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Recent Submissions


    Gao Bakshi, Xiaohui; Bakshi, Gurdip; Naveen, Lalitha; Gordon, Elizabeth A. (Associate professor) (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-10)
    This dissertation provides a comprehensive study of the phenomenon of transnational M&A of Chinese chip companies using a combination of literature review, mathematical statistics, and logical analysis. Sixteen representative cases are selected, and the weak links and key factors in the influencing factors of transnational M&A of Chinese chip companies are analyzed through a nine-factor double diamond model. Furthermore, the performance of the cases is analyzed to provide reference for future transnational M&A of Chinese chip companies as well as for government policy-making in the industry.

    Beglar, David; Nemoto, Tomoko; Burrows, Lance; Sick, James (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-12)
    The purpose of this quasi-experimental, mixed-methods study was to address the gap in understanding regarding second language (L2) comprehension of stories by using a taxonomical approach based on Anderson and Krathwohl’s (2001) revised taxonomy that includes multiple levels of cognitive processing to provide insight into L2 learners’ depth of comprehension. In addition, this study investigated the impact of reading, reading-while-listening, and listening input modalities as it applies to story comprehension. L2 comprehension studies where all three of these input methods are compared are scarce. Finally, the effect of input type on learner affect—task enjoyment and perceived task difficulty—was explored. No previous mixed methods L2 comprehension studies have accounted for all the above variables. The participants (N = 134, 85 male and 49 female students) of the quantitative aspect of this study were Japanese university students who were streamed into the university’s reading and writing or listening and speaking classes. At the time of the study, they were first- and second-year, non-English majors taking English courses as a general university requirement at a private university in western Japan. Participants from six intact classes were tasked with reading two chapters, reading-while-listening to two chapters, and listening to two chapters of a six-chapter graded reader. Using a Latin squares design, each class received a different input method at the beginning, middle, and end of each story. Three 250-headword, CEFR level 1 short stories of similar lengths from the Oxford Dominos series were used for each participant group. The participants received short, bilingual vocabulary lists for vocabulary that fell outside of the first 1,000 BNC/COCA high-frequency words of English prior to receiving each story. After finishing two chapters using one of the above three input modalities, the texts were returned to me and the participants answered bilingual remember questions of the factual recall subtype, understand questions of the inferencing subtype, and evaluate questions of the judging or critique subtypes based on Anderson and Krathwohl’s (2001) revised taxonomy. They then rated task difficulty and task enjoyment. Both the remember and understand questions were four-option multiple-choice questions, while the evaluate questions required written responses in Japanese. To ensure task time equivalency, the participants received two repeated listenings at approximately 138–157 words per minute (WPM) for the reading-while-listening and listening tasks. The participants were given approximately 18 minutes to complete each of the three chapters and 10 minutes to answer questions. Using data from Rasch person measures, a series of mixed model analyses were used to assess the participants’ performances on remember, understand, and evaluate comprehension questions as mediated by input modality. Input modality—reading, reading-while-listening, and listening—was the independent variable, while the remember, understand, and evaluate comprehension questions made up the dependent variables. The New Vocabulary Levels Test (NVLT) scores were used as the covariate. The results indicated that the participants scored higher overall on the remember questions (M = 54.06) than on the understand questions (M = 52.62) or the evaluate questions (M = 49.31). Regarding task-type findings, the reading and reading-while-listening tasks resulted in significantly better comprehension than listening tasks but were not significantly different from one another for remember and understand comprehension questions. For evaluate comprehension questions, all three inputs resulted in significantly different comprehension with reading resulting in the highest comprehension, followed by reading-while-listening, and then listening. The NVLT was a significant predictor of comprehension at all levels, but it had small R2 values. Listening tasks resulted in significantly lower scores than both the reading and reading-while-listening input conditions for all three comprehension levels. In addition, the participants rated that they perceived the reading-while-listening and listening tasks to be more difficult than reading tasks. Reading and reading-while-listening tasks were rated as more enjoyable than listening tasks. After the quantitative data were gathered, qualitative interviews were conducted to better investigate the research hypotheses and the quantitative findings. Six participants were from the same university as the quantitative sample (N = 6, 1 male and 5 female) and four participants were from another nearby university (N = 4, 3 male and 1 female). These participants completed the second text, The Bottle Imp (Stevenson, 2008), by reading Chapters 1–2, reading-while-listening to Chapters 3–4, and listening to Chapters 5–6 in the same manner as the quantitative groups except they did not follow a Latin squares design. After the completion of each two-chapter section, the participants provided verbal recalls to ensure that they correctly performed the task and to gain insight into what was understood from the text. Next, they answered comprehension questions and gave task enjoyment and task difficulty ratings. Finally, the participants answered interview questions designed to clarify their thoughts about the tasks. Verbal recalls and interviews were audio-recorded, and the interviews were transcribed and coded based on Saldaña (2016). The mixed-methods results identified a gap between Japanese L2 learners’ ability to comprehend listening to texts in English compared to the reading and reading-while-listening conditions. This gap persisted regardless of the levels of critical thinking required. The participants also performed more poorly on tasks as the critical thinking levels increased. Receptive vocabulary knowledge as measured by the NVLT was found to predict comprehension; however, because the graded readers were typically lexically appropriate for the participants, it had small R2 values. More lexically complex texts might have resulted in the NVLT correlating more strongly with comprehension. Finally, listening tasks were perceived to be more difficult and less enjoyable than reading. These findings suggest that input method has a significant influence on L2 learners’ ability to complete comprehension tasks at three levels of Anderson and Krathwohl’s (2001) revised taxonomy. The bulk of comprehension test items are from the bottom two levels of the taxonomy, so educators and researchers should consider the role that input method plays. Additionally, L2 learners might benefit from instruction that builds listening comprehension and listening fluency skills. As critical thinking demands increased, comprehension scores decreased regardless of the input method. This finding aligns with Anderson and Krathwohl’s Revised taxonomy, which posits that a critical thinking hierarchy exists and that a degree of proficiency with lower levels of the hierarchy is necessary for the successful completion of higher-level tasks. Educators should consider how critical thinking contributes to task difficulty and language learners should be provided with language tasks that work to improve critical thinking skills.

