Home Current Issue Submission Guidelines Contests Archives About Us

Index by Author

Index by Title












The Unconventional War: Parallels between the Combat Experience in Vietnam and Iraq

Amidst the continuing debates comparing the Iraq War to Vietnam, it is important to consider the parallels in the combat experience of soldiers.  Combat is a taxing enterprise, both physically and psychologically, particularly in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  Anchored on primary materials including newspaper articles, memoirs, and war letters, this essay examines the similarities in the nature of the enemy, the combat environment, the occurrence of ambushes, and the utilization of anti-personnel devices.  This paper also analyzes the validity of applying counter-insurgency lessons from Vietnam to the Iraq War and continuing American commitments in Afghanistan.   Although hardly constituting a holistic examination of combat in each war, this paper offers insight towards an understanding of emerging trends in modern warfare, and also provides a starting point for future inquiry.. more...


Revising Conventions: the Violation of Causality and the Female Form in Ilse Aichinger's Spiegelgeschichte

A result of two independent studies – one concerning English translations of German-language literature and the second on narratology – this paper examines the chronology of Austrian writer Ilse Aichinger’s short story, Spiegelgeschichte, in which Aichinger tells the story of a woman whose life is depicted from death to birth. The narrative then circles back to the moment of death.  Aichinger breaks with narrative convention in favor of a cyclical plot structure that simultaneously undermines the linear male narrative and creates multiple ‘beginnings’ to the text, each expressing a different aspect of the female experience. more...

Pull That Wire


On the Nature of Romantic Love

What is romantic love, if it is something more than just infatuation or lust? It is natural to think we are attracted to other people because they have qualities we value, but this perspective faces a formidable problem—namely, fungibility. In light of this problem, philosophers have generally shied away from the appraisal view, developing a range of unsatisfactory alternatives to it. However, if the concern about fungibility could be adequately addressed, then we should favor the appraisal view.  This paper addresses the problem of fungibility and ultimately argues that the appraisal view is superior to its competitors. more...


Sine Qua Non: Feminine Sublimation and Deconstruction in Emma

Jane Austen’s multilayered novel, Emma, functions as a textual brocade of feminist poststructural thought that serves a performative function as commentary on social and literary conventions. To this end, the works of Luce Irigaray, Hélène Cixous, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak are brought to bear; this application of 20th century theoretical developments to a 19th century text is not a retroactive misappropriation, but a linking of female creators whose textual bodies defy categorization through a process of transformation that opposes the calcifying effect present within the phallogocentric Western literary canon. The author also contends that Jacques Derrida’s concept différance is important because a reader must continually engage in an act of comparison between disparate viewpoints within Emma’s narrative. Furthermore, using Derrida’s concept to analyze binary pairs within Emma complicates interpretations and justifies the novel’s designation as a scriptible text. This essay recognizes that an acknowledgment of the unique feminine language theorized by Irigaray and Cixous allows readers to grasp the textual contradictions that collide in Emma. Indeed, Austen’s text is effusive and rebels against lisible engagements, forcing the reader to play an integral role in processing the meaning of the text. more...

We Belong to Nobody: Representation of the Feminine in Breakfast at Tiffany's

Breakfast at Tiffany’s has been hailed as a masterpiece by film critics and popular audiences alike.  Under director Edward Blake, the story of the eccentric Miss Holly Golightly was a tribute to lost and desperate souls everywhere in search of love. Yet the novella upon which the film was based is definitely not a love story. Truman Capote’s original work is far darker and more cynical than its famous counterpart. What factors went into the startling differences between the two works? Breakfast at Tiffany’s was filmed and produced in the years leading up to the second wave feminist movement, and thus it actually became a remarkable comment on society’s views about women. These assumptions about gender roles saturate the film and transform it into something quite different than Capote’s tragic novella. The film’s conclusion have set audiences sighing for years, but it may be that such romantic happy endings are not as innocent as they seem. more...


The Progression From Eros to Agape at the Mouth of Plato's Cave

‘Love of wisdom’ is the definition of philosophy that has underpinned all others.  Therefore, to engage in philosophy or the study of philosophy is, before it is anything else, an act of love.  What does it then mean to love? Are there types of love or only degrees of one love?  The two greatest conceptions of love to have influenced Western civilization are eros and agape. This paper will demonstrate that a progressive relationship exists between them and will present evidence for why agape is not a departure from eros but its possible fulfillment. more...


