Electronic Theses and Dissertations (AU)

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THE 1895 BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY: MONUMENTALITY, COSMOPOLITANISM, AND DEMOCRATIC VALUES IN THE ‘PALACE FOR THE PEOPLE’
Completed in 1895, the Boston Public Library at Copley Square conveys the bold cultural nationalism of the United States at the turn of the century. Created through the collaborative efforts of an impressive roster of leading American architects, artisans and artists, the building’s design and decoration claims a heightened status for American artistic achievement in an era of unprecedented economic, technological and cultural progress. The library’s architects and designers navigated a delicate balance between the needs and wishes of a diverse group of stakeholders—the cultural elite, the institution itself, and a rapidly expanding and increasingly diverse metropolis—fundamentally shaping the concept of the large municipally-funded public library for the rest of the United States. Their choices reveal overlapping and sometimes opposing ideals of the American Renaissance, City Beautiful, and Public Library Movements during this period.Various scholars have already tackled the topic of the Boston Public Library, frequently focusing on its celebrated architecture or individual aspects of its decoration—the murals by Puvis de Chavannes, Edwin Austin Abbey or John Singer Sargent; the sculptural contributions of Frederick MacMonnies, Daniel Chester French or Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Instead, this thesis is organized around broad categorical affinities between some of the most prominent artistic and social undercurrents animating the American Renaissance, City Beautiful, and Public Library Movements at the turn of the century: monumentality, cosmopolitanism, and democratic values., Art history, Art, Degree Awarded: M.A. Art. American University
2012 STATE OF THE STATES: REPORT AND ANALYSIS ON ARTS EDUCATION POLICY ADOPTION AND IMPLEMENTATION
Degree awarded: M.A. Performing Arts. American University, This study first reports research on the primary role of local, state, and federal policy within historical context and highlights the reoccurring need for accountability. Limited measures of accountably were found in two main educational issues regarding teacher quality and student achievement. Education leaders, more today, have increased pressure to report measured accountability based on federal and state policy requirements. A 50 State and D.C. survey conducted in 2010-2011 by Arts Education Partnership (AEP) to State Education Agencies Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) describes the current condition of arts education regarding policy adoption and implementation and statewide data collection and reporting.This survey finds that data on indicators of teacher quality and student achievement are limited and correlates with reports on inadequate policy implementation. Barriers of policy implementation were detected by coding qualitative survey results and cross examination with survey results on data collection. This study calls to attention the need for data-systems to communicate more data involving more measures to report teacher quality and student achievement. Data-systems may easily communicate the complexities of teacher evaluation and student assessment across varying levels of government to meet the demands and pressures of current policy requirements., Made available in DSpace on 2012-08-22T15:00:48Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Clark_american_0008N_10196display.pdf: 813488 bytes, checksum: d96e39131b3b79b44f58995b626b9e3b (MD5)
"`Tis murder's best face, when a vizard's on!": Morality and Metadrama in Renaissance Revenge Tragedy
Degree awarded: M.A. Literature. American University, This thesis analyzes the intersection of the genre of revenge tragedy with contemporary cultural ambivalence regarding drama and the use of disguise. By juxtaposing two seminal revenge plays, Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy and Thomas Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy, with contemporary antitheatrical texts, this study arguesthat revenge plays support antitheatrical critiques at the level of plot, but celebrate drama andinventiveness in their excessive metatheatricality., Made available in DSpace on 2013-05-09T14:12:02Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Roosevelt_american_0008N_10406display.pdf: 227731 bytes, checksum: d8dfea0220a95c913dbdb074f8ba80b6 (MD5)
