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Antiquity and the Italian Renaissance: Platonic Building Blocks


A popular misnomer is that history repeats itself, that there is, in the words of Mark Twain, "no such thing as a new idea." This essay draws specific connections between the Platonism of antiquity and the vibrant changes sweeping Italy at the hands of Humanists renouncing the ways of Aristotle and medieval Italy. The author argues for Plato's influence throughout the Italian Renaissance, partially due to men such as Cosimo de'Medici who revived the voice of the once stifled philosopher, using his ancient texts and ideologies as the stepping stones for 16th century change across the nation. Plato's influence on academic, religious, and governmental change in Italy was sweeping and impossible to deny.


Culture-as-Mythos Matters


This essay argues for the significance of the mythos view of culture--particularly, Friedrich Nietzsche's theory from The Birth of Tragedy--in generating and sustaining meaningful existence. By examining classical Indian epic, 19th-century literature, and mythological painting, this article demonstrates the positive existential implications of significant culture while also articulating the negative implications of its lack.


Cyborgs Not Welcome: Sterne's Reimagining of Machines and Sentiment in Tristram Shandy


Influenced by emerging technologies of the 18th century, the Enlightenment project emphasized the supremacy of logical, clockwork minds. In Tristram Shandy, Laurence Sterne refuses to allow mechanism to fully explain and replace human feeling. Instead, Sterne uses mechanism as a limited tool to communicate sentiment, acknowledging both its possibilities and limits. This essay argues that Sterne's careful distinction between mechanism and feeling hearts gives readers a deeper experience of the novel and a strategy for resisting the Enlightenment's pressure to mechanize their own lives.


Dürer's Large Horse: A Reflection of a Liminal Society


Albrecht Dürer's engraving Large Horse (1505) visually represents the conflicting ideologies in Germany at the turn of the sixteenth century when medieval mindsets were transitioning into Renaissance ideals. Himself a member of the humanist circle, Dürer captures the tensions at the time between public and private and between spiritual and scientific in the image of the horse and soldier.


Farewell, Lima


After Pearl Harbor and the United States' official involvement in World War II, the government interned thousands of Latin Americans of Japanese descent, particularly Japanese Peruvians, in camps throughout the United States. These actions and those that followed the war affected the lives of not only those internees, but also of their descendants and thousands more who now reside in countries where they continue to be affected by this event's implications, enduring prejudice and discrimination even today.


Images of Mother Monarch Queen Victoria in Victorian Children's Literature


The paradoxes of Queen Victoria as a maternal monarch figure who is simultaneously an invisible mother and powerful queen have intrigued writers for centuries. As the representation of a collective, national motherhood, the queen figure is both empowered as a political force and compromised as an individual. This essay examines how Victorian children's novels, particularly Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden and Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, explore the paradox of the Victorian female.


John Chamberlain: A Progression of Formal Techniques


John Chamberlain's iconic aesthetic and his concept of "fit" in metal sculpture were essential in propelling him to success as a contemporary artist. This essay examines the changes his aesthetic went through during his Lab Years, when he worked with materials other than metal, and argues that this period was crucial to the development of his aesthetic.


Labyrinthine Literature: Reality vs. Perception in Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves


How do we, as humans, define literature? Similarly, how do we define the reality that we live in? In Mark Z. Danielewski's debut novel, House of Leaves, he deconstructs the notion of definite truth through a house that defies explanation, lampooning philosophers and literary critics alike. His novel, layered through multiple storytellers, sets out to prove that, in the end, perception is the only thing that can dictate one's subjective reality.


Motion as Lust in Bernini's Apollo and Daphne


The iconic Baroque sculpture Apollo and Daphne solidified Gianlorenzo Bernini's reputation as a master of the medium. Interpreting the myth from Ovid's Metamorphosis, Bernini faces the challenge of presenting the pagan poetry to his Christian society. This essay examines the theological and artistic roots that Bernini employs, and shows the presentation of this ideological ancestry in the details of his sculpture. In addition, it analyses the position of Apollo and Daphne in relation to its less-famous companion sculptures and its reception among the figures of Bernini's social circle, including the future Pope Urban VIII. Overall, it shows the sculpture as steeped in a theology that presents the characteristic motion of Apollo and Daphne as representative of the dangers of unruly lust.


Press Start: Video Games and Art


Video games are a major part of today's mainstream culture, but their place in the art world still creates controversy, particularly due to vague definitions of "art." But with rapid advances in technology and a burgeoning interest from museums, games are well on their way to being considered as containing artistic merit. This paper argues for the inclusion of video games as an art form, presenting examples of artistic games and the influence of video games on the art world.


(Re)Conceptualizing the Normative: A Glimpse into the Radical Potential and Ultimate Failure of Queer Politics


In spite of its desire to eliminate the tendency to characterize identity into concrete boxes, queer socio-political praxis creates a divide between the queer and the non-queer, a split that ruptures the very essence of queerness. Queer feminine women are located at a unique intersection of gender performance and sexuality, one that is both normative and queer. Through interviews with ten queer feminine women from diverse backgrounds, this project analyzes how femininity articulated within a queer woman's experience points to the shortcomings of queer politics; even within a politics that intrinsically shies away from identity distinctions, queer politics stratifies those not adhering to an authentic queer performance. This paper contends that the radical potential of queer politics lies not in an emphasis of external queerness, but in the need to evade being disciplined into corporeal subjects.


Silent Discord: Analyzing Film as Music through Koyaanisqatsi


By applying concepts from music theory to the film medium, it may be possible to open up new methods of film analysis. This essay explores several possible approaches for the application of musical concepts and language to moving images. Focusing on Godfrey Reggio's film Koyaanisqatsi¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬, ideas such as harmony and melody are interpreted through properties of film. In this way, the essay provides a deeper understanding of film as a medium and offers a grounding for further discussion about the synthesis of artistic theories.


The Undertones of Bewitched: Feminism and Fear of the Supernatural


On the surface, Bewitched is the story of a housewife with supernatural powers attempting to find her place in suburban America. Yet in reality, this humorous, escapist sitcom reveals deepening fissures in the social structure of the 1960s as the Women's Liberation Movement sent traditional patriarchal society into a tailspin. Furthermore, Bewitched brings to light America's tendency to both stigmatize magic and isolate perceived outsiders. This essay explores the ways in which Bewitched functioned as both a social critique as well as an omen of impending changes in gender roles and societal norms, altogether characterizing the era as one still distant from true and perfect equality.


Visconti's Senso and the Evolving Italian Cinema


Throughout a period of roughly 25 years, Italian cinema gradually shifted from the sober, gritty neo-realist works of the 40s to the lush, psychological works of the late 50s and 60s. More or less in the middle of this period lies Luchino Visconti's Senso, a film curiously dedicated to both the sensibilities of realism and opera. By examining various aesthetic, narrative, and ideological choices that Visconti and his production team made, we can read Senso as a cinematic bridge between two diametrically opposed worlds of one country's national cinema.


Volksgemeinschaft: Nazi Radio and its Destruction of Hitler's Utopian Vision


Immediately after rising to power in Germany, the Nazi Party earmarked radio as an integral component of their propaganda efforts. They hoped to fashion a utopian society incorporating solidarity and social community. However, despite initially creating a sense of Volksgemeinschaft, "people's community," through the delineation of a common enemy, the strategy ultimately failed because repressive policies such as the banning of foreign radio resulted in the destruction of that community. Denouncements were the fundamental example, as people charged each other with listening to foreign radio. Such charges were often untrue and sometimes based on self-interest or personal grudges.



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