1992-1993 Honors Theses
Tomothy Baland, Humanities
"Shades of Borges: The Construction of Identity in 'The mirror and the Mask'"
Advisor: Thorpe Running
Shades of Borges is an explication of "The Mirror and The Mask" using theories, terminologies, and methodologies presented by Jean Baudrillard and Michel Foucault. In the story, the king of Ireland orders his court poet to compose three successive odes, each surpassing its predecessor. The story ends with the death of the bard and the disenthronement of the king. The thesis analyzes the differences and similarities between the individual poems using Baudrillard's theories of the four "successive phases of the image" and the ascension of simulation over representation. The transition within the story from merely representational discourse to discourse that exists as an event is examined using four methodological principles advanced by Foucault--the principles of "reversal, discontinuity, specificity, and exteriority." The formation, construction, and preservation of identity within the story is analyzed throughout the thesis using applicable aspects of these and other theories, including Foucault's conception of the author and author-function. The thesis concludes by offering a fascinating hypothesis for possible future study-- "That the production of written discourse results in a nearly permanent and immutable authorial identity, but the construction of individual identity occurs in the fluid elasticity of oral discourse, in the malleable ephemerality of the spoken word."
Joanne Bongaarts, Education
"A History, analysis, and Application of the Whole Language Teaching Philosophy"
Advisor: Dee Lamb
In this paper, I explore the whole language teaching philosophy and instructional strategies. I defend the claim that this is an effective way to teach the language arts and other subject areas with an exploration of its general characteristics, the foundations of the whole language teaching philosophy, and an application of a broad whole language strategy, literature-based thematic units.
John Butler, Government
"A Mission for Peace: United Nations Peacekeeping in the New World Order"
Advisor: Gary Prevost
The last decade of the twentieth century has been witness to remarkable changes in geopolitics amongst the world's nations. International relations has emerged from the icy winters of the Cold-War era, and has moved toward a more hopeful "world order." However, with the change comes new challenges--crises of a different nature which demand new solutions. Thus, many feel that it is the job of international organizations--particularly the United Nations--to formulate these solutions. Specifically, this thesis poses the following question: what is the role of the United Nations peacekeeping operations within this "new world order"?
Jennifer Coe, English
"A Playground of Reading: Readers of and in Don Quixote"
Advisor: Cynthia Malone
My thesis took theoretical elements from the reader-response criticism of Wolfgang Iser, the poststructuralist criticism of Michel Foucault, and the comments of several other critics and applied them in a unique fashion to CervantesÕ Don Quixote. In doing so, I demonstrated the ability to understand theoretical issues in literary criticism, apply them to a specific text, and place ideas within a historical tradition.
John Cords, Philosophy
"Edmund HusserlÕs Crisis : A Critique of Modernity and a Phenomenology of History"
Advisor: Rene McGraw
This thesis is an explication and analysis of Edmund HusserlÕs phenomenology as he presents it is his last work, The Crisis. I do a page-by-page reading of this work and explain such topics as what the crisis itself actually is, how it came about, and what Husserl sees as a way out of this crisis. This involves, for Husserl, an analysis of modernity as arising from the thought of Descartes and the physical science of Galileo. Within this, the rapid development of technology and the theoretical science is explained and interpreted. Husserl sees these great advancements as giving rise to an over-emphasis on the physical sciences in human existence.
On the other side of the question, the philosophy of Descartes and the problematics it sets for modernity which are picked up by the empiricists, Kant and Bretano, necessarily entail repeated failures in metaphysics. Therefore, questions of ultimate meaning in existence are ignored and we lose an understanding of how the sciences have any real meaning for humans.
After his critique of modernity, Husserl begins to discuss his phenomenology which is an attempt to find the ultimate ground of not only the sciences, but all questions of meaning for human existence. His discussion of phenomenology entails his epoche of the sciences and any knowledge gained from them, and also the transcendental epoche in which the phenomenologist suspends judgment on the existence of anything in the world, the world itself and even the existence of him/herself. Further, Husserl explores the realm of the life-world as the world of everyday experience which is primary and prior to any theoretical contemplation.