"A FEW TIMES I HAVE KNOCKED ON DOORS AT PARTIES...": PEERS AS BYSTANDERS IN PREVENTING AND RESPONDING TO DATING VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Justice, Law and Society. American University, Routine activities theory posits that for a crime to occur, there needs to be the convergence of a willing offender, a suitable target and the lack of a capable guardian (Cohen & Felson, 1979). Since the passage of the Clery Act, colleges and universities have primarily focused on how to make offenders less "willing" or targets less "suitable" (Potter, Krider & McMahon, 2000), while ignoring the third of these converging factors: increasing guardianship. Recent research indicates that increasing the capable guardianship of fellow students through bystander intervention education may be a promising way to utilize informal social control to prevent crimes against women on campus (Banyard, 2008; Coker et al., 2011).This study reports on the findings of a mixed-methods cross-sectional survey conducted by the author in spring, 2011. A random sample of undergraduate students enrolled in a small private university in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States was invited to complete an Internet-administered survey. The survey included both closed-ended and open-ended questions. A response rate of 56% was achieved. Structural equation modeling was used to answer the first research question, "What predicts whether a bystander will intervene?" Bivariate probit regression was used to answer the second research question, "Are the correlates of intervening in dating violence situations different from those associated with intervening in sexual violence situations?" The third research question, "What actions do respondents report undertaking and which actions do they believe are most successful or least successful?" was answered based on a content analysis of responses to three open-ended questions.The findings of this study demonstrate that there are different factors that predict whether a bystander will intervene based on the timing of an intervention (proactive vs. reactive), the type of situation (violence-related or alcohol-related) and the type of crime (intimate partner violence vs. non-intimate partner sexual violence). In addition, there is a spectrum of beliefs about what strategies are successful to prevent sexual and intimate partner violence ranging from individualism (personal responsibility and avoidance), to interpersonal responsibility (one-on-one communication; buddy system at parties), to community-wide responsibility (i.e., education, advocacy and activism). Finally, the results from the quantitative measure of rape myths acceptance were contradicted by the responses to the open-ended questions. Implications for future research, policy and practice are discussed., Made available in DSpace on 2013-08-28T16:21:04Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Palmer_american_0008E_10382display.pdf: 4584320 bytes, checksum: 563f948bbbea2a0cd6951c310fa02c4f (MD5)
ABILITY TO PRODUCE EMOTIONAL FACIAL EXPRESSIONS FOLLOWING CLOSED HEAD INJURY
Degree awarded: M.A. Psychology. American University, Previous research has shown a decline in psychosocial functioning in persons with closed head injury (CHI), which decline is manifested in diminished social networks, reduced employment and a sense of loneliness and depression. Several research groups linked the observed deficits in psychosocial functioning to reduced interpersonal communication skills and, more specifically, to an impaired ability to recognize emotions in others, both from faces and voices. Because human communication is a two-way process, being able to produce unambiguous and appropriate facial expressions is as important as being able to read facial expressions of others. In our study, we compared 30 persons with a history of CHI with 20 uninjured volunteers in their abilities to produce emotional facial expressions by having judges label the expressions made by participants in response to cartoons depicting emotion-provoking situations. The results indicated that judges failed to identify facial expressions of the CHI group significantly more often than they did while labeling facial expressions in the control group. Therefore, we concluded that the ability to produce facial emotional expressions is impaired in the CHI group., Made available in DSpace on 2013-01-09T14:10:16Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Sheinina_american_0008N_10353display.pdf: 311062 bytes, checksum: 388a670c59c448209e5fabaeec1ac1bd (MD5)
The Accidental Children
