English Department Theses and Dissertations

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For more on IUPUI's Department of English Graduate Studies Programs visit http://liberalarts.iupui.edu/english/


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Now showing 1 - 10 of 79
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    Bringing the Bard Up to Date: Teaching Shakespeare in Our Current Moment
    (2023-08) Thomas, Adrienne Michele; Hoegberg, David; Aukerman, Jason; Musgrave, Megan
    This thesis represents the written report of an action research study conducted in ENG-L433/625: Conversations with Shakespeare, a combined undergraduate/graduate course at IUPUI. The study was primarily interested in answering whether there is still value in teaching Shakespeare’s plays in modern classrooms and, if so, the best methods for teaching these plays that meet current students’ needs. Historical and modern methods of teaching Shakespeare are explored in depth to provide context for the design of the study, as well as the hosting course, as they were designed separately. The primary methods under review are utilizing adaptations, providing historical and contextual background, employing different forms of discussion, and close reading. By collecting data via surveys, classroom observations, and documentary evidence, the findings of this study show that there is not one method that works best for increasing student engagement with and understanding of Shakespeare’s plays, rather, it is necessary to use multiple methods in conjunction with one another to best meet students’ needs.
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    Breathing New Life in the Classroom: Hip Hop as Critical Race Counterstories
    (2023-05) Raines, Brooklyn Ciara; Brooks-Gillies, Marilee; Buchenot, André; Hoegberg, David
    Critical race counterstories give people the space to share their racialized stories with the world. These stories work to expose different forms of racism like color-blind racism. Critical race counterstories originated from the work done in critical race theory (CRT). In this thesis, Brooklyn Raines makes the case for how hip hop functions as a method of critical race counterstory. Because of hip hop’s ability to reflect the social, political, and economic conditions in the world with an emphasis on the role race plays, Raines promotes the use of counterstories in their pedagogy with hip hop as a particular instance for incorporating counterstory in first-year writing courses to equip students with liberating tools. These tools include skills like critical thinking, rhetorical knowledge, and text interpretation. In this thesis there’s a literature review of how hip hop has been incorporated in classrooms as well as two chapters dedicated to units for educators that want to bring hip hop as a form of critical race counterstories into their classrooms. The first unit is based around Kendrick Lamar’s rhetorical exchange with Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera. The second unit is created around the backlash Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion received from their empowering record WAP. The hope for this project is educators can equip students with tools like media literacy skills, the ability to interrogate notions of White supremacy, and the ability to form their own opinions with the assistance of responsible research. Educators deserve to know there is exciting curriculum outside of the cannon of what is expected to be taught that is oftentimes rooted in White supremacy.
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    The Promotion of Self-Regulated Learning in English Instruction at Colombian Universities
    (2023-03) Bravo Zambrano, Jackeline; Ene, Estela; Connor, Ulla; Green, Michelle
    One of the main educational discourses in the era of globalization is lifelong learning. Self-regulated learning and learner autonomy are considered to be cornerstones of lifelong learning and are currently topics of main discussion and interest in the teaching of English to speakers of other languages in Colombia and other countries around the world. Although previous research has suggested different teaching alternatives to promote self-regulated learning (SRL) in English instruction in Colombia, what actually happens in the classroom and its impact on the development of SRL have received little attention. This study aimed to identify what Colombian university English instructors know about language teaching methods, approaches, principles, and strategies to promote SRL and to understand to what extent their teaching practices help to promote SRL. Using a survey questionnaire and in-depth interviews, this study was developed based on a mixed-methods approach to understand how the processes involved in SRL, as proposed by Zimmerman (2002), are promoted implicitly or explicitly in the university English classroom. Consistently, most university English instructors are not familiar with the construct of SRL, and their teaching practices mainly focus on teaching, evaluating, and giving feedback on language use and task completion, but not on the processes involved in SRL. Nevertheless, SRL-related aspects, such as learner motivation and the learning of strategies, are part of some instructors' teaching agendas. It is suggested, among others, that university English course programs should incorporate SRL education initiatives such as pre-academic courses on SRL, as well as on how successful language learning takes place. This is to help learners be more prepared for successful and lifelong learning, not only in the English classroom, but beyond.