    Mao, Connie X.; Gao Bakshi, Xiaohui; Li, Yan; Kong, Guangwen (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-10)
    This dissertation focuses on the proper understanding of digital currencies, its impact on a country’s economy, and how to design and regulate digital currencies. First, we review the current literature on digital currency and discuss the shortcomings of existing research. Second, we focus on the development of monetary forms, digital monetary forms, and the attribution of minting power. Third, we discuss the issue of the attribution of monetary issuance power, taking into account three major factors, that is the laws of historical evolution, the political and ideological demands of the state, and the ability to perform monetary functions (the core of which is the stability of currency values). Furthermore, we conduct an empirical analysis on the impact of Central bank digital currency (CBDC) on the money policy in China. We find that the use of digital money leads to higher inflation, but the effect is not significant. Finally, we discuss the design frameworks and regulatory ideas of digital currency. On this basis, we propose a reference framework for Central bank digital currency (CBDC) design in China, identify the risks of private digital currencies, and put forward corresponding regulatory recommendations.
  • Enacting a Commitment to First-Generation Student Success: A Qualitative Case Study of Diverse Institutions

    Davis, James Earl, 1960-; Laufgraben, Jodi Levine, 1966-; Ding, Meixia; Strayhorn, Terrell L. (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-12)
    As a growing number of higher education institutions commit to first-generation student success, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers should aim to better understand how to deliver on promises to first-generation students within institutions and across the higher education landscape. First-generation students are a particularly important population of study due to their heterogeneity and because they comprise a large and growing share of current college-going or college-ready students. It is also important to understand how different types of institutions are supporting first-generation students, as institutional diversity is a hallmark of American higher education. This qualitative multiple case study investigates three diverse institutions—a comprehensive regional public university, a moderately selective private liberal arts college, and an elite historically Black college—and their unique approaches to enacting a stated commitment to first-generation student success. Through document analysis, interviews, and site visits, this study explores how policies and practices relate to this commitment; which institutional stakeholders are engaged in promoting first-generation student success; how institutions define, support, and measure first-generation student success; and whether enacted commitments to first-generation student success inform a broader culture of student success. In addition to investigating institutional perspectives, this study considers how first-generation students experience and perceive their institution’s efforts and explores alignments or misalignments between these two perspectives. Findings offer new insights into how distinct types of institutions—types underrepresented in research on student success—approach first-generation student success and contribute to a growing literature that takes an asset-focused, intersectional approach to understanding the experiences of first-generation students. Findings suggest that the first-generation identity, when understood in concert with students’ other identities, helps students make meaning of their college experiences. Explicitly recognizing first-generation students as a population—including by disaggregating institutional data on first-generation students—helps to ensure that institutions design programs, supports and initiatives that meet the specific needs of this population. Additionally, findings suggest that constituents—including students—across institutional contexts play important roles as cultural navigators for first-generation students and may serve as change agents who can help identify and resolve disconnects between institutional decisions and students’ experiences. Finally, the analysis suggests that approaches to student success can be rooted in an institution’s distinct culture, but institutions must work toward a holistic understanding of students’ identities, needs, and goals and dismantle biased or hegemonic practices that obscure and reinforce inequitable outcomes. 
  • The Effects of Explicit Instruction and Corrective Feedback on Lexis and Cohesion with EFL Learners