In my thesis I also attempt to emphasize HusserlÕs historical- cultural themes which appear for the first time in the Crisis. In doing so, I tie in Husserlian themes of self-responsibility which become so important for any reflective human being in these years of crisis in which we find ourselves.
Pete Costello, Philosophy
"Nietzsche and Daly: Sparks of Friendship A Study of Nietzschean Thought in DalyÕs Early Works."
Advisor: Rene McGraw
This thesis studied the possible Nietzschean influences upon or parallels within the early works of Mary Daly, radical feminist philosopher. To this end, the thesis first tried encapsulate Nietzschean thought in the discussion of the eternal recurrence, the will-to-power and self-overcoming. Then it proceeded to discuss Mary Daly's self-described project of moving beyond the patriarchal structures of the Catholic church and society as a whole. And finally, while it avoided questions of Nietzsche's alleged misogyny, this study outlined possible points of light between a particular feminist project and the "lasting" value of Nietzschean philosophy. The end result was not an accumulation of proof that Daly's work was unoriginal but a suggestion of possible grounds for further study, i.e. to show that it is possible that twentieth-century feminist thought returns to the past (nineteenth-century philosophy) for its momentum and description of its goals. Explicit citations given by Daly of Nietzsche'swork were examined carefully and conclusions relating to her later works were offered but remained tentative.
Kirsten DeVries, English & History
"Finding Mary in a World of Eves: St. JeromeÕs Discourse on the Feminine"
Advisors: Carmela Franklin, Cynthia Malone
In my thesis, I discussed St. Jerome's attitudes, as represented in his letters, toward women. I found that in his discourse, he limits female autonomy and authority by pigeonholing them into one, and only one, category: the role of Eve. I furthered my argument by using the theoretical material of Michel Foucault.
Antony Dispanet, Government
"Development of the Brazilian Rainforest"
Advisor: Gary Prevost
There has recently been great attention paid to the destruction of the Brazilian rainforest. The destruction has been fueled by improper economic and development practices, suggesting that it is a soluble environmental problem. In the thesis, which has an optimistic tone, I discuss what has been destroyed so far, what policies led to the destruction of the rainforests, the forces on different sides, what is being lost through continued deforestation, and what alternatives should be pursued to halt deforestation and eliminate some of the economic conflicts in Brazil.
David Donnay, Psychology
"Men and Gender: An Intervention of Social-Sexual Effectiveness and Attitudes Toward Women"
Advisor: Jan Holtz
This study assessed men's social-sexual effectiveness and attitudes toward women, and investigated their apparent association. The present study investigated how these two measures, in a sample of college males,develop over time through maturation and program intervention. It was predicted that both male social-sexual effectiveness and attitudes toward women would be positively correlated, and that the measures would show an improvement in the subjects' confidence relating to women and in less traditional attitudes toward women. It was also expected that those subjects who experienced the program intervention which was aimed at instilling greater gender sensitivity in men, would show the most change in the anticipated directions. The subjects completed two anonymous self-report measures of (a) social-sexual effectiveness and (b) attitudes toward women on two different occasions over a period of approximately three months. Results indicated that the program intervention was ineffective; that the subjects' attitudes became more traditional; and that social-sexual effectiveness and attitudes toward women were not positively correlated. Theoretical issues and educational implications were discussed.
Jennifer Fess, Mathematics
"Dynamics of Population Growth"
Advisor: Charles Rodell
The objective of this project was to examine the dynamics of population size based on age-specific life history parameters, as well as on genetic information. Two basic models were developed and exercised based upon the Leslie Matrix. the first model examined different life history patterns and their impact on the resulting dynamics of population growth. The second model expanded the first to include different genotypes. The life history parameters, fecundity and survivorship, were the same for both models. Four fecundity patterns represented age-specific fecundity that is monotonically increasing, monotonically decreasing, constant, and peaking at an intermediate age; three survivorship patterns represented age-specific types (I, II, and III). From these age-specific life history characteristics, twelve fictitious data sets were created for each model. The genetic model was exercised to examine the genetic impact of immigrants on a population, which was otherwise genetically homogeneous. Impact was measured by the variation in allele frequency. These simulation results support the conjecture that some kinds of species, as defined by their life history characteristics, are especially susceptible to genetic perturbation.
