgroups of the American electorate. My research shows that abortion has been the critical element of the bishops' political power for several reasons: (1) abortion attracts a significant amount of attention; (2) no American bishop favors legalized abortion; (3) the bishops have not been forced to endorse one party over the other; and (4) the tactics of some bishops (i.e., denying communion) have allowed the Church to guide parishioners toward preferred candidates without explicit endorsements. While abortion has not always been a major issue for voters, it has been critical in the expansion of the bishops' political power. As leaders of a major swing-voter group, candidates recognize the bishops' influence and actively court their endorsement. Even without abortion as a major issue in an election, a pro-choice candidate still faces major hurdles in winning the bishops' approval. As was evident in the 2004 election, without agreement on abortion, no amount of agreement on other social issues will earn a candidate episcopal approval., Made available in DSpace on 2011-06-24T17:12:58Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Parsons_cua_0043A_10192display.pdf: 1361104 bytes, checksum: dd2cb848d224feece3df1df47366a36f (MD5)
Ad/Dressing Modernism: Emilia Pardo Bazán's Later Short Stories (1901-1921)
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Spanish. The Catholic University of America, Ad/Dressing Modernism: Emilia Pardo Bazán's Later Short Stories (1901-1921)Martha E. Davis, Ph.D. Director: Chad C. Wright, Ph.D. Although her realist and naturalist novels have been widely researched, scholars have only recently begun to study the more than 500 short stories Emilia Pardo Bazán authored. The majority of her short story oeuvre coincides not only with the pinnacle of her feminist writings, but also with the modernist period (1880-1920). Concerned with literary as well as sartorial fashion, Pardo Bazán demonstrates a heightened awareness of her writing style, as well as her characters' style of dress and their corresponding roles as conformists or New Woman trendsetters. In this dissertation I aim to uncover how the question of "style" or "fashion" manifests itself in characters' apparel and the literary themes of Pardo Bazán's "modernist" writing. To illustrate how Modernism allowed Pardo Bazán to experiment with form and content, I draw on the short story theories of Poe, Joyce and other critics. Virginia Woolf's and Edith Wharton's reflections provide a contemporary feminist perspective on writing during what Rita Felski deems a "feminized" modern age. I refer to what Robert Johnson describes as the "social modernism" of Spanish women writers that highlights themes related to women's changing societal roles. Additionally, I use Roland Barthes' fashion theory to interpret the significance of sartorial elements in the author's short fiction. The cultural theories of J.C. Flügel, Anne Hollander and others help delineate the importance society places on clothing, fashion and the accumulation of material goods, which are central elements in Pardo Bazán's oeuvre.My research demonstrates that highlighting fashion in a modernist style allows Pardo Bazán to raise her readers' awareness of women's issues in a modernizing society, especially as they relate to education, marriage and employment. Drawing on the relative benign subjects of sewing, fashion and other interests of early twentieth-century women, the author is able to explore more "weighty" questions related to gender inequality while also demonstrating the value of women's skills and interests. By "dressing" her language in satire or parody, Pardo Bazán effectively criticizes sexism without appearing overtly feminist and thereby offending her largely conservative, bourgeois readers, thus broadening the reach of her provocative short stories., Made available in DSpace on 2011-02-24T20:46:07Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Davis_cua_0043A_10125display.pdf: 1637969 bytes, checksum: 55d05911959df92a73437ecb45153092 (MD5)
Ambrose the Pastor and the Image of the 'Bride': Exegesis, Philosophy, and the Song of Songs
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Greek and Latin. The Catholic University of America, Before May 24, 2015, this dissertation can be viewed by CUA users only. [24 months embargo], Ambrose the Pastor and the Image of the `Bride':Exegesis, Philosophy, and the Song of SongsMaria MacLean Kiely, Ph.D.Director: Dr. Philip Rousseau,Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor of Early Christian StudiesAmbrose of Milan remains a dilemma. He was an eminent ecclesiastical leader, who knew how to promote the independence of the Church in an imperial city. In his sometimes stormy encounters with three emperors and two usurpers, he invariably maintained his position and power. Yet, he was considered one of the great theologians of the early Church and a source for Christian mysticism based on the Song of Songs. A nuanced appraisal of these two sides of Ambrose is complicated by the fact that he was thrust unprepared into the ecclesiastical duties of teaching and preaching. To redeem his deficit, he borrowed from his Greek and Latin predecessors; his homilies and treatises are studded with their exegetical and philosophical ideas. Who is the man behind the political adroitness, the mystical bent, and the erudite borrowings? What is the interior genius of Ambrose? Historians need to reassess him in order to grasp the full import of his episcopacy and his influence. Ambrose has provided a key to this process of reappraisal in his use of the Song of Songs. Analysis of this, his favorite, Scripture in diverse treatises has enabled me to