    Beglar, David; Nemoto, Tomoko; Schaefer, Edward; Elwood, James Andrew (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-12)
    The primary purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of explicit instruction and feedback on the development of lexis and cohesion in second language writing as well as the extent to which these two measures correlated with overall writing quality scores. The participants were two intact classes of first-year Japanese university students who attended class twice a week for 14 weeks. The classes were randomly assigned to an explicit instruction group (n = 34) and a comparison group (n = 31). The explicit group received instruction and feedback on the use of target vocabulary and cohesion, while the comparison group only submitted drafts. Both groups produced three drafts of a comparison-contrast essay for Task 1 and a problem-solution essay for Task 2 during one academic semester. Based on their writing performance, six participants were selected for interviews about their learning experiences to complement the results of the quantitative analyses. Writing samples from each participant were analyzed with TALLES (Kyle & Crossley, 2015), TAALED 1.41 (Zenker & Kyle, 2021), and TAACO 2.0 (Crossley et al., 2016). Each draft was assessed for the number of target words, three lexical complexity metrics— MATTR 50 content words (MATTR), COCA academic frequency logarithm content words (COCAFrq), and COCA academic trigram MI2 (Trigrams) —two cohesion indices—All connectives and Adjacent overlap between paragraphs content words (AdjacentP)—and overall writing quality produced with a writing rubric. Six raters trained in applied linguistics assessed the participants’ essays, and FACETS 3.80.0 (Linacre, 2017) was used to produce interval measures of student ability and rater severity. Five hypotheses were assessed. Hypothesis 1 predicted that the explicit instruction group would score higher than the comparison group on target word and cohesion use, and overall writing quality. The results supported Hypothesis 1 for both tasks. The explicit instruction group increasingly used target words and cohesion based on descriptive statistics. Both groups significantly improved overall writing quality over time. The explicit instruction group significantly scored higher. The comparison group was slower in learning about writing essays during Task 1. Both groups scored higher in Task 2. Hypothesis 2, which predicted that both groups would improve on the lexical indices and that the explicit instruction group would exceed the comparison group, was partially supported. MATTR and COCAFrq significantly improved, but Trigram did not improve. There were significant group differences in COCAFrq and Trigrams, but not in MATTR. The comparison group scored higher on COCAFrq, and the explicit instruction group scored higher on Trigram. In Task 2, MATTR improved significantly, but COCAFrq and Trigrams did not. There were no group differences. More effects were found in Task 1 than in Task 2. Hypothesis 3, which predicted that cohesion would improve over time for both groups and that the explicit instruction group would exceed the comparison group, was mostly supported. The results of Task 1 showed that All connectives and AdjacentP significantly improved. Although there was no group significant difference in All connectives, there was a group difference in AdjacentP, as the explicit instruction group scored higher. The results of Task 2 showed that All connectives did not significantly improve over time, but AdjacentP did. Global cohesion was affected more than local cohesion. Hypothesis 4, which predicted that lexis would be positively correlated with overall writing quality for both groups, was supported for Task 1 and not supported for Task 2. In Task 1, MATTR was significantly positively correlated with overall writing quality. COCAFrq was significantly negatively correlated. Trigrams were not correlated. In Task 2, none of lexical indices were correlated. Hypothesis 5 predicted that cohesion would be positively correlated with overall writing quality. This hypothesis was partially supported in Task 1 and Task 2. All connectives were not correlated with overall writing quality, but AdjacentP was significantly and positively correlated with overall writing quality in Task 2. The study contributes to the understanding of the development and assessment of lexis and cohesion using computational automated tools. L2 development is a complex phenomenon, so a further examination of assessment indices offers a wealth of research in future studies.
  • Resource competition and soft selection in Sabatia angularis

