Faculteit der Letteren

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    Reminisce or Repress: Identity Crisis and Trauma in the Migration Stories "Out of Place" and "The Kite Runner
    (2023-06-15) Janssens, Kirsten
    This thesis examines the identity crisis and change of migrants from Islamic countries by exploring the migrant experience in Edward Said’s memoir Out of Place and Khaled Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner. It analyzes the complexities of the migrant’s pre-migration, migration, and post-migration phases, particularly focusing on the factors affecting the migrant’s identity. The analysis is supported by a theoretical framework consisting of Said’s Orientalism and trauma theory such as Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity by Alexander et al., migration trauma theory by Dinesh Bhugra and migration and adaptation theory by John W. Berry. The implications of the research demonstrate that identity is affected by personal trauma before migrating, and migration trauma in the host country. Factors impacting one’s identity are portrayed through childhood trauma, culture shock, discrimination, rejection of the culture, seeking solidarity in the familiar community, and assimilation to the new culture. Although one voluntarily migrates and one flees from their country, parallels are found through shared experiences, containing similar factors leading to identity change. Keywords: migration, trauma, cultural trauma, cultural identity, orientalism, trauma theory, Islamophobia.
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    Priming Dutch-English Interlingual Homographs
    (2023-06-26) Kersten, Roos
    The present study investigated the processing of Dutch-English interlingual homographs in bilingual participants through a primed lexical decision task. While cognates are generally responded to faster than control words, interlingual homographs often show an inhibition effect. The degree of inhibition is influenced by the specific task demands. In the current study, interlingual homographs were primed with a word semantically related to either the English reading or the Dutch reading, or with a semantically unrelated prime. Matched English control words were also primed with a semantically related or semantically unrelated prime. The results of this experiment indicate that interlingual homographs were responded to significantly slower than matched control words. Reaction times were also slower for semantically unrelated pairs than for related pairs. There were no significant differences in reaction times found between interlingual homographs that were primed with a word related to the English reading and interlingual homographs that were primed with a word related to the Dutch reading.
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    Symbolic and Actual Motherhood in Ireland: Maternal Identities in Doireann Ní Ghríofa's A Ghost in the Throat
    (2023-06-15) Langhout, Femke
    Ireland has long been represented as a woman. In the context of nineteenth-century Irish nationalism, the figure of Mother Ireland was established to motivate male Irish nationalists to join the fight against the British coloniser. However, this mother figure, along with religious mother figures such as the Virgin Mary, is experienced as a burden to Irish mothers and women. This experience is depicted, and sometimes negated, in the autobiographical works on motherhood that recently have established a new Irish literary trend. One of these works is Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s A Ghost in the Throat. This thesis first shows that this work of autofiction negates symbolic mother figures, such as the Virgin Mary, Mater Dolorosa and Mother Ireland. Then, it discusses that Ní Ghríofa challenges the expectations that those figures have imposed on mothers and women today, such as altruism and domesticity. Ní Ghríofa’s work underlines the importance of representations of maternal subjectivity, which has often been left undiscussed in Irish literature. Within a larger feminist context, this thesis argues that Ní Ghríofa’s work challenges recent equality movements that depict a diverse group of women through one single female figure.
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    Trauma in The Great Famine texts: Trauma, Memory and Migration in The O'Donnells of Glen Cottage and Grace
    (2023-06-15) Lensink, Bob
    This thesis shall examine the manner in which trauma, memory, and migration in relation to the Great Famine are explored in the novels The O’Donnells of Glen Cottage and Grace. These themes shall be analysed through the use of trauma theory, with the analysis revealing that The O’Donnells and Grace share similarities in their display of trauma through the usage of physical landscapes and migration, albeit in different forms. The texts differ in their depiction of the mental impact of trauma, with Grace showing the impact more explicitly, whilst The O’Donnells describe it in little detail.
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    Cyborg Feminism in Neuromancer and Ghost in the Shell
    (2022-12-08) Neijhof, van, Iris
    This study analyzes how posthumanism impacts gender relations, focusing specifically on the female cyborg within cyberpunk fiction. Neuromancer (1984) written by William Gibson and Ghost in the Shell (1995) directed by Mamoru Oshii will serve as the primary case studies for this research. Hereby, the temporal and geographical difference is the motivation for the comparison of these two texts. This study argues that the cyberpunk fiction of the Eighties presented a new way of looking at gender by importing the concept of the convergence between the biological and the mechanical. While at the same time staying true to its inherently masculine narrative. Hereby the focus will lie specifically on feminist readings of the genre and the parallel that can be drawn between the emerging figure of the female cyborg in the Eighties and a new thought stream that arose simultaneously within postmodern feminism. Namely: Cyborg Feminism.