Master of Arts in English

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    Disabled Identities Revealed Through the Empiricism of a Quartet of Female Dramatis Personae: a Psycho-Social Autoethnographic Portrait
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2022-11-11) Domenick, Anthony; Harrison, Marlen; Lee, Christopher; Christopher
    Dramatists have always built upon pure psychological foundations for character development. The intrinsic qualities associated with humanity impel subjective thoughts, insights, and interpretations on consciousness and introspection. There have been a plethora of protagonists and antagonists to illustrate this argument. In particular, the following four female personas exemplify motifs of affliction, dereliction and social ostracism: Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller from The Miracle Worker, Sarah Norman from Children of a Lesser God, and Laura Wingfield from The Glass Menagerie. These characters are detailed and contrasted through an autoethnographic perspective culminating in the universal theme of psychosocial survival. The cognitive processes, sensibilities, and visceral tendencies of these disabled female characters rouse exploration. Orphaned, blind, and institutionalized, Annie Sullivan overcame egregious cruelties through fervency for an education. With indefatigable exertion, her first job was teaching a deaf, blind, and mute Helen Keller, an exile from humanity, appropriate behavior and basic communication skills with the ultimate goal of language and its significance. The pedagogy process becomes a quagmire of violent tantrums and thwarted efforts. Analogously, Sarah Norman is also a defector from humanity. A version of a misanthrope, Sarah rejects the hearing world with its condescending nonconformity to the language, culture, and values of her world, the deaf world. Laura Wingfield also disengages humankind with a penchant for escapism tethered to an incandescent menagerie of unicorns. What is most intriguing about all four personas is the dramatist’s distillation of the human experience, in particular, their social and psychological adaptation and resignation as an affirmation of their inured reality.
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    The Personal is Political: A Feminist Approach to Renaissance Literature
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2023-03-13) Morrison, Kayla; Green, Amy; Lee, Christopher
    This project connects themes of the second wave feminist movement of the 1970s to Renaissance literature. A close reading of John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi and William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus reveal prevailing themes of the movement. Feminist writers such as Carol Hanisch, Betty Freidman, and Simone de Beauvoir speak out against the same challenges faced by women in both Renaissance plays. Issues of financial autonomy, status, and sexuality arise in both Renaissance literature and second wave feminism. Utilizing a new historicist and feminist lens, research proves Renaissance writers were aware of feminist issues which later emerged in the 1960s-1970s movement.
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    Words and weddings: shifts in the vocabulary of marriage and literature
    (Southern New Hampshire University, 2017) Astl, Catherine; Harrison, Marlen
    Literature abounds with versions of courtship leading to marriage. By exploring the morphology and usage of words associated with matrimony, changes in grammar, as well as mining Greek, Elizabethan, Shakespearean, Romantic, and Victorian works, changes occurred in what marriage meant to society, and what words were used to describe marriage. Identifying patterns, alongside interdisciplinary applications, and the heavy use of New Historicism, shows how the institution of marriage –the modern ones based on relationships, versus mere family ties, rank, and “business-like” arrangements of old - resulted in an evolution that could only have come about with societal changes allowing that relearning. (Author abstract)