Weekly Assignment #10

This week, please find two citations for dissertations or theses related to your topic and write two paragraphs evaluating their usefulness or potential usefulness to you. (You may not be able to get a copy very quickly, although you can use Tripsaver, aka interlibrary loan, to order one if you’d like to read it.) It’s true that you can find theses and dissertations using Google Scholar, but there’s no good way to limit your search to just these genres. A much better option for this assignment is to use the Dissertation Abstracts database, which is the definitive resource for finding dissertations.

Try to find the best theses for your research, not the most easily accessible ones. But do also take a look at dissertations and theses written at NCSU. You can search for them in the library catalog by limiting to “theses and dissertations,” then quickly lay your hands on a readable copy by visiting Special Collections (in the case of pre-1997 works) or by clicking on a full-text PDF (for most works after 1997) stored in NCSU’s Electronic Theses and Dissertations database. There aren’t that many items in the ETD database, but on the plus side, you can get the material fast.

Note that your own master’s thesis, like Melanie Sue Hair’s “The Literary Merit of Young Adult Novels: Are They as Good as the Classics?”, will show up there someday soon, and, because it’s in a freely available online database, the whole thing will also be freely available to the world via Google and Google Scholar unless you specifically request that it be withheld for a time (this is called an “embargo”). Neither Dissertation Abstracts nor Amazon indexes Melanie’s thesis, but take a look at David Alejandro Cardenas’s 2005 dissertation Measurement of Involvement Factors in Leisure Studies Doctoral Programs, which is indexed by DA, by our catalog, by the ETD database, and by Google Scholar, with its full text freely available — or, of course, you can get it through Amazon for $69.99.

Other relevant links:

  • NCSU Graduate School’s Thesis and Dissertation Guide — I looked here for exact information on who exactly owns the copyright of your thesis, but to no avail. What I think is that you retain most of the copyright to your work (“copyright” is really a bundle of rights), but that you sign a waiver at some point that allows both NCSU and UMI the right to distribute copies of it but does not allow them to block publication of your work elsewhere. Note that the section on “Copyrighting and Microfilming” is mostly concerned with copyrighted material in your work; this is because UMI and NCSU are effectively publishing your work, and they don’t want to be sued by other copyright holders. Note too a work need not be registered with the Copyright Office in order to be copyrighted, a distinction that is not at ll clear in this guide.
  • ProQuest / UMI’s Dissertation Publishing webpage — You can read here about ProQuest’s business deals with Google and Amazon and about the Open Access publishing option, which (I learned) costs $95.

What exactly counts as a publication in this day and age, anyway?



Filed under Weekly Assignments

20 responses to “Weekly Assignment #10

  1. Daniela Newland

    Breu, Christopher David. _Hard-boiled Masculinities: Fantasizing Gender in American Literature and Popular Culture, 1920–1945 (Dashiell Hammett, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Chester Himes)_. U of California at Santa Cruz, 2000.
    I found this dissertation (or rather, the abstract) through the Dissertation Abstract database by typing in the search terms Red Harvest. Interestingly, Christopher Breu actually wrote one of the articles I have already cited in the paper I am now writing Breu is interested in the hard-boiled male as “an icon of modern American masculinity” and concentrates in his dissertation on “the popular icon as a locus of cultural fantasy, tracing the history of his career from his 1922 debut in the pulp magazine _Black Mask _ to the acme of his fame in the _films noirs_ of the forties and fifties.” The title of the journal article I have been using is “Going Blood-Simple in Poisonville,” and I think it is one of the chapters of his dissertation; it was published in 2004 by Illinios State University, where Breu is now assistant professor.
    Gregory, Sinda J. _The Mystery of Mystery: The Novels of Dashiell Hammett_. U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
    I found this abstract in the same search that I found the previous one?that was probably the quickest yielding search that I have done so far! This particular dissertation could be helpful for my research because it examines each of the five novels Hammett wrote. Gregory writes about the book I am interested in: “Filled with action, vivid character, and remarkable colloquial dialogue, _Red Harvest_ is a study of personal systems, of ethical responsibility, of the individual’s impotence against an overwhelming destructiveness of corruption, chaos, and death; yet all this is subtly woven into dramatic action that thrilled audiences of pulp, sensationalized fiction.” Since I am writing about violence in _Red Harvest_, this part would likely have been helpful in understanding some of the dynamics within the novel.
    I also searched NCSU?s Electronic Thesis and Dissertation database with the search terms hard-boiled, Red Harvest, detective, and Hammett in both title and abstract, but the search yielded zero results.

