Liberal Studies - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Transforming Beauty and the Beast: literary and typographic adaptations of an ancient tale

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This project focuses on a well-known narrative: Beauty and the Beast and its mythic predecessor Cupid and Psyche. It explores theories of adaptation as it applies to these stories, discusses why these particular stories have remained compelling throughout the modern era, and examines ideas of adaptation within an expressive typographic framework, challenging the relationship between narrator and reader. The project includes a discussion of the specific advantages of typography in its expressive form, and its ability to provide a new visual adaptation of literary works. Finally, this project explores the relationship between the oral and written word in storytelling, and examines whether the written word can form polyphonic visual language that establishes a dialogue, or relationship, between the storyteller and reader. A second component of this project includes three artist’s books which provide original examples of typographic adaptations of the three stories in question.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
J
Department: 
Graduate Program in Liberal Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.L.S.)

Cinderella's slippers: the dichotomy of fur and glass – and – Performance art and the re-odorization of modern consciousness

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

“Cinderella’s Slippers” revisits the argument that Charles Perrault, the first writer to publish Cinderella in print form in 1697, allegedly mistranslated the tale, which was relayed to him in French, mistaking Vair (fur) for Verre (glass). The essay inserts a feminist critique of the glass slippers by demonstrating tones of implicit misogyny and making observations that link Perrault’s deliberate adaptation with the cultural and architectural history of Seventeenth century France. It also explores the metaphoric symbolism of fur and glass connecting them with Friedrich Nietzsche’s dichotomy of the Dionysian and the Apollonian. --and-- “Performance Art” explores the notion that the smells used by artists in works of live Performance Art create shifts in consciousness for viewers and practitioners. The essay also addresses smell as a primal sense that evokes “feminine” or Dionysian perceptions of reality, a trigger of involuntary memory, and a device for social critique.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
J
Department: 
Graduate Program in Liberal Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Extended Essays (M.A.L.S.)

Deceit, desire, and The Dunciad: mimetic theory and Alexander Pope – and – Birthing the canon: Eliot, Hegel, Marx and literary labour

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Essay 1: This paper analyses Alexander Pope’s depiction of apocalypse in his seminal satiric masterpiece, The Dunciad. Rene Girard’s mimetic theory explains Pope’s relationship to his literary rivals and his motivation in writing, expanding and obsessing over this work throughout the entire course of his life. This paper reads Pope’s literary and critical efforts to control the literary scene of early eighteenth-century England in a Girardian framework. Essay 2: This two-part study examines the process of literary canon formation. I begin by relating T.S. Eliot’s theory of canon formation as discussed in the essay ‘Tradition and the Individual Talent’, to Hegel’s Master/Slave dialectic from Phenomenology of Mind. In part two of this study I apply the Marxist concept of ‘alienation’ to literary productionin the early 18th century. I argue that the level of ‘alienation’ an author experienced was a major factor in determining that author’s chance at canonization.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
P
Department: 
Graduate Program in Liberal Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Extended Essays (M.A.L.S.)

Cupid's arrow

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Cupid’s Arrow is a new Greek Tragedy based on the stylistic guidelines laid out in Aristotle’s Poetics, and narrative source material from Ovid’s Metamorphosis and Apollonius’ Argonautica. It is a play written in iambic pentameter that conforms to the traditions of ancient Greek tragedy and can be performed by three actors (with masks) and a chorus. The play is accompanied by an introduction that examines some of the challenges of creating the adaptation, endnotes that explain mythological references and theatrical conventions, and a structural analysis that provides a scene breakdown and casting plot. In addition, an appendix looks at Aulus Gellius’ story of Polus the actor and briefly examines the relationship between ancient and modern acting technique. Keywords: Tragedy; Greek Drama; Jason; Medea; Hera; Argonautica; Apollonius

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
D
Department: 
Graduate Program in Liberal Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.L.S.)

Circumstances alter photographs: Captain James Peters and the war of 1885

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

On Friday April 24th, 1885, Captain James Peters took the world’s first battlefield photographs under fire at the battle of Fish Creek in the Canadian Northwest territory of Saskatchewan. As Captain of the Royal Canadian Artillery’s “A” Battery—part of the North West Field Force—that consisted of two nine pound cannons, he successfully exposed over seventy glass plates. In addition to his photographic documentation he also was a war correspondent for the Quebec Morning Chronicle. His regular dispatches together with his images serve as an important addition to “Rebellion narratives” and are presented here for the first time in their entirety. I have also written an introduction that places his work in its historical context and outlines a photogrammatology that adds to this overlooked work while placing it in the continuum of historical images.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
J
Department: 
Graduate Program in Liberal Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.L.S.)

