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Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority Commons

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With Love, ; An Interdisciplinary And Intersectional Look At Why Creativity Is Essential, Theo Starr Gardner 2024 Whittier College

With Love, ; An Interdisciplinary And Intersectional Look At Why Creativity Is Essential, Theo Starr Gardner

Whittier Scholars Program

My Whittier Scholars Program self-designed major, Teaching Creativity, is a mixture of Art, Literature, and Education classes. My research and praxis classes have been focused on the ‘how?’s and 'why?’s of creativity, so it felt only right that my project should be a constructivist, generative project. The project I have been working on throughout my time at Whittier, and that has just fully come to fruition on April 11th, 2024, was a solo art gallery/open mic event entitled ‘With Love,’. With Love, was conceptually inspired by the research I’ve conducted on creativity and creative arts education over the past few …


Restorative Practices In English Language Arts: My Journey Towards Linguistic Justice, Ariana Skeese 2024 Bowling Green State University

Restorative Practices In English Language Arts: My Journey Towards Linguistic Justice, Ariana Skeese

Master of Arts in English Plan II Graduate Projects

In this final portfolio, I examine anti-racist pedagogy in English Language Arts Education.


“A New Era Of Black Thought”: Revisiting Gil Scott-Heron And The Hbcu Protest Novel, Magana J. Kabugi 2024 Fisk University

“A New Era Of Black Thought”: Revisiting Gil Scott-Heron And The Hbcu Protest Novel, Magana J. Kabugi

The Vermont Connection

In 1972, spoken-word artist and poet Gil Scott-Heron published his second novel, controversially titled The Nigger Factory. As the student arm of the Civil Rights Movement started to shift its intellectual concerns from integration to questions of Black Power and self-determination, Scott-Heron’s novel burst onto the literary scene like a stick of dynamite. Literary critics and newspapers didn’t quite know what to make of the novel, which focused on a student government president and a fringe opposition group both vying for control over a student protest at a fictional historically Black college. Raw, direct, and full of rage, the book …


James Baldwin's Classroom And What He Can Teach Us About Queer Representation, Matthew Callahan 2024 Murray State University

James Baldwin's Classroom And What He Can Teach Us About Queer Representation, Matthew Callahan

Scholars Week

James Baldwin writes about the importance of the representation of race in school classrooms in his essay A Talk to Teachers. Baldwin's discourse surrounding the representation of race in schools can be extended to the queer community and the importance of representation in the classroom of these marginalized communities. Combining Baldwin's essays and fiction with educational research, I plan on highlighting the importance of representation of marginalized communities in the classroom and the role that educators play in ensuring that all students feel seen in the classroom.


The Ecology Of American Noir, Katrina Younes 2024 Western University

The Ecology Of American Noir, Katrina Younes

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

In The Ecology of American Noir, I investigate the relationship between the conventions of noir fiction and film and its sub-types in relation to environmental crises. Specifically, I address questions that not only allow us to (re)read early hardboiled literature and neo-noir films, but that also help us identify a new sub-genre of noir and develop an ecocritical methodology: I call this contemporary sub-genre and methodology “eco-noir.” I trace the development of strategies of mapping urban blight and environmental deterioration in classic hardboiled fiction of the 1940s, neo-noir films of the 1970s, and eco-noir texts of the post millennial …


Queen's Pride: A Queer Reading Of Star Wars Character Padmé Amidala, Madeleine Loewen 2024 Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Queen's Pride: A Queer Reading Of Star Wars Character Padmé Amidala, Madeleine Loewen

Online Midwinter Seminar (OMS)

Ever since Luke Skywalker and Han Solo first appeared onscreen together in 1977, LGBTQ+ Star Wars fans have harnessed the power of queer reading to write themselves back into a galaxy far, far away, despite Lucasfilm’s long-term disapproval of such practices. Nonetheless, there exists little scholarly literature on queerness in the franchise, and even less on the potentially sapphic characters. Queen Padmé Amidala, first introduced onscreen in Episode I: The Phantom Menace, proves a surprising—but no less salient—queer figure in Star Wars. From her intimate relationships with her handmaidens, to her experimentation with gender performativity, to her quiet yet intense …