    Spigler, Rachel B.; Liberles, David A.; Freestone, Amy; Winn, Alice (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-12)
    Intraspecific competition is a primary ecological interaction in plant populations, and competitive interactions for limited resources in turn are an important driver of natural selection, setting the stage for eco-evo feedbacks. Such feedbacks are likely when the competitive neighborhood individuals experience are heterogeneous and individual fitness is dependent on the competitive neighborhood within which it finds itself. In situations where individual fitness is a function of the density and genetic composition of competitors, selection is considered ‘soft’. The extent to which soft selection occurs in natural populations remains an open question and a critical one, given it can explain phenomena such as the maintenance of genetic load in populations. My dissertation explores the role of competition in regulating fitness by investigating how the density and genetic composition of conspecific competitors impacts juvenile and adult traits in the biennial plant Sabatia angularis. In Chapter 2, I investigate the degree, scale, and nature of density-dependent growth and survival of juveniles in natura. Based on four-years of demographic data, I demonstrate that juvenile size declines significantly with density at the scale of centimeters. Although density did not directly impact juvenile survival, survival was significantly size-dependent. The degree of inequality in juvenile size within ecological neighborhoods did not depend on density, suggesting competitive interactions at this stage are largely symmetric, at least in the population studied. In Chapter 3, I consider whether soft selection can occur via asymmetric competition in the context of inbreeding depression and its population level consequences. As a mixed-mating species with intermediate selfing rates in wild populations and inbreeding depression, S. angularis provides an ideal system to test soft selection. Selfed individuals expressing genetic load due to elevated homozygosity, in theory, should be inferior competitors than outcrossed individuals. However, if soft selection occurs, then demes comprised of purely selfed or purely outcrossed competing individuals should nevertheless exhibit equal fitness. As the importance of competition decreases, so too should the softness of selection such that deme fitness depends more on genetic makeup as density declines. I show that these predictions can be met for juvenile size in S. angularis by experimentally establishing local competitive environments comprising different densities and frequencies of selfed and outcrossed individuals (100% selfed, 100% outcrossed, or 50/50% “mixed”). I found that genetic background strongly predicts mean size at low densities, but that mean size among demes converges as density increases. Additionally, I find that mixed demes exhibit greater size inequality, consistent with asymmetric competition between selfed and outcrossed individuals, providing greater opportunity for selection against selfed individuals. Chapter 4 looks at the role of frequency-dependence and its interaction with density dependence, across both juvenile and adult life history stages. I followed the fate of either selfed or outcrossed individuals in pots at two different densities and a gradient of frequencies of selfed vs. outcrossed competitors (0, 25, 50, 75, 100% selfed). I find evidence of inbreeding depression and frequency-dependence across all adult traits I assessed, such that individuals produced significantly more and larger flowers as the frequency of selfed competitors increased. Moreover, my data suggests that frequency-dependent inbreeding depression may occur in critical floral traits. Consistent with Chapters 2 and 3, juveniles exhibited strong density dependence, but in contrast to Chapter 3, I did not detect frequency dependence among juveniles within the two densities examined. Together, my studies suggest the ingredients for soft selection on juvenile and adult traits– which are subject to pollinator-mediated selection in S. angularis– exist under certain competitive conditions.

    Pearsall, Hamil; Gutierrez-Velez, Victor H.; Li, Xiaojiang; Meenar, Mahbubur (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-12)
    Nature-based solutions (NbS) are becoming increasingly popular in cities around the world; however, such efforts have not been widely incorporated into analyses of urban flood vulnerability nor the total population and property loss of flooding to date, except for a few studies that examined the effectiveness of green infrastructure or only wetlands in flood regulation. The proposed research sought to understand if the existing pattern and composition of NbS can mitigate flood vulnerability and loss of flooding in one of the fastest urbanizing regions in the United States, the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. This research made key contributions to our understanding of how urban areas can grow without exacerbating flooding and inequity.First, a systematic mapping was conducted to reveal the most common spatial metrics of NbS that mitigate urban flooding in countries around the world. These findings identified important research areas for urban geographers, policymakers, planners, and civil engineers. This review indicated that the effectiveness of NbS varies spatially based on land use/land cover, climatic, and other contextual factors. The results indicated that the location, distribution, and arrangement of NbS may have different impacts on runoff mitigation and flood loss. Also, flood hydrology was the most common topic addressed, and the spatial configuration of NbS, especially connectivity was consistently identified as an important factor in flood regulation. Second, the potential of NbS as a flood loss mitigation tool in one of the fastest-growing and flood-prone counties of Pennsylvania, Montgomery County, using the Generalized Linear Model (GLR) and Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) techniques was examined. The findings partially contradicted previous research by revealing an unexpected relationship between NbS quantity in floodplains and expected annual loss. Findings also demonstrated that lower-sized and disconnected patches of NbS in floodplains in some dense urban areas effectively reduce total losses from flood events. Third, the spatial coincidence between the density of NbS and flood vulnerability within eight neighboring urbanizing regions situated in Montgomery County was analyzed by using the Local Indicator of Spatial Association (LISA). The results of LISA identified regions of concern characterized by elevated flood vulnerability scores and reduced concentrations of two tree canopy types as well as shrubs and grasses. Taken together, these results emphasize the significance of strategically integrating and improving NbS, especially in areas grappling with distinct flood-related issues. It also emphasized the potential for significant enhancements in flood resilience and mitigation policies thoughtful urban planning and the adoption of NbS.

