349 Works

A Conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson

John Plotz, Elizabeth Ferry & Kim Stanley Robinson
Kim Stanley Robinson, SF novelist of renown, has three marvelous trilogies: The Three Californias, Science in the Capital and, most celebrated of all, Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars. His honors include many Locus, Hugo and Nebulae awards. Small fact connecting him to RTB-land: he completed a literature PhD directed by Frederic Jameson with a dissertation-turned-book on the novels of Phillip K. Dick. Stan and John start out with Stan's emerging from the Grand...

A Conversation with Martin Puchner

John Plotz, Elizabeth Ferry & Martin Puchner
RTB listeners already know the inimitable Martin Puchner from that fabulous RTB episode about his "deep history" of literature and literacy, The Written World. You may even know he has a family memoir coming out soon, The Language of Thieves. But it took Books in Dark Times to uncover his secret hankering for tales of the British aristocracy, and for off-kilter modernist texts.

What Are The Efforts Toward LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Jewish Summer Camps Across North America?

Adam Joel Nickels
Every year, hundreds of thousands of Jewish children and young adults spend parts of their summers in Jewish summer camps. They could spend anywhere from one to eight or more weeks of their summers at camp. Given the volume of people attending Jewish summer camps, it is inevitable that a significant proportion of these people will identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ+). Through an analysis of interviews, a review of current...

The Individual's Journey Toward a Fulfilling Sense of Judaism

Joseph Barr
What leads people to leave behind the communities that they grew up in and pursue a new lifestyle and Jewish observance? How is that discussed, and how do those who have been situated in their community for 10+ years talk about it versus those who are just beginning the process of finding new community? This paper examines how individuals talk about that moment in their lives and their experiences in the midst of going through...

The Moderation Effect of Social Support on the Relations Between Sexual Identity Ambiguity Distress, and Internalizing Symptoms for Emerging Adults

Andre Sillas
Sexual identity ambiguity may be a unique source of identity distress for emerging adults who may be questioning or uncertain about their sexual orientation. Increased identity distress has been associated with greater reported internalizing symptoms for emerging adults, but there is some research that suggests both family and peer social support may reduce this association. The current study aimed to investigate a) the association between sexual identity ambiguity distress and internalizing symptoms, b) the association...

Between Visualizability and Abstractness: Deploying Visual Text to Detect Non-literal Language

Gitit Kehat
Many tasks can benefit from the use of multimodal resources, such as vision-languagedatasets, which include images along with textual pieces of information. A common practice is to combine both the visual and textual representations into multimodal models, yet this approach is expensive and not necessarily essential. This work examines the way in which the textual-only parts of visual datasets, which we call “visual corpora”, capture the visualizability of language components, and makes use of their...

Time Continuity Voting for Electroencephalography (EEG) Classification

Xiaodong Qu
In this dissertation, I focused on EEG classification for high-level cognitive activities. I first reviewed the machine learning and deep learning algorithms that already have been implemented in EEG classification and summarized the categories of the state-of-the-art algorithms, which set up the baseline for my experiments.

The Role of Maladaptive Emotion Regulation in the Bidirectional Relation Between Sleep and Depression in College Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Xinran Niu
Emotion regulation deficits are an outcome and risk factor for both insomnia and depression, suggesting that maladaptive emotion regulation might in part explain the bi-directional links between sleep and depression. The current study tests this hypothesis during the COVID-19 pandemic in emerging adult undergraduate students, a high-risk population for both depression and sleep disturbance. A sample of 154 undergraduate students completed a series of online questionnaires bi-weekly on sleep, depression, and emotion regulation strategies across...

Provincial Identities in the First-Century Roman Empire Imperial Literature and Discourses of Division and Integration

Sean Mao
This thesis analyzes early Roman imperial literature and its representation of provincials of Gallic and Germanic origin in the first century CE. I focus on the literary conceptualization and portrayal of the provincial identities in relation to the Roman Empire and the Roman identity. I examine and analyze three case studies involving the provincials and their interactions with the Romans in the imperial context. First, the German bodyguards of the Julio-Claudian emperors occupied a difficult...