Queering The Family In Zoraida Córdova’S Labyrinth Lost, Rebekah Rendon 2024 Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Queering The Family In Zoraida Córdova’S Labyrinth Lost, Rebekah Rendon

Online Midwinter Seminar (OMS)

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova focuses on Alex Mortiz, a Mexican-American bruja and her journey to a fantastical otherworld to rescue her family. Alex begins to understand the love and unity that exists in her own blood family, while forging new relationships, thereby creating a found family, or queered family. The topic of this paper addresses queerness and found family dynamics in Labyrinth Lost. While many scholars have written on themes in fantasy and magical realism texts by Latino/a and Hispanic authors, these genres tend to be under-researched in literature for young adults. My argument analyzes Labyrinth Lost as emblematic …


Queer Paths Toward Home: Kinship In Speculative Fiction, Audrey Heffers 2024 Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Queer Paths Toward Home: Kinship In Speculative Fiction, Audrey Heffers

Online Midwinter Seminar (OMS)

How are we related? Queer(ed) families—typically framed through terms such as Found Family, Chosen Family, or Family of Choice—are more often formed by agency and voluntary participation than they are by legal or genetic connections. For the purposes of this paper, kin will be defined by affect, behavior, and declaration. The three fictional texts—Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden, Life of Melody by Mari Costa, and I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself by Marisa Crane—will serve as a basis to illustrate how kinship is defined, particularly in queer speculative narratives. Speculative fiction allows for particular metaphors of power. These metaphors …


Queerness In Hirohiko Araki's Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Minna Nizam 2024 Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Queerness In Hirohiko Araki's Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Minna Nizam

Online Midwinter Seminar (OMS)

This paper will explore Queerness in the series Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. The presentation/paper will dive deep into the queer aspects of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, examining tropes throughout the series and its LGBTQIA+ representation. We will be delving into queer protagonists, queer side characters, and LGBTQIA identities present throughout the anime/manga. We will explore the relationships each main character of the franchise has with side characters, to analyze queerness and queer subtext. Quotes and posts/comments made by the series creator, Hirohiko Araki will be used as evidence to prove that the series is in fact Queer with its LGBTQIA …


Introduction To Eleanor Arnason, Works & Reception, David Lenander 2024 Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Introduction To Eleanor Arnason, Works & Reception, David Lenander

Online Midwinter Seminar (OMS)

Eleanor is a guest of honor at next summer’ s Mythcon 53, and I’ve been reading her work for many years. I think her novel, and the associated short stories of Hwarhath Stories, provide a fine set of texts for your purpose. There are also queer aspects to many of Eleanor’s other books and stories, for instance in To the Resurrection Station, and some of her shorter fiction. I would certainly review the existing critical literature, and also present some critical comments and reflections on reception of Arnason’s work, and suggestions for further study.


The Gay Bat Of Gotham: Depictions Of Common Queer Stereotypes And Tropes In The Dc Comics Character Batwoman, Tim Lenz 2024 Southwestern Oklahoma State University

The Gay Bat Of Gotham: Depictions Of Common Queer Stereotypes And Tropes In The Dc Comics Character Batwoman, Tim Lenz

Online Midwinter Seminar (OMS)

Expansive superhero comic book universes can be thought of as collective, accretional works of Mythopoeia, generating modern mythologies of fantastical characters while also drawing inspiration from ancient myths of the primary world. The DC Comics’ character Batwoman was initially introduced in 1956 as a love interest of Batman/Bruce Wayne, in part to combat scandalous allegations of Batman’s homosexual tendencies towards his young male sidekick Robin. In 2006, writers Greg Rucka, Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, and Mark Waid reinvented the Batwoman character for modern audiences as the alter ego of ‘Kate Kane,’ Bruce Wayne’s cousin, who was a lesbian of Jewish …


