Academics

Afficio Undergraduate Journal - Humanities

Contradictions of Capital and Care in Ibsen's A Doll's House
Claire Standring (2017)
An economically balanced capitalist society has never been achieved without exacerbating inequality, and the burden of that imbalance has been largely displaced onto women. This increased weight has placed women in an impossible position simply because they cannot play all of the roles that they are expected to play with the adequacy these roles require. Arguably, the heaviest weight of all is the work of social reproduction, which Nancy Fraser defines as anything from the “birthing and raising of children [to] maintaining social connections more generally” (99). In A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, the main character, Nora Helmer, is burdened so heavily by the work of social reproduction that she faces a conflict: one that will force her to make a decision regarding the quest for the possibility of becoming an autonomous individual.

Food Wars: Impacts of Gender on the Japanese Kitchen
Allyson Brown (2017)
Sushi chef Ono Yoshikazu stated in a 2011 interview with The Wall Street Journal, concerning why there are so few female sushi chefs, that “The reason is because women menstruate. To be a professional means to have a steady taste in your food, but because of the menstrual cycle women have an imbalance in their taste, and that's why women can't be sushi chefs.”[1] Ono is the son of renowned sushi chef Ono Jiro, who was profiled in the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi directed by David Gelb, and who is arguably one of the world’s most well-known sushi chefs. The film shows Ono making sushi in his small subway restaurant where reservations must be made months in advance. The film has helped to promulgate a certain image of the sushi chef outside of Japan, but this image has a long history. Indeed, as the above quote suggests, there are prescribed qualities associated, not just with the profession of sushi chef (itamae), but the profession of chef in general in Japan. These qualities are coded as masculine, and, therefore, gender the profession of chef.

Prostitution: A Reflective Analysis
Mia Samardzic (2016)
In chapter seven of Politics and Sex: Exploring the Connections Between Gender, Sexuality, and the State, Edna Keeble stresses that prostitution, through its immediate association with exploitation, remains a widely criticized practice to this day. This association, however, is far too simplistic and undermines the agency of women who willingly choose to engage in sex work by automatically deeming them victims.

The Bard’s Witness: The Welsh and Early Modern English National Consciousness
Eric Franklin (2016)
Several of Shakespeare’s plays reveal the complexities of early modern national selfhood, one that demonstrated not only a clear pride in Englishness but also a delineation between English and Other, an indication that membership in the national affiliation set a person apart from outsiders, but also an idea that there was something intangible yet salient about the national community—an English quality that came from the land itself. Yet while the dramatist’s texts reveal an apparent celebration of English superiority, that ideal often lacks conviction, implying a national absence that suggests a national insecurity.

Young Women and Wolves: Themes of Sexuality and Identity in Charles Perrault’s “Little Red Riding Hood” and Angela Carter’s “The Company of Wolves”
Mia Samardzic (2015)
Charles Perrault’s “Little Red Riding Hood” (1697) and Angela Carter’s “The Company of Wolves” (1979) are two contrasting depictions of a young girl’s encounter with a wolf. In both cases, the encounter symbolizes the loss of the girl's virginity. While, in Perrault’s work, this sexual encounter leads to the young girl’s demise, Carter associates it with her fulfillment. These varying depictions of pleasure, which both hold valuable insight on the expression of female sexuality, are made evident within the stories through the young girl’s identification with her cape, the extent to which homogeneity exists between man and wolf, and the power dynamic between beast and child.

“Thow be understonde”: Writing a Good Reader in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde
Stuart Cheyne (2015)
Writers have long worried that their work will be misinterpreted by their audiences. Authorial intent, regardless of how it might be dismissed by twentieth-century and contemporary theorists, has been paramount to writers throughout history. Geoffrey Chaucer is one of them. His short poem, “Chaucers Wordes unto Adam, His Owne Scriveyn,” directly addresses this issue. His other works are also indicative of this anxiety, foremost Troilus and Criseyde.

Irish Language Print Culture, 1550-1870
Daniel Giesbrecht (2014)
The relative weakness of Irish language print culture was a key contributing factor to what has been described as “one of the most rapid and total language shifts in modern European history.” Despite its status as the oldest living written vernacular language in western Europe, with a rich corpus of extant manuscripts dating back to the seventh century, print in Irish Gaelic was notable for its low output, a situation which persists to this day and which has continued to have a negative effect on language maintenance.

The Most Emblematic of All Deviants
Katherine Crooks (2013)
Within the context of the discriminatory practices and ideologies of the Third Reich, the prostitute is "the most emblematic of deviants."[1] The history of prostitutes under Nazi rule constitutes the intersection of a multitude of ethical, sexual, racial, political and historiographical issues.

One Hole Too Many: Ghosts and Mad Women in Hamlet and MacBeth
Katherine Crooks (2012)
Across Poland, 1956 was a remarkable year of protest against the hegemony of the Soviets and progress as Poles demanded reasonable changes within their system which gave way to significant reforms.

Poland 1956: A Year of Protest and Progress
Kyle Massia (2012)
Across Poland, 1956 was a remarkable year of protest against the hegemony of the Soviets and progress as Poles demanded reasonable changes within their system which gave way to significant reforms.

A Grander and Better World: The Many Interpretations of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Katherine Crooks (2011 Fall)
Since its initial publication in 1798, Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner has been both condemned and celebrated for its fundamental inscrutability. While many critics have dismissed the ballad as "deranged and incoherent" (Stokes 3), others have endeavored to construct interpretive narratives and decipher Coleridge's intent.

The Hollow Cave: Encounters With Feminine Sexuality as a Source of Purification and Renewal in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Faerie Queen
Linda Hulme Leahy (2011 Fall)
Geologically, the cave is a transitional place from above to below, from light to dark, from the known to the uncharted. Metaphorically it is a journey from the surface of naiveté to the depths of knowledge and renewal.

The Politics of Death: An Examination of Aristocratic Male Funerals During the Late Republic of Rome
Leah MacIntyre (2011 Fall)
The Roman Republic during the first century BC was marked by multiple periods of instability and political chaos, as well numerous civil wars, which together brought about a major shift in the traditional sources for political support in the Roman world.

Erecting, Entering, Emitting: Early Modern Definitions of Manhood and Masculinity
Katherine Crooks (2011 Winter)
According to one Spanish proverb, "Not everything is a man that pisses on a wall, after all, dogs piss too."[1] Despite its vulgarity, this aphorism astutely encapsulates how masculinity was roughly defined in the early modern era, spanning from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.

Careless Objectification: A Cautionary Tale
Alison Rudy (2011 Winter)
Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 novel Lolita is troubling because it deals with the incendiary social problem of pedophilia in a cryptic and manipulative manner which has led many readers to condone, rather than condemn, the damaging sexual disorder.

Feminine Dharma: Buddhist Women and Duty to the Earth
Amanda C. LaPointe (2011 Winter)
Buddhism has long been acknowledged for its concern with the welfare of all beings and its concentration on the continued care of the natural world. Buddhist philosophy offers a sense of connection between oneself and all other beings of the earth, and a compassion for this relationship.

Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and the Theatre of the World
Kaitlynde Eaton (2010 Fall)
Identified most readily through its characteristic forms and clichés, metatheatre is ultimately concerned with self-consciously establishing itself as both performance and theatre.