  2. Mary Kohn

    Carter, Phillip. (2005) The Emergence of Hispanic English in the Raleigh Community: A Sociophonetic Analysis. North Carolina State University.
    I was actually confined to looking through NCSU’s collection as the Dissertation Database would not load onto my computer at the moment. This thesis is one that I’ve read because it has a direct bearing on the thesis that I would like to write which involves a sociophonetic analysis of dialect formation occurring in a quatroethnic mid-sized community in North Carolina. This thesis focuses on suprasegmenal features and notes that a substrate influence can be identified in different aspects of prosody in Hispanic English in North Carolina.
    Moriello, Becky. (2003) “I’m feeksin’ to move. . .”: Chicano English in Siler City, North Carolina. North Carolina State University.
    This thesis is pertinent because it demonstrates that currently Hispanics in Raleigh have long glides in their /ai/ diphthongs without accomodation to local norms with only a few exceptions of children who are interested in the culture.
    When the data base is up and running again, I’d like to look at dissertations that involve Asian English, as there is a significant group of Asian Americans in the community I wish to study. Dissertations wil be a main source of information for this portion of my paper as little research beyond a few studies on Vietnamese English have been published in major journals or books.

  3. Jason Jefferies

    Soloff, Edward. Transformations in “Seven Dreams: a book of North American Landscapes” by William T. Vollmann. University of New York at Stony Brook, 1999.
    I found three dissertations that included William T. Vollmann, but this one is the closest to my subject (you did tell us in class to only find one, right?). In the Seven Dreams series of novels, Vollmann bases his books around historical events (the discovery of America (originally, not Columbus) for example). Even though none of the subjects dealt with in the books discussed in this dissertation are related directly to the subjects of “Europe Central”, the discussion of how Vollmann treats history in his novels will be more useful than the other dissertations, which seem to focus on his overall style or treatment of city life and prostitution.

  4. Eric G

    Tytell, Frances Wilke. The Golem Speaks: A Study of Four Modern Jewish American Novels. MA Thesis. ETD: WFU, 2005.
    I found Tytell’s thesis through a Google Scholar search using the keywords “Cynthia Ozick” and “thesis.” Tytell’s thesis is both contemporary, having been published only slightly over a year ago, and relevant since he examines Cynthia Ozick’s short story “Puttermesser and Xanthippe;” one of the main stories I will examine in my thesis. Though Ozick’s story is only a single chapter from a larger argument, the points that Tytell conveys can further my views of the story.
    “Puttermesser and Xanthippe” is a short story about a woman, Ruth Puttermesser, creating a female Golem, Xanthippe, which “while not unheard of, such a figure is unusual” (Tytell 35). Tytell evaluates the Jewish symbolism of the Golem creation to the Golem myth as expressed in the works of Isaac Bashevis Singer. Tytell discusses the Golem’s unquenchable sexual appetite as a manifestation of Puttermesser’s repressed sexual urges, which relates to my planned discussion on the facetiousness of such imagery that I believe Ozick’s stories illustrate. In one of my arguments, I will examine how male-written Jewish-American literature portrays women as sexual objects who are incapable of achieving anything important in life beyond that of sex and marriage. For Xanthippe to succomb to sexual urges, and for those urges to represent Puttermesser’s repressed sexuality, than even as Mayor of New York, Puttermesser is nothing more than a sexual object.
    Bogdanoff, Helene Rebecca. Women in the Rabbinate and in American Fiction: A Literary and Ethnographic Study. MA Thesis. ETD: NCSU, 2006.
    Using Google Scholar, I found Helene’s thesis with the keywords “Jewish” and “thesis,” as my previous keywords only elicited theses that were not readily available online. Not only is Helene’s thesis pertinent to my argument, but since it was just published one semester ago at NC State, under the direction of some current professors, the thesis also presents a rubric for organizing my thesis.
    As for the body, Helene’s argument examines how women are portrayed as rabbis in contemporary Jewish-American literature. Women were not allowed to be ordained as rabbis until 1972 (Bogdanoff 8). Prior to that, women in Jewish law were meant only to serve as wives and mothers (but were nonetheless respected. Judaism is not mysogynistic). Helene provides a detailed history of Jewish law’s stipulations toward women that are relevant to my planned first chapter, in which I will discuss Jewish law in relation to women, and how these rules apply to the conditions of Ozick’s female characters.