Tom Finkel, Economics
"A Two Part Analysis of the current State of the U. S. Airline Industry"
Advisor: Meg Lewis
Over the past few years, namely 1990-1993, the United States airline industry has lost recorded large losses. This paper examines this situation of the industry. It asks if the business cycle or industry evolution is the cause of the current negative financial situation of the industry. The first third of the paper covers the history of airline regulation and deregulation. The second third covers an examination of the industry's performance during recessionary periods in regulated and deregulated years, using profit and passenger enplanement data. The final third looks at the industry and places it in the framework of an industry life cycle model, tracing the industry through stages of introduction, growth and maturity.
Karla Gengler, Biology
"The function of Seed Mucilage in Flax (Linum usitatissimum)"
Advisor: Steve Saupe
Flax seeds, when imbibed, secrete a halo of mucilage composed of polysaccharides. It has been proposed that this mucilage serves as a reservoir of nutrient for the germinating seed. Seed mucilages in other species have been found to alleviate water stress, inhibit germination in unfavorable conditions, and trap and digest microorganisms. While establishing a protocol for studying flax seed mucilage, I tested the different models and quantified the amount of mucilage per seed. I found that 11-14% of the seed's dry weight is mucilage. Nutrition and digestion of microorganisms do not appear to play roles in the function of flax seed mucilage. Alleviation of water stress and inhibition of germination are better supported by my experimental data.
Eric Gronholz, Computer Science
"Monitoring Shared memory: A Toolset Prototype for the INFORMIX OnLine Administrator"
Advisor: Lynn Ziegler
The "Monitor" Program was developed to assist system administrators for the INFORMIX OnLine Database Server with their evaluation of shared memory components used on their system. Using the Open Software Foundation (OSF)/Motif Widget set for Xt Intrinsics on the X Window System, this program creates scaled dials and pop-up windows to display system information at regular intervals. The program is surprisingly simple to operate and is general enough that with just a few modifications, it can be used to monitor any system information, not just shared memory information for OnLine. This program marks a new way to look at systems analysis, and could be the building block of many powerful programs of the future.
Dorothy Hageman, Philosophy
"PlatoÕs Divided Line and a Mythical Mode of Knowledge"
Advisor: Tim Robinson
My thesis is a discussion of Plato's divided line with a special concentration on the fourth level of knowledge. First, the discussion centers on gaining an understanding of the divided line and what Plato says about the method of attaining fourth level knowledge. Second, I show the four levels of the line in two of Plato's dialogues, the Republic and the Phaedrus. The first three levels match the description of them that Plato gives in the divided line, but instead of finding what Plato describes for the fourth level we find a myth. Finally, I discuss how the myth takes the place of a more analytical method of gaining knowledge of the Forms and how it gives the knower some understanding of the fourth level.
Matt Hanson, Psychology
"The Phenomenology of Perception: An Explication of Maurice Merleau-PontyÕs Major Work"
Advisor: Martin Andrews
This paper is an explication of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's major contribution to the study of phenomenology. The author himself considered his work to be a victory of the Cartesian dualism that separated mind and body. Merleau-Ponty's work begins with an asking of the question "What is phenomenology," and responds "a coming of being into consciousness." For Merleau-Ponty all consciousness is consciousness of something, and this something is restricted to the world and what I experience through my bodily being. Merleau-Ponty sustains a lengthy critique of empiricism and intellectualism, the former relating our experience of the world to an agglomeration of what comes through the senses and gets stored in memory, and the latter maintaining the existence of a constituting consciousness that is able to structure the world according to what it already possesses. Merleau-Ponty rejects both traditional philosophies by placing in abeyance all prior conceptions and returning to a direct, dialectical experience (via sensing, space, sexuality, and expression) of the world and other people.
Stuart Harding, English
"The Muppets in Search of an Audience: A Theory of Learning How to be Human"
Advisor: Michael Opitz
This paper is an introduction to the theories of Gregory Bateson, especially from his book Steps to an Ecology of mind. Jim HensonÕs The Muppet Movie is used to facilitate this discussion of ideas about ideas.