Degree awarded: M.F.A. Literature. American University, The Accidental Children is an original work of fiction that explores the consequences of denial and conflict avoidance in the lives of two high school students who accidentally conceive a child on the eve of graduation. The novel deals with the relationship between family and ambition, and the problems created by unwillingness on the part of the characters to cope with and accept responsibility for their mistakes. When does self-absorption for the sake of following one's dreams begin to have a negative effect on friends and family? When does an unwillingness to be honest become detrimental to the stability of the family?, Made available in DSpace on 2013-05-09T14:12:04Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Staggs_american_0008N_10401display.pdf: 1136754 bytes, checksum: 6323f1749fbf4bba7048df3d70d26445 (MD5)
The Acculturation of International Disability Rights Norms: Perspectives from Movements in the United States and India
Degree awarded: M.A. School of International Service. American University, Despite the proliferation of inclusive policies on disability, there remains little academic literature grounded in the field of international relations that explains under which domestic socio-political conditions international disability rights norms are likely to flourish. This paper asks, ―Which factors contribute to variation in the domestic promotion of political participation and social inclusion for persons with disabilities, as exemplified by the social model of disability and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)?‖ The primary focus of the paper is to uncover certain historical processes that influence democratic and relatively wealthy countries to engage with international disability rights instruments by embracing the social-model language of the CRPD in their disability-related laws. With respect to this question, the author distinguishes the United States from India- two large, democratic countries with stable economies, which have adopted very different models within their disability laws in the 1990s. The case studies reveal that, although the U.S.`s disability laws comply with the standards of the CRPD, domestic tensions have hindered its participation as a leader in international human rights treaties. On the other hand, India`s original disability law, which does not embrace the fundamental principles of the CRPD, was a product of on-going transitions in India`s foreign policy and efforts to build a more globally engaged capitalist economy., Made available in DSpace on 2012-08-22T15:00:34Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Amin_american_0008N_10236display.pdf: 766272 bytes, checksum: dff9fbe655ffea1f2cf098c53e67f4ac (MD5)
Adaptive and Maladaptive Rumination: Differential Effects of Abstract and Concrete Construal of Body Image-Related Events
Degree awarded: M.A. Psychology. American University, The current study examines the effect of different cognitive processing styles (abstract or concrete rumination and distraction) on self-satisfaction and affect. A sample of 150 female participants recalled personal experiences that triggered negative body image. Participants either distracted themselves from thinking about the experience or wrote about it for an extended time period in an abstract/evaluative or concrete/objective manner. Participants completed baseline and post-manipulation measures of state body image dissatisfaction, affect, physical appearance anxiety, and self-esteem. The hypothesis, developed from findings in previous research on dysphoric mood (Watkins, Moberly, & Moulds, 2008; Watkins & Moulds, 2005), was that abstract construal of negative body image-related experiences would result in greater body image dissatisfaction, physical appearance anxiety, and negative affect, and lower self-esteem than concrete rumination and distraction. Results revealed that abstract construal contributed to the greatest increase in body image dissatisfaction and the greatest reduction in appearance-related self-esteem and positive affect. Unlike abstract construal and distraction, concrete construal resulted in no significant change in body image dissatisfaction from pre-manipulation to post-manipulation. Distraction resulted in the greatest increase in fatigue. Previous research has provided a narrow conceptualization of rumination as maladaptive. The results of this study provide support for broader conceptualization of rumination as both maladaptive and adaptive, dependent upon outcomes across psychopathological domains., Made available in DSpace on 2015-01-15T21:01:12Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Calixte_american_0008N_10724display.pdf: 645968 bytes, checksum: aeb1fa2fff4ffe56aa2bd6dfbed12eda (MD5)
Afraid to feel good: Is fear of emotion associated with creative problem solving?