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    Best Practices in the Multidialectal High School English Class: Implementing Code-switching and Code-meshing
    (2022-01) Johnson, Alicia M.; Fox, Stephen; Lovejoy, Kim Brian; Buchenot, Andre
    Linguists define dialect as a form of a language, and they agree that all dialects are equally legitimate forms of the language. The stratification of dialects, however, is based on social hierarchies and results in some dialects being privileged and others carrying stigma. The bias against nondominant dialects results in language discrimination and limits one’s access to social power. This inequity gives rise to additional obstacles that impede academic success for students who speak a nondominant variety. A significant portion of those obstacles can be addressed with appropriate teacher training and the incorporation of language studies in the secondary English classroom. Language studies will benefit students who speak the dominant dialect by preparing them for interactions with the wide varieties of English they will encounter in the increasingly diverse and global workforce. Students who speak nondominant dialects will be equipped with the tools to navigate and challenge the standard language ideology.
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    Psychological Mirroring in Tana French's In the Woods and The Likeness
    (2021-12) Gott-Helton, Sarah Meghan; Marvin, Thomas; Layden, Sarah; Kirts, Terry
    Tana French’s work has been the subject of a number of recent scholars. Scholarship on French ranges from theories of liminality, to meditations on how French’s work explores the “Celtic Tiger” phenomenon in Ireland, to looking at her stories as new takes on old fairy tales. French’s work straddles the line between popular detective fiction and literary fiction, upending popular tropes and creating something wholly new. One issue that has not been explored is how French’s work fits into a Lacanian framework. The six novels in her Dublin Murder Squad detective stories are rife with issues of psychological mirroring, or doubling. As such, they take the typical mystery trope of pairing a detective with a case that alters and reflects back their own psychological traumas, and takes them to a new level. This work will address issues of French’s characters and how they fit into the theories of Lacan’s Mirror Stage, as well as the “Real,” “Symbolic,” and “Imaginary” realms that we human beings unconsciously construct for ourselves. This writing examines the first two novels of the series, In the Woods, and The Likeness, and analyzes them in light of these theories, showing how mirroring exists in nearly every aspect of each text.
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    "I Knew Grad School Was Gonna Be Hard But...": Community and Feedback in Graduate Writing Support
    (2021-06) Worrell, Brandilyn Nicole; Brooks-Gillies, Marilee; Buchenot, Andre; Layden, Sarah
    Often, one of the first areas to cave under the pressures of graduate school is a graduate student’s writing. Sometimes this is because a writer feels unprepared for the amount or types of writing or it is simply due to the fact that writing is a layered process that has not been fully explained to graduate students before. In any of these situations, there remains a need for graduate writing support that accounts for these varied experiences and the larger graduate school environment. In order to better understand these needs on the IUPUI campus and begin to address them, this study collected data from current IUPUI graduate students and a pilot Graduate Writing Group program through the University Writing Center. Through this research, two key themes arose as vital to addressing graduate writer needs and student success in graduate school: community and feedback. By encouraging consideration of these topics within graduate writing programming, support offered can encourage these areas for graduate writers. Community provides space for students not only to learn from each other but also share common experiences and struggles. Through these spaces, graduate students can gain insight into their writing, program, field, and themselves by recognizing what is a natural part of the graduate school process, what needs to change, and how they develop as a result. Quality and diverse feedback leads to deeper understanding of a student’s field, their voice, and their writing process. Without an understanding of these two elements of graduate writing, students remain more likely to struggle with the graduate school process and with the liminal space of being students and professionals.
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    Discerning Consistent Evidence-Based Communication Strategies for Supporting Deaf Writers in the First Year Composition Classroom: A Study
    (2020-08) Meranda, Stephanie Kay; Fox, Stephen; White, Julie; Weeden, Scott
    The presented study contributes to growing and necessary research compilations that include the field of Deaf Education and First Year Composition. The central goal of this study is to better understand what d/Deaf students, American Sign Language interpreters, and writing instructors currently experience when working together in a mainstream writing classroom to conduct clear communication among all participants. To address the support of d/Deaf students in such environments, a review of current literature that intersects the fields of Deaf Education, Disability Studies, and Writing and Rhetoric was conducted. Then, an IRB approved general interview study was conducted with culturally Deaf students, mainstream writing educators, and a nationally certified interpreter of the Deaf. Although this research touches just the very edges of an entire situation of inquiry and discourse, it offers a starting point from which educators and researchers alike can continue to develop further analysis of communication techniques to support d/Deaf writers in the writing classroom at the college level.