  5. Baker Pratt

    A couple of notes – First, the NCSU thesis search provided no useful information. Secondly, the WEBSPIRS should offer further filters. For example, a search for “Beowulf” brings up both the literary character as well as the computer term, and I could find no way to filter out the irrelevant theses. (Though I should add I did find a musical composition based on Beowulf, which, while not useful, is interesting).
    Again, my searches on Beowulf and Gender did not bring up anything immediately applicable, though I do find this –
    Bernstein Melissa Joy. Concealment and revelation: Fatherhood in the literature of Anglo-Saxon England. PhD Dissertation. The University of Rochester, 2004.
    This thesis does deal with gender identity, both in Beowulf and in other Anglo Saxon texts. As the title states, Bernstein is concerned with fatherhood, and analyzes a tale that involves 2 women entering a monastery disguised as men to protect their virginity. The section with Beowulf analyzes the paternal relationship between the king Hrothgar and the titular character.
    Boydston Susan Hathaway. The growth of a self: A psychoanalytic reading of “Beowulf”. PhD Dissertation. University of Cincinnati, 2004.
    It’s strange that this dissertation did not appear in my ‘beowulf gender’ search, as it uses both terms clearly in the abstract. That being said, I’m not certain this will be incredibly useful in my overall project. Boydston looks at “Beowulf” from a Freudian perspective to show, “that the poem contains a compelling unconscious story of the traumas and conflicts of the oral and anal stages of male psychological growth.” It then goes on to mention both male and female components, but it appears to be dealing with gender in an almost metatextual sense, which is a bit different from my focus.

  6. Elizabeth Livingston

    I searched the NCSU library and found some dissertations on existentialism and Hemingway. However, I didn’t find any linking the two subjects, so the search was ultimatley futile. I then went to google scholar and not only found some really relevant dissertations on my subject but even more books that I somehow had not found before.
    Bloker, James. “Existentialism and how it impacts the view of life and death.” Diss. Concordia Theological Seminary, 1983.
    I think this thesis would give me a really good overview of existentialism particularly in the manner in which I would want to approach the theory in regards to Hemingway’s works.
    Mckee, Eileen Carrier. “Existential Motifs in three novels of Ernest Hemingway.” Diss. San Diego State University, 1972.
    I have found so few sources that directly address existentialism in Hemingway, so this could end up being one of my most useful sources. Viewing the works cited page of this paper could also give me a good path to follow.

  7. April Swarey

    I did not expect to find any dissertations on Anti-Pamela, because the text has not been widely available in paperback until the past five years. There were, however, 3 available, though not electronically.
    1. The first was written by Christine Blouch in 1991, who is now considered an expert in Haywood biography. I have already accessed many of her articles and book chapters, so it would be of great interest to me to read her dissertation.
    Blouch, Christine-Ellen. “Eliza Haywood:Questions in the Life and Works.” Diss. The University of Michigan, 1991.
    2. The second dissertation was by Richard Scowcroft, written in 1947. I had no idea anybody that far back knew Anti-Pamela existed, so I would be interested to see what he did know about the book and its author. Also, I have not seen his name on anything in my research. What did he write about as his career progressed? Did he abandon female authors? If so, why?
    Scowcroft, Richard. “The Problem of Retribution as it Affected Women in the Eighteenth-Century Novel.” Diss. Harvard University, 1947.