Erin Holman, English
"Redefining Balance: An Exploration of D.H. LawrenceÕs Gender Roles and Polaritites and a Study of Sons and Lovers and Lady ChatterleyÕs Lover"
Advisor: Ozzie Mayers
This thesis, as the title states, is a study of the gender polarities and balances in D. H. Lawrence's life and philosophy, especially as evident in Sons And Lovers and Lady ChatterlyÕs Lover. It begins by examining and critiquing Kate Millett's criticism of Lawrence as written in her 1970 work Sexual Politics. It then moves to Elaine Showalter's use of Edwin and Shirley Ardener's "wild zone" theory, using this feminist theory as a means of more fully understanding the often polar relationship between man and woman, intellect and emotions, and mind and body. After this,the thesis applies this theory to Lawrence's own life, examining the existence of stereotypically male and female roles in his life. Finally, it turns to Lawrence's first major novel, Sons And Lovers and his final novel, Lady ChatterlyÕs Lover , examining the polarities and balances of sex roles and behaviors in each. In addition, the thesis also examines the close parallels existing between the protagonists in each novel.
Michele Holschuh, English
"Secrets, Power, and Identity: A Feminist Study of Two Novels by Margaret Atwood"
Advisor: Madhu Mitra
A feminist study of two novels by Margaret Atwood is a study of The Edible Woman and Lady Oracle. Through a close reading of these two novels, the author develops a feminist theoretical stance to reflect upon the novels and upon the culture in which they were produced. Particular attention is paid to issues of visibility, secrecy, vulnerability, and identity. This analysis is supported through the application of literary theory by authors such as Foucault, Baudrillard, Cixous, Suleiman, and Irigaray.
Marcy Hotz, Liberal Studies
"'Like a Puff of Marijuana': The Equity Illusion for Mexico regarding PRONASOL and NAFTA"
This thesis evaluates the objectives and accomplishments of the National Program for Solidarity (PRONASOL) and its goal of achieving economic stability as Mexico prepares for NAFTA. It gives a detailed description of PRONASOL, its policies, goals and achievements, followed by a discussion of the failure of PRONASOL to distribute its benefits equally. It goes on to explain how political and social characteristics of PRONASOL are causing unequal distribution of benefits. Finally, it speculates that NAFTA will also be ineffective in accomplishing euqity and growth for Mexico.
Chris Jahnke, French
"Gender and social Mobility: A Literary Portrait of Nineteenth-Century France"
Advisor: Karen Erickson
This project is an analysis of four nineteenth-century French novels (Les MisŽrables, La Ville Noire, Le Rouge et le Noir, and Madame Bovary) that examines the different processes men and women go through in changing social status. The project begins with a historical summary of the different social classes and womenÕs positions within these classes. Also discussed are the literary conventions of Romanticism and Realism--the two major literary movements of nineteenth-century French literature. The analyses trace male and female characters in their attempts at mobility. The characters are compared to one another and to the historical description of this issue. I found that while men participate in hierarchical mobility in search of power, women strive for an outward mobility in search of freedom. The conclusion of my project includes personal reflections about the value of literature as a historical piece.
Marc Knudson, Physics and Math
"The Force on a Sphere in a Tightly Focused Laser Beam"
Advisor: Dean Langley
An investigation of the trapping force on a sphere in a tightly focused laser beam is carried out using a geometrical optics approximation. This calculation generalizes earlier work by allowing the spheres to be located off the beam axis. Additionally, a fifth-order, instead of zeroth-order, Gaussian approximation is used, and beam polarization is explicitly taken into account. The results suggest an interesting experiment, involving a driven damped harmonic oscilator system, which could be performed to test the validity of the theory. This experiment will be the focus of a future study.
Gienia Kolyszko, French and German
"Le Lux Torturant de Pcher dans une Baignoire: lÕAbsurde et la RŽvolte dans les Oeuvres de Kafka et Camus"
Advisor: Karen Erickson
This thesis, written in French, is a comparative study of the themes of absurdity and revolt as reflected in fictional works of Franz Kafka and Albert Camus. Aspects of absurdity studied include sense of strangeness and alienation, mis- or non- communication, and ineffective action. Characters in these works revolt against absurdity, manifested in stagnant life and in the certainty of death, and sometimes come to a level of acceptance of life in itself and of death. The two authors complement each other remarkably well: Camus gives us philosophical explanations and psychological examples of the absurd struggle, and Kafka presents us with intense, surrealistic and unforgettable images, which pull us into the direct emotional experience of absurdity.
