Hood College Arts and Humanities

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    The United States Systematically Divided Humanity using Race and Religion
    (2024-05-16) Michelle Townsend; Dr. Noel Verzosa; Hood College Arts and Humanities; Hood College Humanitites (M.A.)
    Using my own personal cultural experiences and graduate studies in Humanities, I have chosen three of my previously written graduate research papers to explain how race and religion have been used in America to create and uphold systemic forms of oppression and outcasting of other human beings. These papers focus on the concepts that were used to separate Americans from its infancy by primarily using race and religion to force Native Americans and Africans into assimilation of European culture. The first paper is “Early American Religions Inflicted Brutal Racism on Native Americans using Christianity and Education” from course 560P, Faith and Belief America with Dr. Jay Harrison in Summer II 2020. In this paper, I argued that English colonizers began redefining the cultural make-up of the United States by forcing ethnic cleansing on Native Americans that were the indigenous people of North America. The second paper, “Birth of a Nation” is Based more on Propaganda than Factual History” from course 560O, Cinema in Context with Dr. Aaron Angello in Fall 2019. I explained how, even though this movie was the first blockbuster in filmmaking, at the same time, was morally unacceptable for society and created demoralizing characterizations of black Americans. Lastly, the third paper is “Comparing Three ‘Doll Test’ Findings and Recommendations” from course 560S, Outcasts and Others In Medieval And Early Modern Europe with Dr. April Morrison in Spring 2022. In this paper, I identify the complexities of negative visual imagery and the effects it has on the viewer by comparing the original “Doll Test” of 1947 to two other more recent Doll Test studies and compare the results.
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    What the Devil: The Roots and Rebirth of Satanic Fears in Twentieth Century America
    (2024-04-30) Scott Coblentz; Barbara Powell; Hood College Arts and Humanities; Hood College Humanities
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    The Back of Beyond: A Spatial Study of J.M. Coetzee Novels
    (2024-04-29) Caleb Shank; Dr. Trevor Dodman; Dr. Corey Campion; Dr. Karen Hoffman; Hood College English and Communication Arts; Hood College Humanities
    At the center of J.M. Coetzee’s fiction lies the question of how one may navigate a world defined by the racial tension of a settler-colonial state. While Coetzee’s work samples multiple perspectives and pockets of society, a common theme of his novels is a character’s struggle to find spaces where they can experience individual freedom. The struggles evident within Coetzee’s work, evocative of the challenge of placing the author within a particular literary sphere, seem to reach all characters, regardless of their identity as either settler or Indigene. Through a spatial reading of three of Coetzee’s apartheid-era novels, as well as one more recent work published after the dismantling of South Africa’s apartheid, this study analyzes how a character struggles for liberation, and what steps may be necessary in order to find a place of one’s own.
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    AFFRILACHIA: UNHEARD VOICES OF APPALACHIA
    (2024-04-10) Megan R. Marshall; Dr. Amy Gottfried; Dr. Trevor Dodman; Dr. Corey Campion; Hood College Arts and Humanities; Humanities
    The Appalachian region is one that is often looked at through the lens of negative stereotypes. It is one that is considered uneducated, low class, and generally lacking in diversity. While statistically, there is data to back up the origins of these stereotypes, it is important to be aware of the changes that have come over time within the region. There are writers of color within the region, many who publish within the body of work considered Affrilachian literature and focused group of Affrilachian poets. The majority of this thesis’s research and literature analysis focuses on the background of living a life within Appalachia, teaching within Appalachia, and beginning to study and implement the use of poetry in a classroom to help create identity and change in terms of identity and cognizance of the Affrilachian individual.
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    Madame de Lafayette - Owning Her Soul
    (2023) Suellen Humm; Dr. Didier Course; Hood College Arts and Humanities; Hood College Master of Arts in Humanities
    Madame de Lafayette’s two best known works, The Princess of Montpensier and The Princess of Cleves are both set in 16th century France, precisely chronicling the era of the French Court, the monarchy, and religious wars. Although both works are lauded as seminal works of historical fiction, the style and psychological impact of the two differ dramatically. How can two works by the same author, with comparable settings, comparable usage of historical events and characters, as well as comparable plot design, have such a dissimilar impact on the reader? What gave rise to the emotional evolvement from one work to the next, allowing Lafayette to create the first psychological novel – and her literary masterpiece - The Princess of Cleves? Determining these factors would show how an author’s personal experiences and relationships can affect the psychological impact of a work, leading to a more emotional understanding and connection with the characters. The critical frame utilized in analyzing the emotional evolvement from The Princess of Montpensier and The Princess of Cleves was two-fold, as it required both a genetic criticism and a structuralist approach. The first section of the thesis entails a comprehensive look at the life of Madame de Lafayette regarding her social and cultural environment, as well as key milestones and relationships. A thorough examination of her two works is rendered in the second section, relating to narration, plot, and structure. Lastly, the thesis concludes with a discussion of the structural and personal evolution that led to the creation of The Princess of Cleves – her literary masterpiece. The years 1662 to 1678 represent a time of change and personal growth for Madame de Lafayette. Cultural and societal changes in 17th century France and the environment of the Parisian literary salons allowed her, as a woman, the freedom to think for herself, unapologetically. It will be shown that Lafayette’s personal relationships had a significant impact on the evolvement of her writing. Her emotional relationship with a close and loving companion afforded her the ability to understand a make perspective as well as her own. The influence of a strong, independent friend allowed her the opportunity to discover and discern her own sense of self. And it is this sense of self that she grants to the Princess of Cleves at the end of the novel that so clearly shows Lafayette’s own emotional and psychological growth. The importance of a psychological connection to a character in a novel is paramount in achieving an emotional response by the reader. The thesis shows there are many literary techniques and devices that can be used to portray emotion, which would be helpful to aspiring writers. In addition, it is hoped that the thesis will inspire interest in – not only a literary work itself – but the personal, social, and cultural life of the author during the work’s creation.