  8. Leigh Youngs

    Hull, Elizabeth M. “Froward Masters: The
    Seduction Lyrics of Thomas Wyatt and Sir
    Philip Sidney.” Dissetation Abstracts
    International 60 (01A): item AAI991625.
    I found this dissertation in the database “Dissertation Abstracts.” This will serve me well, because it also discusses Thomas Wyatt, who will make a cameo in my thesis. However, while Hull focuses upon the political aspects of the seduction lyrics, I plan to discuss the seduction lyrics as poetry written from a prospective that is not virtuous, and incorporate Sidney’s Apologie for Poetry, and its instructions on how to read poetry correctly. Therefore, this dissertation will make an interesting counter-argument to my own, and all the while using the same sources.
    Melton, Howard Gene II. “In Pari Materia:
    Humanism, Marriage, and the Triplex Vita in
    Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella, Donne’s ‘Break
    of Day,’ and Spenser’s ‘Epithalamion.’ MA
    Thesis. NCSU, 2000.
    I found this by searching for “Astrophil and Stella” in the general catalogue, and then narrowing my search to “theses and dissertations.” The great thing about this thesis is that I know the author; he and I also have the same thesis director, so he will make a great person to discuss my topic with (he still works for NCSU). Like the former dissertation, this thesis explores Sidney’s contemporaries, as well as Sidney himself. So, between the two writings, I will have a good resource of Sidney, and his contemporaries–Spenser, Donne, and Wyatt.
    Interesting sidenote: I discovered that through Dr. French’s link on the 669 page to NCSU’s theses and dissertations, you can actually enter in your thesis director’s name, and get a list of all of the other theses he has directed, and the names of the students. It’s neat.

  9. Ashley Merrill

    I searched the Dissertations Abstracts database with the term “nancy drew” in quotation marks, which returned 11 results. The last four or so were written by people who were named some variation of Nancy Drew, so that wasn’t helpful. However, in the rest of the results, I found two which sounded interesting:
    -Nash, Ilana. “America’s kid sister”: Teenage girls in popular culture, 1930–1965. Diss. Bowling Green State University, 2002.
    Since I plan on doing something on the evolution of Nancy Drew as a heroine, this dissertation would probably prove invaluable. Nancy is one of the heroines discussed in the literature, and Nash (in the abstract, at least) seems interested in the same themes of infantilizing versus sexualizing of the teenage heroine. I’ll be carrying my discussion far beyond the cutoff point of 1965, but her research should still prove at least edifying.
    -Husman, Rebecca Ann. “Altering the Most Subversive Fictional Girl Detective: Nancy Drew in the 1930s.” Thesis. Sarah Lawrence: 1994.
    Husman deals specifically with Nancy Drew as she was first created by Mildred Wirt Benson, and her revisioning by the Stratemeyer Syndicate and more specifically Harriet Stratemeyer Adams. The Nancy of the 1930s is far different from the Nancy of the 1960s texts, and this thesis seems to deal with that evolution. Again, another thesis I would probably find invaluable during my study.
    Searching “nancy drew” in the NCSU database in either the title or the abstract field returned no results. Also, searching the permutations “fanfic,” “fanfiction,” and “fan fiction” in either the Dissertations Abstracts or the NCSU databases, returned no useable results. While there has been research done on fanfiction, it necessarily seems to deal with either a certain realm (X-Files) or a genre thereof (science fiction). While there has been some research specifically done on the portrayal of females or their role in authorship of fanfic, I didn’t find any abstracts which seemed useful.

