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Honors Thesis Abstracts - Spring 2013 - Winthrop Students' Research

Foucauldian Panopticism: The Gaze in Selected 19th Century Literature

Presented at Big South Undergraduate Research Symposium, Winthrop University, April, 2012

Student: Shelby Borders 2013

Honors Thesis Committee: Amy Gerald, Ph.D.; Leslie Bickford, Ph.D.; and Darren Ritzer, Ph.D.

CAS – Department of English (ENGL 211 – Jordan)

Throughout history, women have often been perceived as hysterical and weak. This perception has been reflected through the representation of women in literature which has resulted in a limited scope of female normality and morality creating characteristics fundamentally different than male characters. Though these characteristics have been contributed as natural female characteristics, the theories of Jeremy Bentham, a 18th and 19th century Englishman, can be applied as a possible reason for these reactions. Bentham’s Panopticon, the theory of punishment wherein a constant unseen gaze peers at inmates theoretically creating paranoia and psychological breakdown, creates characteristics similar to those that women in literature seem to exhibit. In this paper, I will outline the characteristics of three various characters in novels. First, I will review the Panoptic literature that has been written on The Woman in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, then I will conduct my own analysis on The Governess in Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw and Jane Eyre in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre . In this analysis, I will consider the “gaze,” the symbolic Panopticon implemented by society, and argue how characteristics present in stereotypical representations of women are not inherent in women due to gender or sex, but because women are most objectified and thereby most affected by the Panoptic gaze of society.

Cutting Cursive; Is Handwriting Still Important to Today’s Pre-Service Teacher?

Presented at the Big South Undergraduate Research Symposium, Winthrop University, April, 2012

Student: Samantha Smigel 2013

Honors Thesis Committee: Judy Britt, Ph.D.; Susanne Okey; and Evelyne Weeks

COE – Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy (HONR 451)

Handwriting is a tool for communication often untaught that has effects on learning and long-term development for students of the future. Handwriting used to be needed in order to function in society, however, today that skill is no longer needed. New technology, current teaching methods and societal needs have caused handwriting to be overlooked in many school districts. Classrooms are overwhelmed with information and many schools are simply running out of time to teach cursive, therefore no longer making it a priority. Handwriting is a perceptual motor skill requiring higher cognitive thinking, something that most primary school children find difficult, yet it is still needed in the school curriculum and provides a stable foundation for students of the future. The questions to be addressed by my research are to examine the factors that have led to the demise of cursive writing in elementary schools. I will research the complex issues that have contributed to the decline of cursive handwriting. This will include my investigation into the factors that technology has played, along with societal needs. I will interview preservice teachers, those students in college preparing to become teachers, and try to understand where the importance for teaching handwriting started and ended. By the end of my research I want to have constructed a timeline of events to explain the demise of this needed skill. My methodology for this research will be to gather information from various primary and secondary literature review sources. I want to understand when cursive started to disappear from the curriculum and why.

College abbreviations

CAS = College of Arts & Sciences

CBA = College of Business Administration

COE = College of Education

CVPA = College of Visual & Performing Arts

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