    Gray, Alexander X.; Gray, Alexander X.; Iavarone, Maria; Xi, Xiaoxing; Strongin, Daniel R. (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-12)
    In this dissertation, we utilized a wide range of complementary synchrotron-based X-ray spectroscopic and scattering techniques, notably X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), hard X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (HAXPES), standing-wave X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (SW-XPS), and X-ray resonant magnetic reflectometry (XRMR), to understand and control the phenomenon of emergent interfacial ferromagnetism in strongly-correlated oxide heterostructures. This field holds great promise for the development of next-generation spintronic devices. In the heterostructures we investigated, neither of the parent oxide layers exhibits inherent ferromagnetism. Yet, when these layers are combined in an epitaxial film stack, charge-transfer phenomena give rise to an emergent ferromagnetic state at the interface. Throughout my graduate studies, I focused on studying such charge-transfer phenomena as the driving force for stabilizing interfacial ferromagnetism. This dissertation is structured around two main projects. The first project delves into the intriguing possibility of tuning the emergent interfacial ferromagnetism. More specifically, we investigated the mechanisms for suppressing interfacial charge transfer to gain control over and manipulate this magnetic phenomenon. In our second project, we explored a different facet of interfacial ferromagnetism, focusing on the origins of the imbalance in the magnitudes of the magnetic moment between the top and bottom interfaces in the same layer. Our investigation aimed to uncover the possible causes of this imbalance, ultimately leading us to scrutinize the role of defect states in this magnetic asymmetry. In the first part of this dissertation, we investigated the thickness-dependent metal-insulator transition within LaNiO3 and how it impacts the electronic and magnetic states at the interface between LaNiO3 and CaMnO3. We present a direct observation of a reduced effective valence state in the interfacial Mn cations. This reduction is most pronounced in the metallic LaNiO3/CaMnO3 superlattice, where the above-critical LaNiO3 thickness of 6-unit cells triggers this phenomenon, facilitated by the charge transfer of the itinerant Ni 3d eg electrons into the interfacial CaMnO3 layer. In contrast, when we examine the insulating superlattice with a LaNiO3 thickness below the critical value (2-unit cells), we observe a homogeneous effective valence state of Mn throughout the CaMnO3 layers. This homogeneity is attributed to the suppression of charge transfer across the interface. The second part of this dissertation delves deeply into the complexities of interfacial magnetism within the CaMnO3/CaRuO3 superlattices. Our experimental investigation unveiled an unexpected asymmetry in the strength of magnetism at these interfaces. Our findings suggest that within the superlattice CaMnO3/CaRuO3, the lower interface (CaRuO3/CaMnO3) exhibits a weaker magnetic moment when compared to the upper interface (CaMnO3/CaRuO3). This observation, supported by XRMR and XAS experimental data, was further clarified by first-principles density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Our calculations suggest that the observed magnetic asymmetry may be linked to the presence of oxygen vacancies at the interfaces. Our study significantly contributes to our understanding of interfacial ferromagnetism, potentially paving the way for controlling and manipulating this emergent property. This may be achieved by utilizing engineered defect states, offering exciting prospects for applications in the field of spintronics devices.
  • Physiological Arousal and Cursing: Support for a Feedback Model of Neurogenic Cursing