  10. Rob Phillips

    Coppinger, Stanley K. ?Searching for a Moral Center in Cormac McCarthy.? Diss.
    Baylor U, 2001.
    Given the presentation of the thesis in the abstract, this dissertation could prove quite useful to me. The writer focuses exclusively on the way morality functions in McCarthy?s novels. His thesis is constructed as a reaction to two rather significant voices in the McCarthy critical world, Edwin Arnold and Vereen Bell. This writer ambitiously takes on both of these scholars and their seminal works with an interpretation that I would be interested to read, because I?ve read both Bell and Arnold. Coppinger makes a good case for the significance of Catholicism, though I?m not sure I agree with his assertion that Bell?s and Arnold?s interpretations offer ?flawed and incomplete interpretations of McCarthy’s fiction.? Vereen Bell is one of the first scholars of note to study McCarthy and almost every subsequent critical appraisal cites The Achievement of Cormac McCarthy. I studied under Dr. Arnold and his interpretations are many things but flawed is not among the modifiers I?d use to characterize his writing.
    Hayes, Justin C. ?A Path to Nowhere: Violence, Sex, and Humor in Cormac McCarthy?s
    Child of God and Suttree.? Diss. U. of Nevada Las Vegas, 1996.
    Though this dissertation appears to have a relatively simplistic thesis, unless the abstract is misleading, the focus of the discussion treats two novels that I find fascinating. According to the abstract, the focus of this dissertation appears to be the structure of each novel, relative to the author?s use of violence, sex, and humor in these works of fiction. I?m interested in this dissertation because I?m not sure I agree with the writer, who appears to assert these novels ?lack closure.? I guess he had access to different versions of the novels. When I used the Electronic Theses and Dissertations database, the records indicated that our library does not have copies of either of these dissertations, though it recommended the use of ILL/Tripsaver.

  11. Sophie Honeycutt

    After reading a few interesting theses in the NCSU database, but not coming across anything useful, the Dissertation Abstracts database was helpful. I found a dissertation quite relevant to my aim of discussing the next step in writing center practice.
    Simon, Julie Clark. “Refiguring the chronot[r]ope of time and space in a feminist writing center.” Diss. New Mexico State University, 2002.
    This work involves numerous interesting angles: speech act theory, feminist approach to pedagogy, metaphor vs. metonymy, epistemology, and interviews with students. Impressive.
    Next I found something less specifically relevant, but helpful nonetheless.
    Graham, Melissa Meeks. “Between abolition and reform: First-year writing programs, e-literacies, and institutional change.” Diss. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2006.
    This dissertation discusses the theory and practice dichotomy in reference specifically to UNC’s renowned writing program. Also of interest is the topic of technology’s potential to radically change writing pedagogy even more so than it already has. The significance of first year composition paired with its effects on literacy are covered as well. This is a well-rounded study that coincides, however indirectly, to writing center theory and practice.

  12. Carrie Spruill

    After searching the library catalog and not finding any results, I tried Dissertation Abstracts. Here I found about 63 results. Below are the two I found best and most interesting.
    Myrick, April Marie. “‘Shall I speak for thee?’: Lucrece, Lavinia, and the language of rape (William Shakespeare).” Diss. South Dakota State University. 2003. DA 12 (2004): 89.
    I think this source will be useful because it discusses not only the content of the Titus Andronicus itself, but also Shakespeare’s attitudes towards the controversial subject matter contained in it (i.e. rape). Myrick’s interpretation is that Shakespeare used the play to critique patriarchal society. In her thesis, she aims to show that Shakespeare took a somewhat sympathetic view towards female characters who had been victimized. Unfortunately I could not find a copy online, but I am definitely interested in examining this source further.
    Plasse, Marie Ann. “The Human Body in Shakespearean Representation”. Diss. Boston University. 1987. DA (199): 332.
    This document contains a chapter on Titus Andronicus. In it, Plasse investigates how the text’s portrayal of bodily power (or lack thereof) influences stage representations of a character. According to the author, for Shakespeare the human form is the place where “signification, authority, resistance, and spectatorship converge”. Because my topic relates to bodily power and subjection, I believe this thesis could be a valuable resource.
    Interesting side note: In my DA search, I found that one of my sources, Katherine Row’s 1999 book Dead Hands: Fictions of Agency, originated as a dissertation which the author completed at Stanford in 1992.