Ann Kramschuster, Music
"The spirit of the Individual: A Portrait of Beethoven"
Advisor: Ed Turley
To perform music successfully, it is important to consider the "soul" of a piece, and to consider analytical aspects as well as biographical, historical, and musical content. The concept of the "spirit of the individual," a theme of the Enlightenment, was an important influence on BeethovenÕs music; by exploring the inspiration that motivated Beethoven and discovering how he translated and interpreted the spirit of the individual in his compositions, one can better understand the music and communicate its message. The thesis includes a detailed analysis of the Sonata in E major, Opus 109, which was then performed.
Sandy Longhorn, English
"Another Telling: A Collection of Short Stories, Personal Essays, and Poems"
Advisor: Mara Faulkner
Another Telling: A Collection of Short Stories, Personal Essays,and Poems is a compilation of the author's creative writing experience over a two-year time span. The collection contains 4 short stories, 6 personal essays, and 24 poems. Divided into two parts, Another Telling first explores the search for personal and public identity and then moves it to the role memory plays in our lives. An annotated bibliograpy concludes the project. It contains quotations from authors who influenced Longhorn's writing philosophy.
Kristin Ludwick, Communications
"Hillary Rodham Clinton: Ladies, Women and Political Power"
This thesis explores Hillary Rodham Clinton as an agent of change. She is seen as a woman who is making a significant impact on society, and is also helping create a stronger and healthier political environment. Traditional sex roles as well as mediaÕs coverage of Hillary Rodham Clinton are discussed in this paper.
Sean Murray, Government
"The Future Political Status of Puerto Rico"
Advisor: Gary Prevost
This thesis is an analysis of current events regarding the future political status of Puerto Rico. It examines the various actors in Puerto Rico and in the United States congress, as well as international and United Nations positions. Ultimately, the paper assesses the possibility of determining the permanent political status of Puerto Rico and the indecision on the part of the United States Congress, concluding that a permanent decision is unlikely before the end of the 20th century.
Shannon Pettitt, Management & Spanish
"Computer Software and Services in Spain--An Opportunity for American Investment"
Advisor: Jack Farley, Con Hamel
There is a potentially attractive market in Spain for computer software and services ventors. This market is particularly attractive because the country has made significant strides toward economic growth and stability. SpainÕs continued growth is essential to the countryÕs economic competitiveness within the European Community. In order to achieve this growth, the country needs to fulfill their great demand for technology. This technology includes computer software and services and the American investor, in particular, has a significant market advantage. Spain holds a high regard for American computer software products. In 1990, the U.S. accounted for 53% of the software imported. The purchasers of computer software and services are the government, banking, textile and automative manufacturing, and small-to-medium sized businesses.
Before investing in computer software and services in Spain, it is necessary for the business to be well-informed of the economic, political, and cultural aspects. Spain is a unique country made up of seventeen autonomous regions which are guaranteed solidarity by the Constitution of 1978. Therefore each region has its own government, language, and customs. Many of these autonomies are very independent and demand more autonomy. Economically, Spain has made significant growth and sustains this growth through tight monetary and fiscal policy. Politically, Spain has a constitutional monarchy and a socialist president, Felipe Gonzales.
It is an opportune time for the American computer software and services vendor to invest in the Spanish market. The knowledge of the significant factors, such as the economic and political state and the cultures and languages are vital to a successful business venture. It is an opportunity for a low-risk venture, as Spain has a stable economy. The expertise of computer software and services companies is fundamental to SpainÕs competitiveness in the EC. It is a matter of choice and risk which if taken, has the potential outcome of a successful business venture, leading to direct access in the European Community for the American investor.
Elise Robinson, Theater
"The Cauldron of the Deep: An Evening of Feminist Theatre"
Advisor: Kaarin Johnston
After directing and producing a forty-five minute evening of feminist theater during fall of 1992, I needed to reflect on the project and what it meant to me. In the reflection paper I take the reader along on my "feminist journey" and discuss how my original idea of directing a short play was transformed into an project that connected many different levels of my experience as a woman and a college student. The production was, ultimately, symbolic of the spiritual journey that I believe many women take as a part of discovering their true natures. The production material (prompt script, light plot, ground plan, etc.) should enable the reader to gain a clearer understanding of the more technical elements of the production.