Degree awarded: M.A. Psychology. American University, Previous literature indicates that increased positive affect leads to greater creative problem solving ability. However, high fear of positive emotion (FOPE) individuals may not capitalize on positive mood inducing situations either because they resist the induction of positive mood or have their positive feelings blunted by the simultaneous experience of fear/anxiety. Experiencing less positive affect than low FOPE individuals could lead to inferior performance on creative problem solving tasks following a positive mood induction. Participants had their FOPE, neuroticism, and pre-induction mood assessed, underwent either a positive or neutral mood induction, and took tests of two domains of creative problem solving, divergent thinking and relational thinking. The hypotheses of the study were not confirmed. High FOPE participants exhibited greater residual positive affect post-induction than low FOPE participants, and there was no relationship between positive affect and creative problem solving in the sample. Potential explanations for these unexpected results are discussed., Made available in DSpace on 2013-10-01T11:39:27Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Mullarkey_american_0008N_10477display.pdf: 322595 bytes, checksum: 4bb01627237e3a70b74c6ae488d4b9ab (MD5)
Africa and Liberia in World Politics
This dissertation analyzes Liberia’s puzzling shift from a reflexive allegiance to the United States (US) to a more autonomous, anti-colonial, and Africanist foreign policy during the early years of the Tolbert administration (1971-1975) with a focus on the role played by public rhetoric in shaping conceptions of the world which engendered the new policy. For the overarching purpose of understanding the Tolbert-era foreign-policy actions, this study traces the use of the discursive resources Africa and Liberia in three foreign policy debates: 1) the Hinterland Policy (1900-05), 2) the creation of the Organization for African Unity (OAU) (1957-1963), and finally, 3) the Tolbert administration’s autonomous, anti-colonial foreign policy (1971-1975). The specifications of Liberia and Africa in the earlier debates are available for use in subsequent debates and ultimately play a role in the adoption of the more autonomous and anti-colonial foreign policy. Special attention is given to the legitimation process, that is, the regular and repeated way in which justifications are given for pursuing policy actions, in public discourse in the United States, Europe, Africa, and Liberia. The analysis highlights how political opponents’ justificatory arguments and rhetorical deployments drew on publicly available powerful discursive resources and in doing so attempted to define Liberia often in relation to Africa to allow for certain courses of action while prohibiting others. Political actors claimed Liberia’s membership to the purported supranational cultural community of Africa. After the widespread use of the rhetoric of the independence struggles of the 1950s and 1960s, including “Africa for the Africans”, a discourse that had previously been marginalized within Liberia’s public space now began to be used to yoke Liberia to the new African states. The national discourse of an African continental identity became part of the Liberian rhetorical landscape in the 1970s; newspapers and other publications frequently exposed Liberian audiences to the African nationalist discourse of the anti-colonial independence movements taking place at their borders and across the continent. However, the discourse of traditional Liberian conservatism also competed for prominence in shaping policy. Liberia as an African state, that is being, belonging to and fundamentally connected to the land and peoples of Africa, that can be traced to the beginnings of the polity in debates and discussion in the US during the 19th century. Liberian state leaders justified their policy choices in the early 1970s by asserting Liberia’s African identity. This move also simultaneously served to recast Liberia as an African state, which in turn had implications for Liberia’s allegiances, alliances, alignment, and actions in international politics. Thus, Liberia was nested within Africa; this new identity produced certain foreign policy actions and produced Liberia in its new manifestation as an African state. The study argued that the shift in Liberian foreign policy can be adequately explained by the Liberia’s claim to be an African state, specifically part of a supranational community called “Africa” with associated commitments and responsibilities any member of a community would presumably have. Without the specifications of “Liberia” and “Africa” that became salient in the 1970s but originating from those earlier debates, Liberia might not have implemented the more autonomous, anti-colonial, and Africanist foreign policy that it adopted. Since these terms, with their contemporary discursive significance, were rhetorically deployed specifically to legitimate Liberia’s new policy direction, without those cultural and discursive resources such actions would seem to have been unlikely., International relations, African studies, Political science, Africa, African Foriegn Policy, African International Relations, Constructivism, Legitimation, Liberia, School of International Service, Degree Awarded: Ph.D. School of International Service. American University