  13. Lorian Long

    I did not have any luck with this assignment. I first searched the NCSU database, and could find nothing on sexuality in postmodern literature relating to Mary Gaitskill or Joan Didion. I then used the Dissertation Abstracts database. The search, “Postmodern Literature”, produced multiple results, but none of them dealt with sexuality or the authors mentioned above. Google Scholar was my last resort, but the only thing I found there was a dissertation on “The Imagery of Dentistry in Contemporary Culture”–dealing with Gaitskill’s short story, “The Dentist.” If I were doing my thesis on dentists in Postmodern Literature, this would be a wonderful source. Unfortunately, I am not researching dentistry.
    The lack of results is frustrating.

  14. Josh Gane

    Lin, L.The rhetoric of posthumanism in four twentieth-century international novels. University of North Texas, 1998.
    This book would be extremly useful for anyone that is investigating how posthumanism is considered through literature. It hits my subject right on the head. It goes into what it means to be “posthuman” and how novels themselves are portraying this new thought, not only in philosophy, but also structure.
    Foster, Ben. Cyberidentities : posthumanism in the context of cyberpunk fiction. University of North Texas, 1998.
    This is not as specific to my subject as the first, but still useful. This talks about cyperpunk fiction which could include the Matrix and things of this nature. So, it explores the subject as a cultural thing, and not as mych as a philosophy.

  15. Blake Wilder

    Goldberg, Wendy Fay. “Faulkner’s Haunted House: The Figure of the Recluse in Light in August and Absalom, Absalom!” DAI 57.6 (December 1996): 2475A. [Yale University 1996]
    Newhouse, Wade Warren. “Aghast and uplifted”: Faulkner’s civil war and postmodern narrative North Carolina State University 1998.
    I actually came across the first of the dissertations in my research earlier in the semester; although, I cannot remember exactly where, perhaps the bibliography section of the ?new model” digital scholarly project I found. I requested it through Tripsaver because I was (and still am) confused about whether DAI is published as a journal or database and how such formats are available to me. Tripsaver provided with a microfilm copy of the dissertation that I had access to for a month. I read as much of it as I could. The mediacenter in Hill also has the ability to scan microfilm to PDF. It?s a very tedious process (you have to scan each page) but I scanned certain pertinent section.
    In looking for a second dissertation, I wanted to search only within the NCSU catalog because I wanted to see what others here had done on similar topics (besides, a quick ?Faulkner? search in Dissertation Abstracts yielded 1430 results). There were eight local dissertations. I chose the one I did because of the postmodern narrative of the title. I currently have an essay in progress that uses the figure of the recluse in Light in August and Absalom, Absalom! to reveal a postmodern impetus in Faulkner?s style.