    Reilly, Jamie; Martin, Nadine, 1952-; Murty, Vishnu P. (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-12)
    Many neurological disorders are characterized by uncontrolled or non-volitional cursing. The social stigma of coprophenomena can be immense, particularly for young adults with traumatic brain injury or Tourette Syndrome. Little is known about the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying non-volitional cursing, and there is no known treatment. To this end, I propose a mechanism that will prove useful as a guiding theoretical framework for modeling different types of cursing. My overarching hypothesis is that uncontrolled cursing is the breakdown of a feedback loop between physiological arousal and controlled language output. I operationalize the hypothesis that cursing occurs in the context of physiological arousal and the act of cursing further modulates arousal. This thesis will illustrate how the model predicts different patterns of impairment across different disorders of emotion and behavior dysregulation. I will test predictions of the model in two experiments both involving manipulations of arousal and linguistic content. In Experiment 1, I compare the arousal of the lexical environment of curse words to the that of randomly selected non-curse words in a large natural language corpus. In Experiment 2, I use a verbal fluency paradigm to compare physiological arousal and subsequent language production during a cursing task vs. a non-cursing task.
  • Genomic Data Augmentation with Variational Autoencoder

    Shi, Xinghua Mindy; Chen, Yuzhou; Carnevale, Vincenzo (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-12)
    In order to treat cancer effectively, medical practitioners must predict pathological stages accurately, and machine learning methods can be employed to make such predictions. However, biomedical datasets, including genomic datasets, often have disproportionately more samples from people of European ancestry than people of other ethnic or racial groups, which can cause machine learning methods to perform better on the European samples than on the people of the under-represented groups. Data augmentation can be employed as a potential solution in order to artificially increase the number of samples from people of under-represented racial groups, and can in turn improve pathological stage predictions for future patients from such under-represented groups. Genomic data augmentation has been explored previously, for example using a Generative Adversarial Network, but to the best of our knowledge, the use of the variational autoencoder for the purpose of genomic data augmentation remains largely unexplored. Here we utilize a geometry-based variational autoencoder that models the latent space as a Riemannian manifold so that samples can be generated without the use of a prior distribution to show that the variational autoencoder can indeed be used to reliably augment genomic data. Using TCGA prostate cancer genotype data, we show that our VAE-generated data can improve pathological stage predictions on a test set of European samples. Because we only had European samples that were labeled in terms of pathological stage, we were not able to validate the African generated samples in this way, but we still attempt to show how such samples may be realistic.
  • Spectaculum facti sumus mundo: La muerte hecha teatro en la España Medieval

    Piera, Montserrat; Pueyo Zoco, Víctor; Aldarondo, Hiram; Hamilton, Michelle, 1969- (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-12)
    En Spectaculum facti sumus mundo: La muerte hecha teatro en la España Medieval investigo una combinación de artefactos visuales y textos castellanos de los siglos XIII al XV bajo la óptica de la muerte cristiana, para analizar puestas en escena que ejemplifican la noción del teatro medieval. Defiendo que las escenificaciones de la muerte observables en las obras principales de este estudio, la Dança general de la muerte (h. 1400) y el Auto de la Pasión de Alonso del Campo (h. 1486), ilustran prácticas del teatro en la Castilla medieval a menudo consideradas inexistentes. Además, propongo que se debe entender la performance de la muerte de estos ejemplos como obras teatrales y no simplemente eventos con aspectos performativos. Otra finalidad es destacar que estas escenificaciones de la muerte expresan tanto humor como drama en contextos tanto devocionales como profanos. Por último, a través de este estudio se evidencia las complejidades de este teatro y su singularidad, y así mostrar que no está limitado por manifestaciones de épocas posteriores, ni relegado a no ser más que un precursor burdo de lo que vendría después en el siglo XVI. Mantengo que es necesario ampliar la percepción crítica en cuanto a la noción de lo que se considera el teatro en la Edad Media y los criterios para estudiarlo.
  • Kierkegaard and Feuerbach on the Nature of Christianity