Death in Venice: Britten's operatic triumph -and- The allegorical Schoenberg: twelve tone music in Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus

Author: 
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Essay 1: Thomas Mann’s novella Death in Venice is rooted in Greek myth and the Apolline and Dionysian struggle presented by Nietzsche. Aschenbach’s struggle and demise is understood through the boy Tadzio, who is best represented in the opera. In this paper I argue that Benjamin Britten’s opera surpasses the emotional impact of either Mann’s novella or Luchino Visconti’s movie adaptation. Essay 2: In his novel Doctor Faustus Thomas Mann casts Adrian Leverkühn, a composer, as a modern version of Faust. In his pact with the devil, Leverkühn exchanges his soul for revolutionary musical genius. In this paper I argue that Thomas Mann’s use of Schoenberg’s revolutionary method of composing in twelve tones supplies the compelling justification for Leverkühn’s pact with the devil.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
A
Department: 
Graduate Program in Liberal Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Extended Essays (M.A.L.S.)

Recent constructions of masculinity and the emotionally expressive men of Jane Austen film adaptations, 1995 to 2005 - and - The Iraq war's embedded media program: Media management and manipulation

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Recent Constructions of Masculinity and the Emotionally Expressive Men of Jane Austen Film Adaptations, 1995 to 2005 examines the reconstructions filmmakers have performed on male characters in five Jane Austen motion picture and miniseries adaptatio ns. It contrasts these representations with the characters in Austen’s source novels and in earlier adaptations produced for British television. The essay also considers the role of male compassion, nurturing and egalitarianism in the recent adaptations. The Iraq War’s Embedded Media Program: Media Management and Manipulation examines the US rationale for journalist embedding at the start of the 2003 Iraq War and the effect on the journalists’ reportage. Researchers found embedded journalists tended to produce material that was contextually deficient and pro-military compared with the reportage of non-embedded journalists. Possible explanations include social penetration, patriotism and the financial interests of US media corporations

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
J
Department: 
Graduate Program in Liberal Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Extended Essays (M.A.L.S.)

The Darwinist

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

The Darwinist is a full length one act play exploring the relationship between Charles Darwin, evolutionary theory and the spread of HIVIAIDS in Africa. Told through the story of Elisa Wallace, the wife of a Darwin scholar who tests positive for HIV, The Darwinist uses elements of Charles Darwin's biography and his ideas on race and evolutionary change, to create an understanding of the growth and spread of the HIVIAIDS pandemic.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Graduate Liberal Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.L.S.)

Solzhenitsyn in confession

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

One vital thread of The Gulag Archipelago is Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s rediscovery of his Christian roots. This rediscovery is predicated upon suffering, which, according to Solzhenitsyn, serves as a lever for spiritual growth. However, due to Cold War realities, upon The Gulag Archipelago’s publication, most critics emphasized its political significance. Only later was his Christianity underlined, mostly unfavourably. The intent of this paper is to track Solzhenitsyn’s spiritual rebirth following his arrest for expressing anti-Stalinist views. My introductory chapter documents how Solzhenitsyn radically challenged my worldview. Chapter Two: A Difficult Encounter with Self is a personal response to Solzhenitsyn’s confession. With a certain level of discomfort, I have chosen two years in Nigeria to highlight a shameful lack of moral discernment. Chapter Three: A Difficult Birth chronicles the journey to publication of The Gulag Archipelago. The final chapter, Solzhenitsyn in Confession illuminates Solzhenitsyn’s confrontation with his moral deficiencies.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
J
Department: 
Graduate Program in Liberal Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.L.S.)

From private to public redux: the private lives of Jane Austen and Graham Greene as represented by the public worlds of film

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This project is an examination of the process by which the mediums of literature and film intersect within the context of novel-to-film adaptation, and in the depiction of the public and private spheres of the authors and directors. The novels of Jane Austen and Graham Greene and three contemporary film adaptations of their work are analyzed. The project considers how the authors’ private and public lives influence their fiction, how the film directors’ private spheres alter their perception of the novels, and the impact these factors have on the film adaptations, which are released into the public domain. The directors use biographical aspects of the authors’ private and public lives in strikingly different ways to reflect contemporary cultural codes. The public/private dichotomy is also discussed. As technology transforms the ways in which films are viewed, the public/private spheres of the audience in relation to the content are also significantly transformed.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
J
Department: 
Graduate Program in Liberal Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.L.S.)