Masters Theses

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    Sinan Antoon’s Literary Odyssey between Iraq and the U.S.: Exile, Dissent, Narrative, and Translation
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2021) Alhudhairi, Hussein Ali ; Hibbard, Allen ; Hollings, Marion
    ABSTRACT For researchers and scholars interested in literary interactions between the Middle East and the West, Sinan Antoon’s major works—I’jaam, The Corpse Washer, The Baghdad Eucharist, and The Book of Collateral Damage—provide possibilities for fruitful exploration. Antoon’s fiction depicts three aspects of expatriate and diasporic literature: resistance to dictatorship and critical views of war, the influential factors in translation, and the fragmented condition of longing in exile. These issues are discussed in the four chapters of this thesis: “Sinan Antoon as an Idealist Writer,” “Antoon’s Critique of the War and Authoritarianism,” “The Target Language and Translation Proficiency,” and “Exile, Memory, and the Sense of Loss.” Antoon’s experience as a writer under Saddam Hussein’s regime, whose brutality compares to that of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler, serves as an example of the fragile and dangerous tensions between the writer and authoritarianism. Antoon criticizes, documents, and highlights many tragic and melancholic instances of the injustice, coercion, and brutality of those in power, in this case events that occurred before, during, and after the first and second Gulf wars. Writers often encourage resistance to despotism by presenting tragic images to their audiences. Their duty is to expose and challenge false ideologies promoted and disseminated through government-sanctioned news and propaganda. Through the act of translation, Antoon’s narratives are transferred from one language and culture to another language and culture. This process of translation is especially interesting in the case of Antoon since he himself is a translator—of some of his own works as well as works by other Arab writers such as the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. This project tracks some of the nuances in Antoon’s and other translators’ translations of Antoon’s works. Antoon, like many expatriate and transnational writers such as Joseph Conrad, Vladimir Nabokov and Paul Bowles, lives in an exilic condition in which the past, called up by memory, consumes and often obscures the present. Nostalgia, oblivion, and time are the main elements in Antoon’s diasporic literature. Three fundamental issues arise in this discussion of Antoon’s work and life in exile: the difference between physical and mental diaspora, the influence of the past on the writer in exile, and the dual identity of the refugee.
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    RELENTLESS PURSUIT: THE SEARCH FOR AUTHENTICITY AMONG AMERICAN CHRISTIANS
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2021) Lewis, Keven Paul ; King, Rebekka ; Leggett, Ida ; Polk, Andrew
    Much has been written of the desire for authenticity. That it is a return to the first, the original, to that which is the real. And it is no surprise that such a desire plays an important role among modern evangelical Christians. In a world that often seems topsy-turvy, where the potential for sin abounds, where fears of the unknown and other dominate, where the possibility of falling into a life of sin remains, it is those things which are deemed really real that provide respite. For those at The Experience Community Church, the pursuit of authenticity is essential to their Christian identity. It is evidenced in the founding of the community, their readings and interpretation of Scripture, their continuing stories of salvation, and their avid pursuit of the presence of God. These Christians strive to be, as their slogan says, authentic in their community, in their worship, and in their community service.
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    Isolation and Characterization of an Immunomodulatory Compound from a Plant Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2021) Baughman, Marshall ; Farone, Anthony ; Farone, Mary ; Dunlap, Norma
    Inflammation is a normal part of a healthy immune response. However, when inflammatory pathways are overactive or inappropriately activated, diseases such as atopic dermatitis, Crohn’s disease, and asthma can occur. Current anti-inflammatory drugs have many side effects and can be very expensive. The purpose of this study was to isolate and characterize an immunomodulatory compound in Mangifera persiciformis, a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine. A bioassay-guided fractionation of M. persiciformis was conducted. After fractionating extract 23B of M. persiciformis using flash chromatography, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and cell viability assays were used to identify fractions with nontoxic, immunomodulatory properties in THP-1 human monocyte-derived macrophages. Fractions 4, 5, and 6 of 23B caused a reduced cytokine response to bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS). Only Fraction 4 maintained cell viability and was further fractionated until a single compound referred to as F4-2b was isolated. An attempt was made to characterize and identify this compound using NMR spectroscopy. The NMR spectroscopy revealed some structural characteristics of the F4-2b, but further isolation and purification will be required in order to identify the compound.
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    Acculturative Stress Among International College Students
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2021) Liu, Meiyu ; Holt, Aimee R ; Rust, James O ; Hein, Michael
    The purpose of the current study was to explore levels of acculturative stress among foreign-born undergraduate students. Additionally, the current study examined the relation between region of origin and level of acculturative stress. As hypothesized, mean levels of self-reported acculturative stress were higher in the current sample when compared to the original sample of the Acculturative Stress Scale for International Students (ASSIS; Sandhu & Asrabadi, 1994). Additionally, as hypothesized, higher mean scores were reported on the (a) Homesickness, (b) Stress Due to Change/Culture Shock, and (c) Nonspecific Concerns subscales of the ASSIS compared to the other four subscales. Finally, partial support was found for the third hypothesis. While there was not a statistically significant difference on total acculturative stress scores between participants from European and non-European regions of origin, those from non-European regions did report statistically higher scores on the Nonspecific Concerns subscale compared to those from European regions.
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    RELENTLESS PURSUIT: THE SEARCH FOR AUTHENTICITY AMONG AMERICAN CHRISTIANS
    (Middle Tennessee State University, 2021) Lewis, Keven Paul ; King, Rebekka ; Leggett, Ida ; Polk, Andrew
    Much has been written of the desire for authenticity. That it is a return to the first, the original, to that which is the real. And it is no surprise that such a desire plays an important role among modern evangelical Christians. In a world that often seems topsy-turvy, where the potential for sin abounds, where fears of the unknown and other dominate, where the possibility of falling into a life of sin remains, it is those things which are deemed really real that provide respite. For those at The Experience Community Church, the pursuit of authenticity is essential to their Christian identity. It is evidenced in the founding of the community, their readings and interpretation of Scripture, their continuing stories of salvation, and their avid pursuit of the presence of God. These Christians strive to be, as their slogan says, authentic in their community, in their worship, and in their community service.