Queering The Problem: Destabilizing Normative Tropes In Jonathan Stroud’S Lockwood And Co. , William Thompson 2024 Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Queering The Problem: Destabilizing Normative Tropes In Jonathan Stroud’S Lockwood And Co. , William Thompson

Online Midwinter Seminar (OMS)

Holly Munro, the office assistant come agent in Jonathan Stroud’s young-adult series Lockwood and Co., is the sole character in the five books to hint at living in a queer relationship. Lockwood and Co. is a small agency in London, fighting against the Problem, the nightly recurrence of ghosts and specters. In The Empty Grave, the final book in the series, Holly and Lucy Carlyle are crouched in the kitchen at 35 Portland Row, waiting for an attack of a group of thugs on the house. Holly and Lucy are nervously exchanging confidences, and Holly makes the point that Antony …


Roundtable: Diversifying Our Mythopoeic Bookshelves, Grace Moone 2024 Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Roundtable: Diversifying Our Mythopoeic Bookshelves, Grace Moone

Online Midwinter Seminar (OMS)

2024 is a year in which we’ve all been encouraged to be intentional about reading diversely, and seeking out stories and authors whose perspective differs from our own. During this roundtable discussion, we’ll touch briefly on why diversifying our reading matters, discuss strategies for finding diverse books in mythopoeic genres, share some of our favorite book recommendations, and ask attendees to share some of theirs. This discussion will also be open during the upcoming meal break.


“Foul In Wisdom, Cruel In Strength”: Gendered Evil In Tolkien’S Legendarium, Alicia Fox-Lenz 2024 Southwestern Oklahoma State University

“Foul In Wisdom, Cruel In Strength”: Gendered Evil In Tolkien’S Legendarium, Alicia Fox-Lenz

Online Midwinter Seminar (OMS)

In “The Feminine Principle in Tolkien,” Melanie Rawls creates a framework for reading masculine and feminine drives in the characters of Tolkien’s legendarium. Feminine characteristics are inward-facing, focused on the self and inner life, whereas masculine characteristics are outward-facing, focused on affecting the wider society. Shelob and Sauron are used as two examples of the negative expression of these gendered drives: Shelob being so inwardly focused she only devours, and Sauron being so outwardly focused he cares only for world domination. However, other than his outward focus, Sauron doesn’t neatly align with the other negative masculine traits — he is …


More To The Hobbit Than Meets The Eye: Locating The Feminine In Tolkien’S World, Pieter Conradie 2024 Southwestern Oklahoma State University

More To The Hobbit Than Meets The Eye: Locating The Feminine In Tolkien’S World, Pieter Conradie

Online Midwinter Seminar (OMS)

Fantasy is finally learning to embrace its power to create and celebrate queerness. Works such as The Forever Sea by Joshua Philip Johnson and The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon feature queer leads, revealing creative capacities to imagine worlds where queerness is at the centre. But something mighty queer is already present in 1937 at the very dawn of modern fantasy. Following emerging interpretations of The Hobbit, I argue that the hero, Bilbo Baggins, exhibits significantly queer characteristics. In this deconstructive reading, Bilbo’s gender will first be reversed, arguing that his domesticity, intense emotional responses and his …


Keynote With Taylor Driggers - Cruising Faërie: Further Notes On Queering Faith In Fantasy Literature, Taylor Driggers 2024 Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Keynote With Taylor Driggers - Cruising Faërie: Further Notes On Queering Faith In Fantasy Literature, Taylor Driggers

Online Midwinter Seminar (OMS)