"The Dead are Dancing with the Dead": Ghosting in the Haunted Drama of Eugene O'Neill

This essay argues that O'Neill enacts an essentially dramatic haunting in the plays Mourning Becomes Electra and Long Day's Journey into Night, as he, like a phantom himself, returns repeatedly to the keywords haunt and dead across both texts. In addition, O'Neill's scripted act of haunting doubles as a reflection of the cyclical dramatic ghostliness Marvin Carlson envisions in The Haunted Stage; ultimately, the ghosts of O’Neill’s drama—his textual repetitions, memories manifest as characters, and constant paradoxes—are none other than the very specters at the heart of drama universally. more...




Penal Transportation as Punishment in Eighteenth-Century Britain

During the eighteenth century, transportation to the colonies emerged as one of the most frequently employed punishments in British criminal law. Although transportation was introduced and justified as a humane alternative to the death penalty, it was in fact used by elites as a means of extending and enforcing systems of social control. By forcibly transporting thousands of individuals guilty of minor crimes such as vagrancy and petty larceny, the authors and executors of the criminal law effectively sought to maintain order through the use of terror. more...


Children and Trees: A Translation of a Poem by Fereydoon Moshiri


The Problem Sylvia Plath Has Left Unnamed: Understanding the Complexity of Female Disenchantment in the Cold War Era

This paper explores societal expectations of women living in America during the Cold War era.  More specifically, this paper analyzes Sylvia Plath’s semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, through the theoretical lens provided by Betty Friedan’s influential work, “The Feminine Mystique.”  It challenges the tendency to interpret The Bell Jar as a narrative reiteration of what Friedan deems the “problem that has no name,” advancing a more nuanced understanding of the central issue at stake in Plath’s novel. more...


Dada and the Nature of Art: A Discourse on Art in Revolt

To a large extent, the history of aesthetics has sought an inherent quality that makes the work of art what it is and by which it can be identified. These conceptualizations of art, however, have more often than not resulted in idealizations that create parameters for what art should be rather than help define what it is. Thus, this paper looks into the nature of art through an analysis of art in revolt: that infamous movement called Dada. By analyzing the counterexamples provided by the Dada artists, this paper sheds light on to what is meant when we speak of “art,” its relationship to those who both create and consume it, and consequently the role Dada has played as a vital force in reshaping our understanding and appreciation of art today. more...

*NOTICE: Reproduction, including downloading of Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Master Mistress: Gendered Relations in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cymbeline, and the Sonnets

Critics often note a patriarchal insistence upon essentialist gender categories in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cymbeline, and the Sonnets. However, this essay argues that Shakespeare explores the discrepancy between biological sex and the masculine form of social organization in order to destabilize male control over women. Shared themes such as the threat of female desire, foreignness, and an androgyny embodied in the Sonnet’s master-mistress weave and blend throughout each work, ultimately inviting a reformulation of gendered relations. more...


Artistic Lies and Human Truths: Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, The Moon-Woman Cuts the Circle, and the Greenheads Series

This essay examines the relationship between artistic lie and human truth in three specific works of art: Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, The Moon-Woman Cuts the Circle, and the Greenheads Series. These works were created within extremely different cultures, time periods, and artistic movements, yet they all embody the ability of art to deceive thought, emotion, and sensation while giving great insight into timeless human experience. The depiction of human form, the stylistic decisions, the unique points of view, and the heavy subject matter of these works still give them relevance today. more...


A Study of Order: Lessons for Historiography and Theology

An exploration of the worldviews of the medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas and the Renaissance historian Niccolò Machiavelli point to a broader disciplinary contrast between theology and history.  Though these disciplines differ in the way they study reality, these differences do not mean that the two kinds of study must somehow contradict each other in their principles or conclusions.  Instead the “theological” and “historical” worldviews complement each other with the first viewing the world in terms of divine agency and the second viewing the world in terms of human agency. more...


Living Green in Germany and the United States: Concepts of Environmental Sustainablility in Two College Towns

This article examines the public sustainability paradigms of Tübingen, Germany, and Greenville, North Carolina, and their respective universities. After providing an overview of the German and American green movements, the authors outline how issues of sustainability are politically managed in both locales and how their “green” efforts are communicated to the citizenry and students there. The article then investigates whether the two towns and universities are building global ties while sharing their lessons with an international community and which business opportunities arise when a town moves toward a greater level of sustainability. The authors conclude that the different levels of commitment to sustainability in Tübingen and Greenville originate in part in their nations’ historical involvement with green practices and to a larger degree in the political cultures of both countries. more...






Contact Us
© 2010-2011 Valley Humanities Review | LVC Home