AFRO-COLOMBIAN AND INDIGENOUS SOCIAL MOVMEMENTS: INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCES, FRAMING TACTICS, AND STATE CONSTRUCTED IDENTITY
Degree awarded: M.A. School of International Service. American University, This thesis is a comparative analysis of Afro-Colombian and Indigenous social movements. It examines the intersection between political opportunity structure, international network influence, movement framing and identity construction. It also examines the ways in which indigenous and Afro-Colombian identities have been historically constructed by the state and subsequently contested by social movement actors. I argue that indigenous social movement success was possible due to the political opportunity structure of the Colombian National Constituent Assembly, supportive international networks, and effective framing tactics. Meanwhile Afro-Colombian groups did not have access to the National Constituent Assembly, did not have access to supportive international networks and framed their movement in a way which did not resonate with the majority of the Afro-Colombian population., Made available in DSpace on 2013-07-09T19:15:56Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Terrell_american_0008N_10215display.pdf: 1211053 bytes, checksum: 2d7f1fcb1ad29f402e21f14747ec7d12 (MD5)
Against the Map: Resistance Landscapes in the Great Dismal Swamp
The Great Dismal Swamp, an expansive morass in Virginia and North Carolina, was home to communities of Native Americans, disenfranchised Europeans, Maroons, and other diasporans circa 1607-1863. This dissertation employs anthropological archaeology to investigate how marronage, one form of African American resistance to the system of slavery, was affected by changes in ownership and use of marginalized lands in the mid-Atlantic. Deep in the Swamp’s interior, Maroons, people of African descent fleeing the oppressive conditions of slavery, sought a measure of freedom. Enslaved laborers built canals and harvested timber for lumber companies beginning late in the eighteenth century. Drawing upon the work of wetlands archaeologists to augment the political-economic framework of previous Great Dismal Swamp Landscape Study analyses, I explore the how marronage and other forms of resistance were enacted in the landscape. LiDAR data and archival research guide targeted exploration and archaeological excavation to identify possible Maroon sites on small islands in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. I identify two previously unknown sites with long pre-contact histories which later took their place in the vast Maroon landscape. Artifacts and features at the Virginia sites (44SK0613 and 44SK0614) indicate Maroons created a variety of places depending on local topography and relative proximity to the world beyond the Swamp. These investigations reveal a dynamic social and physical landscape of resistance created by generations of people who actively rejected the exploitation and violence of the European colonial and enslavement projects and contribute to discussions of wetlands, landscape and the global African diaspora., Archaeology, archaeology, diaspora, Great Dismal Swamp, landscape, marronage, wetlands, Anthropology, Degree Awarded: Ph.D. Anthropology. American University
AGE AND STRAIN DIFFERENCES IN MORPHINE-INDUCED TASTE AVERSIONS: A BEHAVIORAL AND NEUROCHEMICAL ASSESSMENT
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Psychology. American University, Drugs of abuse have both rewarding and aversive effects with the relative balance of these two effects determining their subsequent use and abuse. Understanding this balance and the various factors that might impact it may provide insight into drug use and abuse. In this context, the inbred LEW and F344 rat strains have been shown to differ in their sensitivity to the aversive effects of a host of drugs of abuse, including morphine. Although strain-dependent differences in morphine-induced aversions have been well characterized, these effects have been limited to adults and it is not known whether such effects are evident in adolescents and are developmentally stable or if such differences are manifested only in adulthood as a function of some developmental history. To address these possibilities, adolescent F344 and LEW rats were given access to a novel saccharin solution and subcutaneously injected with various doses of morphine (0, 3.2, 10 and 18 mg/kg). This procedure was repeated for four conditioning cycles following which all subjects were given access to water and saccharin in a two-bottle test of the aversion. To determine if morphine brain levels differed between the two strains and if any differences were related to strain differences in aversion learning, subjects were given an injection of the dose of morphine administered during conditioning and brain morphine levels were assessed with high-performance liquid-chromatography. Both adolescent and adult F344 subjects exhibited robust morphine-induced taste aversions at all doses tested, while the LEW subjects were relatively insensitive to the aversive properties of morphine, suggesting that the differential sensitivity to the aversive effects of morphine between the strains is highly heritable and developmentally stable. In addition, adolescents (averaged across strain) displayed weaker aversions that adults. Both adolescent and adult subjects displayed dose-dependent differences in brain morphine levels with the levels significantly lower in LEW adolescents relative to the F344 counterparts. None of these levels was associated with the reported differences in aversion learning. The basis for the strain differences in morphine-induced aversions was discussed in relation to possible peripheral and central mechanisms mediating and modulating the aversive effects of morphine., Made available in DSpace on 2013-05-09T14:11:40Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Hurwitz_american_0008E_10390display.pdf: 742014 bytes, checksum: 70d32a8ce9e83259895a6b17e5ac5387 (MD5)