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    CONSTRUCTION OF IDENTITY AND LEGITIMACY IN EARLY SASANIAN IRAN: HISTORICAL, RELIGIOUS, AND LEGENDARY CONTEXTS AND MOTIVATIONS FOR STATECRAFT IN THE FIRST CENTURY OF THE DYNASTY
    (2017-12) Gradoni, Mark Kenneth; Hood College Arts and Humanities; Humanities
    The shahs of the early Sasanian dynasty faced the challenge of establishing their legitimacy as the rulers of an imperial polity after rising to power through military insurrection. The early shahs of the dynasty sought to locate themselves within the religious, mythic, and historical context to link themselves to the glorious rulers and dynasties of Iranian myth and history, while simultaneously espousing Mazdean virtue. Through the concepts of Eransahr and Farr, the notion of the territorial unity of the Mazda-worshiping peoples prescribed in the Avesta and the divinely-bestowed glory of rulers, respectively, the motivations that underlaid Sasanian statecraft during the first four generations of the dynasty are contextualized. The idea of Eransahr as a sacrosanct territorial delimitation of the homelands of the Mazdean peoples was first employed to validate and legitimize the rebellion of the Sasanians against the Parthian Askanian dynasty. After the civil war that established Ardasir I as Sahansah, the defense of Eransahr as both a tangible expanse of territory and a religious concept was used to justify punitive and retaliatory military action in the west against the Roman Empire, as well as to acquire the Central Asian holdings of the Kushan Empire. The claim to the sole possession of Farr was similarly employed to justify first rebellion, and then conflicts with the Kushan Empire, whose own rulers claimed Farr from Mazdean divinities. Establishing the religious, mythic, and historical contexts to which the early Sasanian dynasts were subject illuminates the motivations for imperial policy and allows the scrutiny of those policies and actions to transcend the biases inherent in non-Iranian sources for the period. Furthermore, privileging autochthonous sculptural, epigraphic, and numismatic productions produces an innovative analysis of early Sasanian statecraft cognizant of, and rooted within, Iranian cultural paradigms.
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    A POTTER IN THE MEADOWS
    (2016-04) Gaddie, Matthew Lee; Hood College Arts and Humanities; Ceramic Arts
    Potter in the Meadows is a collection of wood fired ceramic vessels that utilize a visual vocabulary to communicate a concept rooted in the gratitude of a place that cultivates the ebb and flow of a simple ancestral, agricultural inspired life. Historic forms echo ideas of ancient agricultural utilitarianism and the inherent links between the life of a potter and the life of a farmer. The use of custom clays, glazes, and surface embellishments capture quiet moments on the land that inspires spiritual reflection, stewardship, and a deep sense of belonging. The wood firing process is the vulcanization through which sweat drenched labor hardens earthy material and artistic character alike. It is the perspiration, the salty liquid itself, which evokes the spirits of the past who reward resolve. In the whirlwind of our modern lives, these ideas that connect labor to land, hands to clay, and thoughtful meaning to true value are made critical and are born anew.