In Queering Faith in Fantasy Literature (2022), I argue that fantasy affords sexually marginalized people the ability to re-vision Christian theology in queer ways, thanks to its fixation on strange bodies, its longing for other worlds, and the ways in which both of these may reflect back on theological narratives of incarnation and salvation. Yet this project raises further questions that remain unresolved: namely, how might the framework of Christian theology constrain, as well as illuminate, queer imaginaries? If fantasy allows us to envision livable lives for ourselves as unruly bodies, just what forms of relating may those lives entail? …


Merging Worlds—Tarot As Ekphrasis For Creative And Reflective Writing, Jacob Budenz 2024 Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Merging Worlds—Tarot As Ekphrasis For Creative And Reflective Writing, Jacob Budenz

Online Midwinter Seminar (OMS)

Although ekphrasis is most commonly posited as a poetic tool—poetry responding to visual art—the practice of ekphrasis at its heart is a merging of worlds in which an artist of any medium interprets a work in a different medium. Likewise, a Tarot reader interprets imagery and symbolism through the medium of speech, applying old archetypes and images to unique, new problems or questions. In this workshop, I will present on the medium of ekphrasis as a poetic form using W.H. Auden’s poetic interpretation of Bruegel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, itself an iconic work of mythopoeic ekphrasis. Then, I …


Speak Through The Drag—The Hidden (Trans-)/Woman In James Tiptree, Jr.’S ‘The Girl Who Was Plugged In’, Ziyang Zhang 2024 Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Speak Through The Drag—The Hidden (Trans-)/Woman In James Tiptree, Jr.’S ‘The Girl Who Was Plugged In’, Ziyang Zhang

Online Midwinter Seminar (OMS)

In 1973, James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon) published a sci-fi novella The Girl Who Was Plugged In and won the Hugo Award for Best Novella in 1974. Its male narrator is a time-traveller from a near-future America, where he works for a capitalist company GTX—Global Transmissions Corporation. The heroine "P. Burke [...] willingly allows her grotesque body to be confined in a hi-tech cabinet while her mind remotely operates the beautiful but soulless cloned body of Delphi" (Hollinger 133).

In my research, I apply a framework of trans-feminism in reading The Girl Who Was Plugged In to challenge the binary …


Panel: The Fair And The Perilous: Online Experiences Of A Queer-Focused Tolkien Podcast, Alicia Fox-Lenz, Leah Hagan, Tim Lenz, Grace Moone 2024 Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Panel: The Fair And The Perilous: Online Experiences Of A Queer-Focused Tolkien Podcast, Alicia Fox-Lenz, Leah Hagan, Tim Lenz, Grace Moone

Online Midwinter Seminar (OMS)

The team behind Queer Lodgings: A Tolkien Podcast share the social media realities of producing content centered around LGBTQIA+ readings of Tolkien’s Legendarium. Discussion will include uplifting and diverse community events, backlash against the very idea of queer readings of Tolkien, targeted harassment campaigns involving large conservative media news outlets, and attempted erasure of well-documented historical instances of homophobia in Tolkien spaces. We aim to illuminate some of the darker corners of online fandom, and demonstrate the importance of accepting, tolerant spaces in which queer and diverse fans and scholars can share their personal interpretations of Tolkien’s worlds, characters, and …


Ancient Queer Bodies: The Gender Swapping Prophet, Basil Perkins 2024 Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Ancient Queer Bodies: The Gender Swapping Prophet, Basil Perkins

Online Midwinter Seminar (OMS)

Through an intersectional approach which positions sexuality and gender in direct

relation to cultural imperialism (O’Sullivan, 2021; Lugones, 2020), I aim to discuss the origins of Tiresias. (S)he is ubiquitous in ancient mythology: showing up in classicized texts such as Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and Homer’s Odyssey. Interestingly too, Tiresias has been received since antiquity in texts such as Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Woolf’s Orlando, and MacLaughlin’s Wake, Siren. Each receptive work transforms Tiresias through fantastical contexts and different temporalities. I aim to queer Western notions of temporality, in reading the contemporary along with the ancient. The bulk of my …


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