AGE DIFFERENCES IN (±)3,4-METHYLENEDIOXYMETHAMPHETAMINE (MDMA)-INDUCED CONDITIONED TASTE AVERSIONS AND MONOAMINE LEVELS
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Psychology. American University, Adolescence is a life stage characterized by developmental changes (both biological and behavioral) that may interact with the effects of drug administration. This was assessed in the present experiments in which adolescent and adult rats were compared in their ability to acquire taste aversions induced by (±)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; 0, 1.0, 1.8 or 3.2 mg/kg) utilizing doses that are commonly self-administered by human users. Further, monoamine and metabolite levels in discrete brain regions were quantified using HPLC-ECD in order to determine if adolescent animals displayed a different neurochemical profile than do adult animals after being exposed to subcutaneous low doses of MDMA. Adolescent rats displayed less robust MDMA-induced taste aversions than adults during acquisition and on a final two-bottle aversion test. MDMA at these doses had no consistent effect on monoamine levels, and age was the predominant factor in predicting relative levels of monoamines and their metabolites (adolescent < adult). Given that drug abuse vulnerability is thought to be a function of the balance between the drug's rewarding and aversive effects, the relative insensitivity of adolescents to MDMA's aversive effects may be important to understanding abuse potential in this specific population., Made available in DSpace on 2013-05-09T14:11:35Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Cobuzzi_american_0008E_10386display.pdf: 554819 bytes, checksum: 917afe7173d9e6f75f65b3eb4dee55a0 (MD5)
Age-Related Differences in the Retrieval and Definition of Events from Memory
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Psychology. American University, Older adults often struggle to recall events from a specific time and specific place when presented with a cue word (Piolino et al., 2010). When they are able to successfully retrieve an event, they tend to recall fewer specific details, focusing instead on contextual and factual information (Levine, Svoboda, Hay, Winocur, & Moscovitch, 2002). These age differences are not relegated to the retrieval scenario alone; at encoding older adults also show differences in the way they segment ongoing information into discrete events (Zacks, Speer, Vettel, & Jacoby, 2006). The present work investigated age differences in the retrieval and definition of events from memory. First we delineated the age differences in neural activity during autobiographical recall. Second, we established how age alters event definitions during retrieval. Finally, we explored whether a more global change in event understanding could account for age differences in event memory. Our results highlight key differences in brain activity during autobiographical memory retrieval in the prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate, and in the functional connectivity between these regions and the hippocampus. Further, our results demonstrate age differences in event definitions during perception and retrieval. We conclude by highlighting how these findings relate to the processes of memory retrieval and event segmentation., Made available in DSpace on 2012-08-22T19:14:24Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Hohman_american_0008E_10205display.pdf: 2349835 bytes, checksum: 55f1b351e40e0c9c9c7ed24767ece2dc (MD5)
Aiding and Abetting: The Influence of Foreign Assistance on Incumbent Advantage in Africa
Degree awarded: Ph.D. School of International Service. American University, Can changes in foreign aid influence incumbent advantage in aid-recipient countries? This dissertation suggests that in post-Cold War Africa, the answer is yes. The argument rests on a cross-national analysis of all African elections between 1990 and 2006 and three case studies of African elections. The cross-national analysis demonstrates a durable correlation between changes in aid and incumbent advantage. Case studies of elections in Ghana in 2000, Malawi in 1999, and Kenya in 1992 present subnational confirmation of the main findings and flush out the mechanisms that link aid changes to incumbent advantage. The dissertation thus demonstrates that foreign aid volatility influences election results in Africa, that aid recipients often are able to use an electoral logic to strategically target aid, and that African voters are influenced by the provision of goods and services., Made available in DSpace on 2013-05-09T14:11:34Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Briggs_american_0008E_10398display.pdf: 4799501 bytes, checksum: 313230897078a67daec3a40e006de6cf (MD5)

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