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD): A survey of sibling perspectives on disclosure and communication within the DMD family

Kaela Drzewiecki
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a progressive and life-limiting neuromuscular condition that impacts not only the affected individual, but the entire family unit. After receiving a DMD diagnosis in a child, parents are quickly tasked with disclosing information about the condition to other family members, especially unaffected siblings. Parents have reported that healthcare providers are unhelpful at providing specific advice on how to best navigate these difficult conversations, probably due to lack of research on...

Structural and Dynamic Analyses of Cytochromes P450

Nathan Ross Wong
Cytochromes P450 are a superfamily of heme-containing mono-oxygenases that typically catalyze the insertion of an oxygen atom from O2 into a carbon-hydrogen bond or carbon-carbon double bond, often with regiospecific and stereospecific precision. These enzymes are primordial, likely having evolved as long as 3.5 billion years ago, and are thought to have initially evolved as a reaction to the increase of oxygen in the atmosphere during the Archean eon. The early evolution and continued prevalence...

Entangled Markets: Modeling Coastal Interaction in the Hellenistic Southern Levant (3rd century BCE - 1st century CE)

Nicole Constantine
In the middle of the 2nd century BCE, a group of wealthy Phoenicians constructed a monumental villa at Anafa in the rural Upper Galilee. They decorated the walls of their villa with painted and gilded stucco, constructed private baths, and imported Aegean wine, fine tablewares and delicate blown glass to Anafa in huge quantities (Herbert, 1979). The residents of Anafa relied on an intimate trading connection with the coast in order to access the finest...

The Care Seeking Journeys of People with Endometriosis

Joelle Hannah Galatan
Endometriosis care-seeking was a complex and difficult process for all of the women in this study. For many participants the process began with pain, however, they did not seek out care at this point, because they believed that what they were experiencing was normal, interpreting it within a cultural context that normalizes period pain. This thesis is a qualitative interview study examining the journeys of ten women with endometriosis in seeking out appropriate care for...

“Confident Girls”: A Case-Study of the Self-Esteem of Pre-Adolescent Females in a Non-Traditional Educational Environment

Emma Forster
This study uses a meaningful case study sample to investigate the self-esteem of pre-adolescent girls and the contributing factors. I studied three pre-adolescent girls in rural Hawaii who all participated in the same homeschooling community. In this paper, I offer a socioecological model of the perceived support of self-esteem of the girls. This model addresses the following questions: How do the three girls in the study demonstrate confidence? Are they perceived as confident by themselves,...

Elizabeth Ferry on \"The Diary of 'Helena Morley'\"

John Plotz & Elizabeth Ferry
Elizabeth's B-side was a paean to Elizabeth Bishop's delightful translation of the Brazilian diary in which "Helena Morley" (a pseudonym for Alice Brant) looks back to her childhood in a dusty provincial mining town. In our RtB conversation, she explains that part of the joy in rediscovering the book came from feeling that she, like Bishop herself, was looking back at forgotten childhoods. And yet, her first encounter with the book came during her time...

A Conversation with Carlo Rotella

John Plotz, Elizabeth Ferry & Carlo Rotella
Carlo Rotella of Boston College is author of six books, among them the amazing Good With Their Hands: Boxers, Bluesmen, and Other Characters from the Rust Belt (University of California Press, 2002) and most recently The World Is Always Coming to an End: Pulling Together and Apart in a Chicago Neighborhood (University of Chicago Press, 2019). What is he reading in the darkness? He starts by praising sagas, makes a case for stories of disagreeableness...

A Conversation with Paul Saint-Amour

John Plotz, Elizabeth Ferry & Paul Sain-Amour
Who better to talk about Dark Times than the author of an unforgettable scholarly book about the grimness of the interwar years, Tense Future? Paul Saint-Amour, Professor of English at University of Pennsylvania and author of various prizewinning books and brilliant articles, joins John to talk about realism, escapism and the glories of science fiction. Paul wonders if immersive reading is even possible during this terrible imminence. Can we really gaze at the dental work...