  16. Erika J. Galluppi

    After much creativity with the search keywords, I finally stumbled upon the following in the Dissertation Abstracts database. While ‘fairy tales’ yielded over 400 hits (and I don?t even want to go into just how many there were for Virginia Woolf), I didn’t find much of anything when I searched for ‘the fisherman and his wife.’ I found some interesting (albeit in German) hits for ‘Brothers Grimm.’ When I browsed the hits for ‘fairy tales,’ I was able to quickly compile a list of close to 40 dissertations that, if I broadened my scope, would be pertinent to provide background information for my own topic. Just as I was starting to feel that no one else in the world has ever written on the story of the Fisherman and His Wife in Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, I happened to stumble on Peterson’s MA thesis. It took quite a bit more searching and skimming before I found Barrett’s PhD work.
    Peterson, Donna K. “The Old Woman and the Sea: Subtexts in Virginia Woolf?s To the Lighthouse.” Diss. University of Manitoba-Canada, 1998.
    Though Peterson doesn’t limit her focus to just the Brothers Grimm’s story, The Fisherman and His Wife, she does explore patriarchy and, conversely, matriarchy in Woolf’s novel. She traces the Pin Well legend (which I am not too familiar with) in her first chapter, then moves to the Grimm tale in chapter two in order to more fully describe the spousal relations of the Ramsays. I think her work would certainly be informative, especially because it is one of the few dissertations that I’ve found correlating so directly with the narrowest scope of my topic (gender + Fisherman?s Wife + Virginia Woolf + To the Lighthouse).
    Barrett, Eileen Ann. “The Female Artist as ‘Outsider’ in the Writing of Virginia Woolf.” Diss. Boston College, 1987.
    Barrett also deals with Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, but only includes The Fisherman and His Wife in a limited capacity — as defense for her argument that the character Lily Briscoe foils the wife in the fairy tale (and, by extension, Mrs. Ramsay) and rejects the model of the fairy tale marriage as a matriarchal myth. However, this supports my topic in the way that it shows how Woolf, like other modern writers, emphasized gender biases in fairy tales and/or created characters to reject them.

  17. Josh Peery

    DN: PHD
    DD: 1992
    PG: 719
    While this dissertation deals with a specific documentary filmmaker of note, the overall methods of investigating his work and the theories behind the documentary form are attractive to my research. The abstract states that investigates how ethnographic documentary can be used to promote interaction with an audience, thus creating participatory cinema in order to affect social change. This seems to follow the Grierson theory of documentary film and its purpose.
    DN: PHD
    DD: 1991
    This work is interesting to me because of the extremely limited treatment that the ?documentaries? in question have received from academia. Propaganda in general does not get much in-depth study due to its (most of the time) repugnant nature. Also, intriguing is fact stated in the abstract about 550+ documentaries being made in such a relative short time, this alone makes this area of propaganda worth investigating.

  18. Leah White

    I actually had a little trouble finding good dissertation/thesis sources for this, probably mostly because I don’t have a really clear and narrow idea of what I’m looking at within gender and language. I did find some interesting and useful dissertations, though.
    Galindo, Delma Letticia (1987). “Linguistic Influence and Variation on the English of Chicano Adolescents in Austin, Texas.” The University of Texas at Austin.
    This is actually quite useful to me even though it doesn’t focus specifically on gender differences in language, although that is one of the major ideas in the paper (according to the abstract). This actually combines the topic I’m looking into for this class with one of the large projects being looked into by the linguistics department right now, which is the development of Chicano English in North Carolina. This dissertation looks into something that could be used as a model for the studies we do on the development of the dialect in NC because it explores a lot of the things we are already looking at. So, even though it is a bit old, it is extremely useful; I will definitely be looking at this paper again, and will probably read it for some of the research I will be doing.
    Romano, Albert Walter (1998). “Gender and Language: A Goodwin Look at Lakoff (Marjorie H. Goodwin, Robin Tolmach Lakoff).” City University of New York.
    This looks at an outline proposed by Lakoff in the 1970s about features of “women’s language” and examines those features in speakers in pairs and groups to see how well they hold up to scrutiny. It found that some of the nine features set forth by Lakoff, who was apparently “the first modern linguist to discuss specific features of women’s language,” held up quite well, while others did not fare as well. While I admit that I hadn’t heard of Lakoff before, this would certainly be of use in putting together a paper or thesis on gender differences in language. Even if it does not prove useful as a source, it is sure to contain a number of good cited works that could help.
    Also, just a side note. While I was searching for gender and language, I tended to find a lot about children and language, and one dissertation I found in Dissertation Abstracts sounded quite interesting to me because it bridges the gap between the Lit concentration and the Linguistics concentration.
    Hurst, Mary-Jane Gaines (1986). “The Voice of the Child in American Literature: Linguistic Approaches to Fictional Child Language (Discourse, Stylistics, Novel, Language Acquisition).” University of Maryland – College Park.
    It looks into the language of children in literature (among the works listed in the abstract are Lolita, The Exorcist, Turn of the Screw, The Scarlet Letter, and The Grapes of Wrath) and examines it in linguistic terms, looking into things as diverse as complexity of language, semantic roles, and discourse with adults. I think that I would like to look at this dissertation even if I could not use it for straight linguistics work.