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    Indications of Single-Session Improvement in Writing Center Sessions
    (2020-05) Wilder, Aaron; Brooks-Gillies, Marilee; Fox, Steve; DiCamilla, Fred
    In the complementary fields of Composition and Writing Center Studies, the common goal is to guide writers toward improvement in literate practices. However, the meaning of the word “improvement” has undergone radical shifts across time within both fields. It has of late shifted away from a concrete, product-oriented definition toward a non-concrete, process and person-centered nebula. In short, the field of Writing Studies has become very sure what improvement is not, while less sure what it is. Despite this uncertainty, one area of recent agreement appears to be the importance of control that writers hold in navigating within and across literate contexts, often referred to by the slippery term, agency. This pilot study seeks to utilize the voices of researchers across a spectrum of fields to more precisely define agency. This definition will be consistent with current scholarship in both Composition and Writing Center Studies and informed by related fields such as linguistics, anthropology, sociology, and philosophy. It will then utilize that definition in constructing a RAD (replicable, aggregable and data-driven) qualitative analysis of post-session interviews between researcher and writer. This method will attempt to determine possibilities and guidelines for future research. Particularly, it will provide a framework for future researchers to measure improvement in writing through a more refined definition of social agency. Through that, it will seek to support previous study which suggests as little as a single session in the Writing Center can demonstrate improvement in students’ perceptions of their own writing.
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    California Dreaming: Place and Persona in the Essays of Joan Didion and Eve Babitz
    (2019-12) Christoff, Claire Elizabeth; Rebein, Robert; Kovacik, Karen; Minor, Kyle
    Joan Didion, a native of Sacramento, California, is the author of many acclaimed collections of journalism and memoir, the first of which were Slouching Towards Bethlehem (1968) and The White Album (1979). Eve Babitz, a lifelong resident of Los Angeles, has produced two such volumes: Eve’s Hollywood (1974) and Slow Days, Fast Company: The World, The Flesh, and L.A. (1977). While much critical ink has been spilled over Didion’s oeuvre, Babitz was, until the recent reprinting of the aforementioned titles, known best as an artist and muse. Perhaps due to this disparity in recognition and renown, no extant critical piece serves to compare the nonfiction of Didion and Babitz, despite their close geographic and social proximity. In viewing their early work side by side, the Golden West of the 1960s and ’70s emerges as the clearest point of comparison; however, the ways in which Didion and Babitz use place and time in their work often differ due to the marked contrasts in the identities they convey. In characterizing herself as a journalist and an observer, Didion offers a perspective that feels objective but is, at turns, wry and cool. Babitz, writing in a manner that was, at one time, considered autofiction, positions herself as the freewheeling focal point around which Hollywood’s dizzying cultural landscape unfolds. By manipulating the constructs of place and persona, these writers are better equipped to tell the story at hand and analyze their places within it, cementing their work in California’s literary canon.
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    Generation Five: A Chicana's Journey From Being to Becoming in the Biracial Kitchen
    (2019-10) Chan-Brose, Khirston S.; Brooks-Gillies, Marilee; Zimmerman, Anna; Kirts, Terry
    Cultural rhetoricians work to decolonize research practices to make space for all possible realities, placing a particular emphasis on story as theory. As such, this thesis utilizes an auto-ethnographic approach to demonstrates how KC Chan-Brose struggled to construct her biracial identity as a white-passing Chicana and how she used food and cooking as a tool for reading and writing cultures. Chan-Brose argues that cultural identity is made, or constructed, by people. With this argument, the oppressive notion of either/or, which implies that biracials must choose one culture and align themselves with that culture, loses power. This loss of power also challenges the notion of authenticity within cultures, positing the notion of authenticity as exclusionary, rather than inclusive. She examines her claim to color by storying her experience of coming to understand herself as biracial. She concludes that biracial identity is constructed from the mundane everyday experiences of our lives, and of both sides of our cultures. Chan-Brose posits that we must acknowledge the ways our culture is constructed by the ways we speak, relate to one another, and understand ourselves, and then garner the authority over our own identities to influence our culture’s construction. To model this, Chan-Brose proposes constructing cultural identity through the lens of fusion food and uses Gloria Anzaldua’s mestizaje and Malea Powell’s metis to demonstrate both/and identities as viewed from biracials who have claimed their biracialness as their power.