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    Three Forgotten Women and Their Historical Legacies
    (2023-12-05) Jennifer Creter; Dr. Barbara Powell; Hood College Arts and Humanities; Hood College Master of Arts in Humanities
    This study will explore the roles, perspectives and experiences of three women. These women are Empress Irene, who lived in eighth century Byzantine Empire during the Iconoclastic Controversy, Denmark’s Leonora Christina, a seventeenth century Danish princess who was imprisoned for a large part of her life due to her husband's political misdeeds, and Katherine Harrison, an accused witch in the seventeenth century Connecticut. Their unique cultural and social settings shaped and informed the narrative of their lives. Each suffered from some form of persecution, which was often harsh and took many forms from isolation to imprisonment and even death, and yet their legacies have been largely forgotten. Women have played significant roles in history, but their contributions have often been ignored or downplayed. By analyzing the experiences of these three women, along with the political and cultural contexts of their lives, we can gain new insights into the complex contributions and legacies of women in history
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    Truth & Trauma in Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Slaughterhouse-Five
    (2023-11) Jessica M. Hopkins; Dr. Noel Verzosa; Hood College Arts and Humanities; Master of Arts in Humanities
    Trauma is an extreme condition through which we can understand how the mechanisms of shame and pride significantly influence our ability to both collectively and personally identify and articulate tricky truths. The same skew of perspectivism and bias that shapes an individual’s truth can scale at the collective level, —from the nuclear family unit up to national, continental, and even global levels— often to alarming consequences. Kurt Vonnegut Jr’s Slaughterhouse-Five induces a sensory experience of trauma upon his readers in a way that synthesizes the collective memory of Americans with the profound alienation that results from experiences that directly counter and challenge the truth foundational to the collective memory. My analysis of Vonnegut’s novel is the beginning of a larger question about how the humanities (in this case, literature specifically) provide an invaluable mechanism to depict experienced truths otherwise inaccessible to those who have not directly experienced them. Understanding the limits of language alone to portray a sensory experience helps shape the careful context and creative techniques necessary to simulate an experienced truth that in turn shapes the collective memory of that experience.
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    DAMIEN HIRST AND THE WESTERN CHRISTIAN TRADITION OF DEATH
    (2014-09) Dimiceli, Sarah; Hood College Arts and Humanities; Humanities
    Damien Hirst is a contemporary artist often criticized for both the shocking nature of his work, as well as his hands-off approach. He seeks to engage his viewers in a conversation about death; however, because his methods of doing so look very modern, it can be difficult sometimes for his contemporaries to see the message or value in them. Though both critics as well as Hirst himself are often reluctant to admit it, his work is actually rooted in and shaped by traditional western imagery when it comes to death. Within Hirst's work one can find traditional western symbols of death, including Memento mori, the human skull, decay, and the grotesque spectacle. These instantly recognizable symbols, inherited from a long Western tradition of contemplating death, make his art highly accessible to the public and serve to engage and provoke viewers. They are effective because they are a part of the context through which we view our culture and through which our culture views death. The signs and symbols Hirst uses exist within three categories: Spectacle, Natural History Museums, and Christian Symbolism. This Capstone will examine examples of the use of traditional western Christian imagery in historical contexts and Hirst's work in order to draw parallels between the two. In addition, it is equally important to show how Hirst changes and updates these traditional approaches, and how his work not only adheres to, but also differs from works of the past. Hirst has modernized these symbols in order to connect with and comment on the society in which he operates, and his updates can show how our perception of death has changed as time has gone by. Doing so contributes not only to Hirst scholarship, but to a larger, ongoing discussion about death.
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    A TACTILE VISION: THE PURSUIT OF AESTHETICS, FUNCTION AND REPRODUCIBILITY IN WOOD FIRING
    (2017-07) Delphia, Joseph Michael; Hood College Arts and Humanities; MFA Ceramic Arts
    The author seeks a functional wood fired ceramic surface expressing the narrative and dynamic circumstances present during the firing. The focus of this research was to develop approaches for controlling the aesthetic and functional properties of wood fired pottery. Specific areas of investigation were the effects of clay particle size distribution on color development and surface sheen production, and the accumulation of ash glaze throughout the firing. The effect of particle size was determined by comparing the fired surface produced by three clay fractions, slip, terra sigillata, and sediment. The accumulation and effect of the ash was isolated and cataloged to determine the cumulative effect of flame, heat-work and ash deposit at different stages of the firing. This research informed a body of functional ceramic work that utilized fine particle surface treatments to enhance color and sheen and record the pathway and accumulation of ash through the kiln.
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    FINDING A VOICE IN THE FIRE: MAKING CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE DISTANT PAST AND THE PERSONAL PRESENT
    (2017-04) Davis, Marcus Linwood; Hood College Arts and Humanities; MFA Ceramic Arts
    The purpose of this ceramics investigation was to answer the question: Can surface decoration techniques combine the visual style of the artist's Quaker ancestry and his personal history as a third-generation printer into a language for personal expression? Combining a visual style inspired by historic Quaker pottery and symbolism derived from experiences as a printing pressman, the artist created a unique aesthetic statement through the application of decorative slips and high temperature atmospheric firing.