probe his thought and his understanding of his role as bishop. I have investigated three major treatises: the De Isaac, the De Bono Mortis, and the Expositio Psalmi 118. Each is directed to Ambrose's congregation at large, and indirectly to the wider community of interested outsiders. I have discovered an Ambrose deeply engaged in a dialogue with the philosophical tradition of Platonism. Scholars who consider him opposed to philosophy mistake anti-pagan rhetoric for personal conviction. The Church as bride represents the interior capacity for God in the soul of each baptized Christian. This represents a transformation of Origen's ideas and methods into a simple, effective tool for late fourth-century catechesis and Scriptural exegesis. On the deepest level, Ambrose thinks in terms of poetic image; metaphor is his native environment. This innate poetic sense allows him to see both the layers of allegory in the Song of Songs and the richness of human love as the foundation for interpretation., Made available in DSpace on 2013-06-25T14:58:53Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Kiely_cua_0043A_10416display.pdf: 2820529 bytes, checksum: 2ed4b70f1dc2a9432a0c733ad72952a7 (MD5)
American Catholic Missions to Japanese in the United States: Their Intersection of Religion, Cultures, Generations, Genders, and Politics, 1910 to 1970
Degree awarded: Ph.D. History. The Catholic University of America, This dissertation focuses on American Catholic missions to the Japanese in the United States during the early to mid twentieth century. Because this evangelization was one of the very first foreign missions by the U.S. Catholic Church, the thesis provides several unique findings such as some new aspects of the experience challenging the ideas shared among home missionaries in the United States, the role of Catholicism in enculturation of an ethnic minority group for whom Catholicism was not a majority faith, and the influence on Americanization by the service of a religious minority to an ethnic minority.This unique mission before and during World War II also tested the values of both of the missionaries and the Japanese. On the one hand, this historical setting forced all of the members of the mission society--the leaders, local missionaries, women religious and religious brothers to play unusual roles which were beyond their ordinary tasks. On the other hand, the patriarchal nature of the Japanese society was shaken in their encounter with Catholic missionaries who founded a bilingual school. Since this school also brought Catholic and non-Catholic Japanese together, both religious and national values which were new to those Japanese immigrants were introduced from children to parents and from women to men. It is also a history of community building and networking by Nisei, the second-generation Japanese Americans who graduated from those mission schools while receiving entire their education in the United States.The research for this dissertation was supported mainly with the documents housed in the archives of the dioceses and the mission societies which assisted those Japanese in the United States. In addition to the archival documents exchanged among the missionaries, the communication and newsletters written in English and Japanese addressed to/from those Japanese, Issei immigrants and Nisei citizens, revealed what they had thought and expected.Thus, this dissertation covers the history of Catholic missions to the Japanese in the United States from its beginning in 1912 to the virtual ending of the education for the Nisei' children in the 1970s. It also includes most of the regions where the mission was pursued., Made available in DSpace on 2012-02-15T20:08:25Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Yamazaki_cua_0043A_10261display.pdf: 2156134 bytes, checksum: 094e9f4c6171ad0599dad6663f7878ef (MD5)
American Poetry at Mid-Century: Warren, Jarrell, and Lowell
Degree awarded: Ph.D. English Language and Literature. The Catholic University of America, This dissertation explores the artistic and personal connections between three writers who helped change American poetry: Robert Penn Warren, Randall Jarrell, and Robert Lowell. All three poets maintained a close working relationship throughout their careers, particularly as they experimented with looser poetic forms and more personal poetry in the fifties and after. Various studies have explored their careers within sundry contexts, but no sustained examination of their relationships with one another exists. In focusing on literary history and aesthetics, this study develops an historical narrative that includes close-readings of primary texts within a variety of contexts. Established views of formalism, high modernism, and the New Criticism are interwoven into the study as tools for examining poetic structure within selected poems. Contexts concerning current criticism on these authors are also interlaced throughout the study and discussed in relation to particular historical and aesthetic issues. Having closely scrutinized the personal exchanges and creative output of all three poets, this study illuminates the significance of these writers' relationships to American poetry at mid-century and beyond. Though the more experimental schools of poetry would not reach their height until the 1950s, by the 1940s Warren, Jarrell, and Lowell were already searching for a new aesthetic. With friendships strong, correspondences frequent, and critical attention to one another's work constant throughout this decade, their poetry shifted in similar ways, both in content and style, by no coincidence. Ultimately, Warren, Jarrell, and Lowell purposely amended the formalist and high modernist