Marty Roers, Biology
"The Effect of Environmental Calcium Concentrations on Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha ) Shell Composition"
Advisor: Marianna Wood
The calcium content of zebra mussel shells from eight different natural and experimental waters was analyzed. Large control Lake Superior shells have less calcium compared to large shells from the other Great Lakes. The shellsÕ calcium content was dependent upon the environmental calcium level and the length of the growth period spent at each condition. An inverse relationship exists between the size and calcium content of zebra mussel shells. The calcium compounds (CaCO3 or CaCl2) in experimentally hardened water had no effect on shell composition.
Jill Schlick, History
"Radical Feminism: Sisterhood and Similarity"
Advisor: Martha Blauvelt
The American radical feminist movement (1967-1975) exhibited in its theory a tension between two opposing ideas. Radical feminists believed men and women were similar and equal by nature,and they challenged social institutions which promoted differences between the sexes. They also created a movement for women only.The tension between gender similarity and sisterhood characterizes radical feminist theory and caused the end of the movement.
Jennifer Sell, German
"KreativitŠt, IndividualitŠt, Umwelt: Friedensreich Hundertwasser und das Hundertwasser Haus"
Advisor: Mark Thamert
For over forty years Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser has sought through his art and written manifestos to write his ideal vision of paradise on earth with humankind's everyday reality.A careful examination of his work reveals that three concepts are of special importance in his intriguing outlook: creativity, individuality and respect for the environment. This thesis treats Hundertwasser's unique definitions of these themes and their manifestation in one of Hundertwasser's most impressive and controversial, achievements--the Hundertwasser Haus. Built by the city of Vienna during the early 1980's, the Hundertwasser Haus is public housing unlike any the world has seen. It successfully embodies the artist's desire to produce an environment in which every individual's creative expression is encouraged through the introduction of nature into city life.
Bill Sherman, Theater
"RenfieldÕs Window: A Play in One Act"
Advisor: Kaarin Johnston
Synopsis: Renfield is brought unwillingly to an asylum and is placed under the care of Dr. Seward. Renfield is a cunning and volitile madman who exhibits several unusual characteristics. He hides from the light of the sun and rejects food. The only nourishment he allows himself is to sip a cup of tea while sitting on the window sill.
Although the character of Renfield appears in Bram StokerÕs Dracula as the vampireÕs lackey, this play is not a retelling of StokerÕs story. There is no vampire lurking outside and gently rapping on the window, yet Renfield is haunted all the same. Renfield is troubled by books, memoires, soulls and most importantly ghosts.
In three successive scenes, these ghosts manifest themselves through a Fly, a Spider, and a Cat. These three are portrayed as Victorian women carrying toy-like puppets who in turn tease, chastise, and dominate him. Their actions are coupled with Dr. SewardÕs persistent attempts to understand his patient by pushing and probing his fears. Renfield struggles inside this maelstrom until he can no longer endure it and must try to find a way out.
Bob Simmons, Classics
"My Dinner with Socrates: Literary Shaping of Philosophy in Plato and Dostoevsky"
Advisor: Ray Larson
This study examines the philosophical impact of literary techniques on PlatoÕs dialogues. Incorporating phenomenological literary theory and illustrating PlatoÕs dramatic form and imperfect philosophical argumentation in terms of similar usages in DostoevskyÕs novels, it notes an intonation of reader interaction playing a significant role in the shaping of any philosophical message that is to be taken from the dialogues. It concludes that the dialogues, like DostoevskyÕs novels, play with readerÕs expectations of the genres of "philosophy" and "literature" and the outcomes suitable to each to frustrate their readersÕ search for answers in the text and thus to engage them in a dialectic beyond it. PlatoÕs dialogues and DostoevskyÕs novels seek not clearly to state any philosophy, but to lead their readers to understand that, with the texts as guides, each of them must undertake the quest for truth on her own terms, seek his own philosophical moments.