    Hammer, Espen; Oštarić, Lara; Botwinick, Aryeh; Desmond, William, 1951- (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-12)
    Søren Kierkegaard is often accused of being a fideist or irrationalist. This ispartially due to the fact that his writings allow for a wide range of possible interpretations. The idea that he is dogmatic in his approach to Christianity has led to the assumption that he was not concerned with rational disagreement. This interpretation limits the scope of Kierkegaard’s work. Ludwig Feuerbach is generally treated as a transitional figure between Hegel and Marx. This has led to an underappreciation of his unique critiques of religion. He is striking in particular for his deep knowledge and consistent use of Christian theology. However, due to the influence of later thinkers, his contributions to the study of religion are often underappreciated. The extent to which Kierkegaard was aware of Feuerbach is not known with certainty. There is no evidence that Feuerbach was aware of Kierkegaard at all. However, it is apparent that Kierkegaard had some awareness of Feuerbach. I will further argue that he rejected Feuerbach’s ideas. If Kierkegaard cannot, even in principle, provide a reason for this rejection, this would be evidence in favor of the dogmatist reading of Kierkegaard. Some interpreters have argued that Kierkegaard cannot give such a reason. This has colored their interpretations of Kierkegaard’s Feuerbach reception. Contrary to this, I argue that Kierkegaard can provide reasons to reject Feuerbach. These are reasons which do not rely on the claim that Christian doctrines are in fact true. While Kierkegaard did not explicitly describe such a response, the parts necessary for one iii are present in his writings. I argue that Feuerbach’s argument in The Essence of Christianity relies on premises that assume the falsehood of Kierkegaardian Christianity. In other words, Feuerbach’s attempt to critique Christianity cannot be an immanent one. This Kierkegaardian argument holds whether or not Christianity’s claims are true. It relies merely on a claim about what Christianity entails. To establish this claim, my method is one of rational reconstruction. I consider what arguments are present in Kierkegaard’s writings and compare them with the arguments Feuerbach presents in The Essence of Christianity, a book that we know Kierkegaard at least owned. In so doing, I show that Kierkegaard’s writings provide the resources necessary to respond to Feuerbach’s arguments. These resources are provided without relying on claiming that Christian dogmatic claims are true. This discussion shows that Feuerbach's reliance on ideas like species being makes him a “speculative thinker,” to use the Kierkegaardian terminology. This demonstrates two things. First, Kierkegaard’s understanding of Christianity does not rely on the mere assertion of dogma or irrationalism. Second, because of how strict the Kierkegaardian approach must be, it demonstrates the strength of Feuerbach’s arguments. Feuerbach’s arguments are devastating to most intellectualized forms of Christianity. Kierkegaard’s continued Christianity after exposure to Feuerbach’s ideas can only be defended based on a discontinuity between religious claims and claims of all other kinds.
  • Pursuing Medical Sanctuary in Philadelphia: An Ethnography of Care on the Immigration-Status Spectrum

    Garrett, Paul B., 1968-; Williams, Kimberly D.; Jones, Nora L.; Garcia-Sanchez, Inmaculada Ma. (Inmaculada Maria); Yarris, Kristin Elizabeth, 1973- (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-12)
    Uninsured and undocumented immigrants risk deportation as well as other social and financial consequences when accessing healthcare in the US. Facing these risks head-on, they do the work necessary to ensure their friends, families, and communities receive medical care. Research at the intersection of linguistic and medical anthropology understands that work to be “communicative care.” Communicative care includes any way that we use language to maintain ourselves. This dissertation utilizes a communicative care framework to demonstrate that immigrant patients are not passive recipients of whatever policymakers determine they deserve; instead, they are structurally competent experts who do communicative care at the institutional and community levels to make a more equitable, accessible, and affordable healthcare system for themselves, their communities, and all patients. The dissertation relies on ethnographic data collected during five years of Philadelphia-based research and fieldwork completed during two overlapping inflection points in the history of US healthcare and immigration – the Trump administration and the COVID-19 pandemic. Ethnographic data includes field notes from longitudinal participant observation, transcriptions of interviews and conversations with undocumented and uninsured Latinx immigrant patients and healthcare professionals, and a corpus of audio-visual materials and policy artifacts. Analysis of this qualitative data revealed that undocumented and uninsured immigrants complete various essential roles within the healthcare system beyond that of the patient. They learn through personal experience what the structural barriers to healthcare are as they navigate through Philadelphia’s patchwork of access points and build lived expertise of sociopolitically constructed inequities. Ultimately, they use this knowledge at the institutional and community level to facilitate access to healthcare in their community. Within the institutional level, they serve as educators and trainers of medical professionals who want to understand the policy-based limitations placed on different patient populations and the clinical strategies needed to improve patient services. At the community level, they serve as advocates who organize and participate in large-scale systems change and representatives for the full ratification of immigrant access to healthcare. This project contributes to anthropological research on two of the most defining sociopolitical issues of the 21st century - immigration and healthcare. Often portrayed as victims and undeserving of our charity, we have yet to fully consider the lived expertise of uninsured and undocumented immigrant patients as we draft responses and solutions to urgent and emerging problems like the simultaneous drop in US life expectancy and rise in healthcare spending. This dissertation recasts immigrant patients as experts who actively engage in healthcare reform through everyday responses to the structural barriers that subvert their access to healthcare and undercut healthcare professionals’ capacity to provide medicine. By illuminating the roles of undocumented and uninsured immigrant patients and the manifestation of their lived expertise across multiple levels of analytic granularity, this project offers new possibilities for future healthcare policies, politics, and practices in and beyond the US.