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    CASPAR DAVID FRIEDRICH'S DEVELOPMENT THROUGH GERMAN ROMANTICISM
    (2014-05) Daly, Brandi; Hood College Arts and Humanities; Humanities
    Caspar David Friedrich was an important painter during the nineteenth century in Germany. He is classified as a German Romantic. The literary Romantics received his paintings enthusiastically, because they believed he visualized their concepts. Th.is Capstone examines German Romanticism, Friedrich, and Dresden Germany. An explanation of German Romanticism and how it developed is conducted in the first chapter. Friedrich's life, training, and artwork are surveyed .in the second chapter to explain how he was drawn to Romanticism. The third chapter inspects his influences in Dresden Germany, which was a Romantic center for landscape artists, writers and philosophers. These main points are discussed in order for the reader to comprehend how Friedrich developed his sublime and picturesque style.
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    UNBRIDLING THE TIGER: THE EARLY TEXAS HISTORIANS AND THEIR "SILENCE" ON SLAVERY
    (2016-12) Compton, Diana; Hood College Arts and Humanities; Humanities
    A course in historical research concentrating on family/local history reconnected me with Texas family roots that dated from the 1830s. 1 was researching an ancestor with a scandalous background and did not approach this investigation with idealized notions. Even so, it was striking to read the historians of the era and to note how they treated slavery. I could not reconcile the pervasive presence of slave culture in Texas as found in primary sources such as diaries, letters, and newspapers, compared with the idealized and mythologized history of Texas presented by these early historians. The sanitized perception of Texas history from 1829-1865 still influences our modern understanding of the Lone Star State. My main research questions for this capstone, therefore, were to investigate how some of the early historians of Texas wrote about slavery, or not, and to address some of the influences these early historians may have had on modern Texas historiography. Among the challenges faced in this project was the fact that documentary evidence relating to slavery in Texas is scattered, limited, and often mediated. Contemporary historians were not as helpful as expected. Even so, this survey uncovered new information about slavery and Texas history, as well as topics deserving of further investigation.
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    Claude Cahun and Cindy Sherman: Unmasking the Masquerade (?)
    (2014-09) Coelho, Elena; Hood College Arts and Humanities; Humanities
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    SOCIAL RELATIONS IN NINETEENTH CENTURY FREDERICK AS REVEALED IN JACOB ENGELBRECHT'S DIARY
    (2010-12) Chilton, Matthew Douglas; Hood College Arts and Humanities; Humanities
    For over two centuries, Frederick has become a desired home and sanctuary for thousands of European immigrants and at times has also been a city divided by internal conflict. Established in 1745, Frederick has evolved from being a small frontier settlement to a large populated city of 91,497 inhabitants.2 Local museums are full of well-preserved collections of artifacts and materials concerning Frederick's history. These items provide a snapshot of the American experience. One such item is the diary of Jacob Engelbrecht.
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    AUTOETHNOGRAPHY IN SHERMAN ALEXIE'S TEN LITTLE INDIANS AND LESLIE MARMON SILKO'S CEREMONY
    (2014-01) Brumbaugh, Christine; Hood College Arts and Humanities; Humanities
    Autoethnography in Sherman Alexie's Ten Little Indians and Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony" looks at how those Native American authors use autoethnography and subversive mimicry in those works. The authors use these methods to include a Native American voice in the literary canon.
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    TRAUMATIZED TRICKSTERS: HEALING HISTORICAL TRAUMA IN SHERMAN ALEXIE'S FLIGHT AND TONI MORRISON'S BELOVED
    (2013-01) Brady, Jason; Hood College Arts and Humanities; Humanities
    This paper explores the use of the trickster archetype by contemporary American authors Sherman Alexie and Toni Morrison in the novels Flight and Beloved, respectively. In addition to their employment of the trickster figure, both authors share a concern over historical trauma: for Alexie, this -trauma is associated with the Native American diaspora, for Morrison, this trauma stems from the American institution of slavery. In these pages, I will explore the nature of these authors' tricksters and develop a possible rationale for each author's use of the trickster figure as an attempt to process the largely unacknowledged historical trauma of two contemporary American minority groups: Native Americans and African Americans.
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    INTERPRETING FOSSILS: RISING TO THE CHALLENGE
    (2011-07) Burns, T. Brantley; Hood College Arts and Humanities; Ceramic Arts MFA
    Fossils have intrigued and mystified humankind for as long as humans have known they existed. For more than 160 years scientists have studied fossils found in Fossil Basin, Wyoming, producing volumes of information about species that lived some fifty two million years ago. Utilizing these Fossil Basin studies, the artist constructed three-dimensional ceramic sculptures based on the fossils found in Wyoming. These sculptures offer a very different perspective for understanding natural, compressed three-dimensional specimens. As each fossil, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, is uncovered and studied, our understanding of ancient life changes. Similarly, as people interact, glimpses of their personal lives are revealed, changing how we understand and relate to one another. To enjoy more meaningful relationships, mankind must look beneath the surface to understand the experiences and challenges that shape individuals. These challenges can be found in the form of a gift, a disability or both.