  19. Erin Callahan

    I’ll give direct citations from the Dissertations and Theses website to make it easier for others to search these fields.
    TI: Caribbean Spanish in the metropolis: A study of the Spanish language among Cubans, Dominicans, and Puerto Ricans in the New York City area
    AU: Lamboy-Edwin-M
    DN: PhD
    DD: 2000
    SN: The-Pennsylvania-State-University (0176)
    AD: Gutierrez-John; Salaberry-Rafael
    PG: 205
    One of the features I used in WebSPIRS (at least I think it was a part of WebSPIRS, as opposed to some other software) was the “sort by advisor” option. This dissertation came out of Penn State, which has a top program in socioling, and I remembered the name John Gutierrez from some of our course readings. Sorting by institution (e.g. those you know have solid programs/work in your field/subfield) or advisor might be a good quality control filter for your searches. I’m wondering, however, if you can do hierarchical-type searches on this site: something like “first order search”= advisor Walt Wolfram/ “second order search”= date published/ “third order search”=discipline, etc. (if you are searching within several disciplines: linguistics and education, for example)
    DN: PHD
    DD: 1985
    PG: 281
    Three aspects of this dissertation, as opposed to several others, jumped out at me as useful (or at least distinct):
    1. Detailed description of a methodology for analyzing phonological variables a dialect of Cuban American English in South Florida; a considered overview of the potential drawbacks and specific benefits of this sort of analysis (as opposed to others which could also be used for the same task)
    2. “Review of Lit” section: description of previously surveyed varieties of Hispanic English in urban and rural settings in the U.S. over time
    3. One of the author’s conclusions was intriguing– that social club membership was a strong correlating factor for the phonological variables discussed here. Gives credence to the social network/communities of practice movements we’re discussing a lot in our courses now?

  20. Lisa Morgan

    Vollum, Scott. Giving Voice to the Dead: An exploratory analysis of executed offenders? last statements and statements of their co-victims. PhD Dissertation. Sam Houston State University, 2005.
    I found this dissertation using the Dissertations Abstracts database. The database took a little time for me figure out. I didn?t get a lot of results the first time by typing in ?death penalty? in the subject search, but I did receive results when I selected a search of ?All? instead.
    This particular thesis was interesting to me because it deals wholly with the human side of the death penalty issue ?It deals with the main people directly effected by the death penalty ?namely the executed offender and the co-victims. ?Co-victims? refers to the family members of the murdered victim. This dissertation was far more interesting to study than the usual theorized ones because it told true and emotional stories. And as a creative writer, that?s what I love to read after all. I think that research often overlooks the human side of debates, so it was refreshing to see a dissertation of this kind.
    Gottlieb, Gabriele. Theater of Death: Capital punishment in early America, 1750-1800. PhD Dissertation. University of Pittsburgh, 2005.
    This was an equally fascinating dissertation on the death penalty. It dealt with the patterns of executions (number of) from 1750-1800, and it also analyzed the use of executions in public places as a source of high drama; not to mention as a political tool.
    As a political tool, the death penalty was used to shape social order, reinforce the powers that be, and build consensus among the population. The author studied execution patterns in the cities of Boston, Philadelphia, and Charleston. This dissertation also took into account the importance of the juries? mindsets in these locations and times. This would be a helpful dissertation on this topic because it?s always useful to look at the past to see how we arrived at where we are today on this issue of the death penalty.