Laurence Ralph

John Plotz, Elizabeth Ferry & Laurence Ralph
In the third episode of our Global Policing series, Elizabeth and John speak with anthropologist Laurence Ralph about his 2020 book The Torture Letters: Reckoning with Police Violence. The book relates the decades-long history in which hundreds of people (mostly Black men) were tortured by the Chicago Police. Fascinatingly, it is framed as a series of open letters that explore the layers of silence and complicity that enabled torture and the activist movements that have...

De/Industrialization with Christine Walley

John Plotz, Christine Walley & Elizabeth Ferry
On a blustery fall morning, RTB welcomed Christine Walley, anthropologist and author of Exit Zero: Family and Class in Postindustrial Chicago. In the early 1980s Chris's father, along with thousands of other steel workers, lost his job when the mills in Southeastern Chicago closed. The book is part of a multimodal project, including the documentary film, Exit Zero: An Industrial Family Story, (with director Chris Boebel) and an NEH-funded digitization project of the Southeastern Chicago...

Leah Price on Children's Books

John Plotz, Elizabeth Ferry & Leah Price
What do children love most about books? Leaving their mark on inviting white spaces? Or that enchanting feeling when a book marks them as its own, taking them off to where the wild things are? To understand childhood reading past and present, Elizabeth and John talk with the illustrious and illuminating book historian Leah Price. They explore the tactile and textual properties of great children's books and debate adult fondness for juvenile literature. Leah asks...

A Conversation with David Plotz

John Plotz, Elizabeth Ferry & David Plotz
Aside from being John's (younger, brighter, handsomer-and definitely hirsuter) brother, what has the inimitable David Plotz done lately? Only hosted "The Slate Political Gabfest", written two books ("The Genius Factory" and "The Good Book") and run the amazing travel website, Atlas Obscura. So, what is he reading? The fully absorbing "other worlds" of Dickens and Mark Twain tempt David, but he goes another direction. He picks one book that shows humanity at its worst, heading...

Writing and Reading from Gilgamesh to Amazon

Elizabeth Ferry, Martin Puchner & John Plotz
Book Industry Month continues with a memory-lane voyage back to a beloved early RtB episode. This conversation with Martin Puchner about the very origins of writing struck us as perfect companion to Mark McGurl's wonderful insights (in RtB 67, published earlier this month) about the publishing industry's in 2021, or as Mark tells it, the era of "adult diaper baby love." Aside from being a fabulous conversation about Martin's wonderful history of book production through...

A Conversation with Stephen McCauley

John Plotz, Elizabeth Ferry & Stephen McCauley
On March 20th, John talked to Stephen McCauley, author of such brilliant comic novels as Object of My Affection (also a Jennifer Aniston movie) and most recently My Ex-Life. Steve brings light to dark corners in this the second installment of Books in Dark Times. He sings the praises of Charles Dickens, of Anthony Trollope (Elizabeth, offstage, chuckles delightedly) and the world-escaping delights of both Waugh's Brideshead Revisited and the Mapp and Lucia novels of...

Caleb Crain on Daisy Ashford's \"The Young Visiters\"

Caleb Crain & John Plotz
John's favorite avocation is editing a Public Books column called B-Side Books, where writers resurrect beloved but neglected books. Now comes a book that collects 40 of these columns (the Washington Post review was a big thumbs-up, and John talked about the B-side concept on Five Books). This week's B-Sider is celebrated American novelist Caleb Crain (Necessary Errors and Overthrow). When not photographing cowbirds and orioles for his brilliantly titled Steamboats are Ruining Everything, Caleb...

Introducing a New Podcast

John Plotz & Aarthi Vadde
Novel Dialogue: where unlikely conversation partners come together to discuss the making of novels and what to make of them. Join Aarthi Vadde, a scholar of contemporary literature and Victorianist John Plotz as they take a four-continent journey (ok, fine a virtual four-continent, Zoomish journey) to talk turkey with novelists and critics the world over. In fact, episode two takes place in Turkey, where Orhan Pamuk , in conversation with Bruce Robbins, reveals a hankering...

Registration Year

  • 2022

Resource Types

  • Text
  • Interactive Resource