ENG Graduate Student Conference Papers

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    Cataloguing the works of women: The Poetess Digital Archives
    (Wichita State University, 2023-04-14) Ramirez, Gabrielle; Hand, Bernadette; Waters, Mary A.
    As scholars reassess what the literary canon should consist of, women's writing has been expanded upon. In the past, women were restricted to certain areas of writing; in reconsidering the preservation and analysis of women's work, interest in other, lesser-known genres like literary criticism has grown. To make the study of these women's writings more accessible, digital archives such as The Poetess Archives exist to catalog these women's works. The Poetess Archives preserves works from the late eighteenth century and the nineteenth century. While the works preserved are primarily by women, there are some men included as well, as "poetess" refers not to the gender of the writer, but rather the tradition of writing being used: an effeminate, counter-traditional style. Not only were women publishing more creative works, they were also publishing more literary criticisms, opening doors for themselves and other women in this more professional area of publishing. This archive seeks to preserve these works for a new generation of scholars to understand these developments in women's publishing. Graduate research assistants get an even more close-up experience of not only these writings, but also the work behind a digital archive. Research assistants work on everything from finding and transcribing writings to adapting the transcriptions to code for the website. This work is cross-disciplinary, as much of the digital humanities is, and it provides one example of how the humanities fields have adapted to the rapid change in technology in the past several decades.
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    Vizling: Accessibility through visual language
    (Wichita State University, 2023-04-14) Smith, Journey; Porter, Jaryd; Dudeck, Kalie; Hurla, Alexander; McCowan, Randi; DeFrain, Darren
    Vizling is an app created by Darren DeFrain and Aaron Rodriguez, meant to make comics and graphic novels accessible to individuals who are blind and low-vision. This is accomplished via haptic feedback and audio playback, with plans to hire more voice actors as content is added. Vizling uses Comic Book Markup Language (CBML), a Text-Encoded Initiative (TEI)-based XML vocabulary and is a means for encoding graphic narratives. We use CBML to annotate the graphic narrative, dialogue, bibliographic information, character details, and much more in a text-based form. The software distinguishes between dialogue, narration, scene description, etcetera and utilizes an organization code to decipher which content to assess as per user input. We have been working on translating graphic narratives into three different styles: global narrative mode, panel-to-panel mode, and free exploration mode. We've also been working with different aspects of translation, including domesticating (in which some aspects are changed for fluidity) and foreignizing (aspects remain the same, but the distance between the audience and author is more apparent). Making these translation decisions requires much thought as to the goal of our translations. The rise of new technology presents new opportunities for the humanities as a whole. Vizling will have options for comic creators to add their own work into the software, adding the potential for a larger collection of works. Furthermore, the entire collection will be available for free to readers. Accessibility should be free, and Vizling uses all the resources at its disposal to make that happen.
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    Evaluating the evolution of the English language based on slang terminology used on TikTok
    (Wichita State University, 2023-04-14) Mackey, Abigail Elizabeth; Menon, Mythili
    INTRODUCTION: Social media usage is a recent, yet normalized factor in the lives of people young and old. With this newfound ability to interact and communicate with people all around the world, various linguistic developments have occurred to enhance the experience of digital conversation. Most notably, slang has developed in such a way that it could be indicative of how language is developed and what is considered meaningful or not. PURPOSE: This study will evaluate the perception of slang terminology seen on the massively popular social media site TikTok and whether or not said terms are appropriate in certain contexts. This is alongside some terms that have existed for years, and that show signs of entering the English lexicon as formal, or "standard" English, despite their former standing as immature slang. METHODS: A selection of slang terminology seen on TikTok will be provided using two Likert scales and participants will be asked to determine whether terms are understood as a slang term, a standard/usual term, or both, as well as whether they are appropriate to use in certain contexts. Then, participants will evaluate a selection of sentences and determine whether the sentences are grammatical or not. RESULTS: Every term presented to the participants were noted as being understood in some fashion, and semantic analysis revealed that sentences intended to be grammatical or ungrammatical were typically noted as such. Further analysis revealed that older terms [wanna] and [gonna] could be going through significant morphological change, while less popular terms might be used infrequently due to instances of usage considered appropriate being hyper-specific. CONCLUSION: Linguistic evolution is occurring first via morphological and semantic means, and primarily in younger generations. While face-to-face conversation is still the best way to solidify novel language, language that is discovered on-screen and reproduced in physical conversation can become assimilated and readily understood, no matter how much they stray from formal English, and are often preferable in familiar company.
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    The mirror the West built: An Orientalist reflection on Ingres's Grande Odalisque
    (Wichita State University, 2023-04-14) Porter, Jaryd; Lanning, Katie
    Early Orientalism was a tool to subjugate and categorize cultures and peoples with which Western scholars were only remotely familiar. The practice of fetishizing Eastern cultures began as a means of justifying conquest and revision of "backwards" or "barbaric" cultures. The social and cultural damage Early Orientalism has done to the way that the Western World or the Occident views the Eastern World has proven irreparable by the fetishization of the exotic which persists through the modern Western Canon of literature and art. Modern Orientalists are scholars like Edward Said who have found that the inaccurate, fearmongering, and fetishistic construction that Western scholars built around the world of "Others" more so reflects the fears and insecurities of prevailing Western cultures than their own. Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres has a secure place in the canon of Western art history as one of the great Neoclassicist painters, though a deeper dive into his work reveals Ingres's desire to exoticise his subject. Through a major participant in Eurocentric-Western canon, the notorious La Grande Odalisque, the insufficiency and imperialist framework of the Western canon is laid bare. We examine a figure presented with exotic props, with manipulated and molded proportions, and that is impossible to view without the implicit violence of an Oriental woman in possession of an Occidental artist.
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    Intersectional postcolonial identities: Water and movement in Shire and Walcott
    (Wichita State University, 2023-04-14) Cullinan, Dillon James; Boynton, T. J.
    Using Kimberlé Crenshaw's concept of intersectional identity as foundational research, this paper examines the postcolonial poetry of Warsan Shire and Derek Walcott and analyzes their use of the image of water. The paper examines the use of such poetic devices as metaphor, enjambment, personification, and diction to analyze water's use, frequency, and impact on the poetry and, by extension, identity formation and understanding. The image of water is used to depict movement and its prevention, be representative of colonial violence, and store transferable cultural memory. In this way, water becomes a powerful visual metaphor relating to the identity experience of being a postcolonial person and living in a postcolonial country. For the poets and holders of the postcolonial identity, water both creates a part of and informs at large this identity and its intersectionality as it is an avenue of both arrival, escape, and a kind of border. The postcolonial identity is defined as being intersectional through the postcolonial person's identity as both mover and colonized person, thus positioning itself as uniquely applicable to Walcott and Shire's created water symbology. Using Jan Stets and Peter Burke's research in Identity Theory and Social Identity Theory, the paper examines social and personal identities as they relate to literary studies of race and intersectionality. While the terms aren't unique to this paper, a new set of definitions and research applications are presented to assist in the explication of the intersectional postcolonial identity.
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