aesthetics of their mentors in order to create poetry that engaged in an authentic exploration of selfhood within the real-life contexts of the post-World War II era. This project joins several recent critical works that fray the edges of hard-drawn boundaries that have become generally accepted truths about American literature. Despite the fact that these three artists enjoyed and benefited professionally from life-long, well-documented literary relationships with one another, previous histories have discouraged scholars from investigating these connections. As a case study, this dissertation points to a need to widen and reevaluate the current views of American poetry in the second half of the twentieth-century, so that we may more fully grasp the complexities and origins of contemporary poetry and forge a better understanding of American verse traditions., Made available in DSpace on 2013-06-25T14:59:13Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Shifflett_cua_0043A_10418display.pdf: 757914 bytes, checksum: 593b371ac515d2186124bb4c6da161ba (MD5)
American Political Parties as Transnational Parties
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Politics. The Catholic University of America, American Political Parties as Transnational Parties Michael Read, Ph.D.Director: John Kenneth White, Ph.D.This dissertation examines the development and historical foundations of the transnational activities of American political parties. Although there has been a lack of study in this area, American political parties do now have permanent transnational activity. This activity follows two distinct tracks. First, beginning with the 1964 election, the parties launched their abroad committees to gather votes of eligible absentee voters overseas. For this track, special attention is paid to the 2000, 2004, and 2008 presidential elections, particularly the overseas fundraising and campaigning in the 2008 cycle. Second, beginning in 1982, American parties began to conduct outreach with their like-minded colleagues. They joined, or aided in the creation of, party internationals. Congress created the National Endowment for Democracy that, in turn, funded party-themed institutes to provide democratic development assistance to counter the influence of another major transnational movement, Soviet-backed Communism. This dissertation argues these transnational activities are now permanent and, therefore, American political parties ought to be included in the literature on transnational political parties. Research was conducted by review of relevant literature and supplemented by first-person interviews with relevant actors. Interview subjects were identified through the literature or as leading professionals in their field or both.The argument takes a structural and historical approach. In addition to examining American party operations in and of themselves, associated actors are examined. The roles of American political consultants as agents of partisan outreach and 501(c)(3) organizations as support structures for transnational partisan networks are given particular attention. The historical approach is used to argue that the differences between traditional and American party transnationaltransnationalism is a product of the time and place of the individual movements' development., Made available in DSpace on 2011-03-01T11:46:55Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Read_cua_0043A_10159display.pdf: 6776330 bytes, checksum: 82d755546b9fee732e9c1d35e78d8cc0 (MD5)
The Analysis of Heuristics in the Cognitive Process of Catholic High School Selection
Degree Awarded: Ph.D. Education. The Catholic University of America, Research about the cognitive process that a parent uses in selecting a high school for their child could help increase Catholic school enrollment, which would serve the dual purpose of evangelizing more students and providing increased financial stability through higher tuition revenue. Heuristics, shortcuts the brain uses to make difficult decisions, provide insight into this cognitive process of high school selection. The affect heuristic suggests that a person makes a judgment based upon emotion, the availability heuristic occurs when someone makes a judgment based upon the ease of recall of information, and the representativeness heuristic is used when a judgment is based upon the degree to which a sample is thought to share characteristics of the parent population. The purpose of the study is to determine the extent to which parents use the affect, availability, and representativeness heuristics in forming opinions about Catholic schools and making decisions about sending their children to a Catholic high school. Two surveys were crafted to analyze this problem. In the first survey, 465 parents of 7th and 8th graders at Catholic elementary schools responded to four stimuli that tested for the affect, availability, and representativeness heuristics. In the second survey, 187 parents of applicants at a Catholic high school answered questions about the various sources of information for learning about a school. Chi-Square analysis, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients, and regression analysis were used to analyze the data from both instruments. The results suggest that parents use some combination of the affect, availability, and representativeness heuristics when forming opinions about Catholic high schools and when deciding for their child to apply to and enroll in a Catholic high school. The findings provide admissions directors and administrators at Catholic schools greater insight into how to better attract, enroll, and retain students.

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