    Gutierrez-Velez, Victor H.; Thomas, Kimberley; Henry, Kevin A.; Hergoualc'h, Kristell; Behm, Jocelyn E. (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-12)
    This dissertation investigates environmental degradation of a wetland ecosystem in the northeast Peruvian Amazon: the palm swamps, or aguajales, mostly located in the region of Loreto, Peru. This ecosystem is dominated by the dioecious palm species Mauritia flexuosa, locally known as aguaje. Female aguaje palms produce a valuable fruit which is widely consumed in the region, and especially in the capital city Iquitos. The most common method of harvesting this fruit is to chop the female palms. Concern is growing over environmental degradation that results from this practice, such as high carbon emissions released from the peat soils upon which most aguajales grow. This dissertation investigates environmental degradation of the palm swamps from multiple scales. Using a mixed-methods analysis, this dissertation asks: 1) What is the magnitude and distribution of palm swamp degradation, and what is the contribution of this process to carbon emissions? 2) What is the relative influence of physical and social underlying drivers explaining the spatial distribution of palm swamp ecosystems with different palm swamp densities? 3) How do underlying social-ecological/political-ecological driving forces occurring at different scales influence the sustainable use and conservation of palm swamp ecosystems? Degradation is mapped at the regional scale using remote sensing techniques over two periods of time: 1990-2007 and 2007-2018. Underlying drivers of degradation are investigated at the regional and district levels using spatially explicit statistical models. Finally, qualitative data acquired in the field is used to investigate why some communities successfully manage their palm swamps while others do not. This dissertation produces the first regional map of palm swamp degradation and first temporal analysis of how degradation has changed over three decades. It is the first study to analyze both physical and socioeconomic drivers of degradation and the first study to analyze how physical drivers change over time. It contributes to the literature of land change science by demonstrating a method of testing socioeconomic data at an aggregated scale against degradation data derived from remote sensing. Finally, this study provides a detailed and nuanced analysis of the aguaje social-ecological system, demonstrating that the choice of some communities to chop palms for harvest is not one made of ignorance, but rather is a logical option in marginalized communities where the aguaje fruit cannot provide a sufficient contribution to a community’s material needs. This work contributes to the literature of critical conservation by demonstrating cases of conservation success that were achieved without coercive state power.

    Murphy, Patrick D.; Rodriguez, Clemencia; Darling-Wolf, Fabienne; Wasserman, Herman, 1969- (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-12)
    African communities are among those most profoundly impacted by the climate crisis, even though they have contributed little to climate change (CDP, 2020). This crisis is especially felt by African youth, who are already disadvantaged and marginalized by political and economic conditions. Like elsewhere around the world, the existential threat of the climate crisis has led to a surge in youth-led climate activism in Africa. Nevertheless, less attention is paid to voices originating from the Global South, especially in Africa.This dissertation explores the plight of young African environmental activists in sub-Saharan nations by considering what strategies and tactics they have used to be seen and heard. To do so, it explores the challenges of communicating climate change, by asking how these young activists are attempting to use communication, information, and media tools to confront the region’s unfolding ecological crisis, educate the public, and challenge misconceptions about climate change while elaborating a social movement network across multiple African nations. To pursue this goal, it draws from African media studies (Madrid-Morales et al., 2021; Mano & Milton, 2021; Wasserman, 2018), media activism (Lim, 2018; Rodríguez, 2011), and ecological activism (T. Bosch, 2012; Fonseca & Castro, 2022; Gonzalez et al., 2021; O’Brien et al., 2018; Wolfe, 2008), to conduct a multi-sited ethnography of activists from eight African countries. The study is organized as case studies developed through a combination of in-depth interviews with the activists, analysis of the texts they have produced through digital platforms, and their relationships with their own communities as well as, more broadly, youth-centered climate activist networks emerging in the Global South and elsewhere. The findings indicate that African climate activists evolve through stages leading to their engagement. To speak for the environment and engage their audiences, they educate themselves and learn to creatively employ traditional and new media. In the process, they must also navigate a social and cultural landscape of racism, ageism, tokenism, and political repression through networking, self-care, and ingenuity. Their stories expand current understanding of eco-activism strategies and tactics, such as boycotts, public appearances, and disruptive social media virality, underscoring their place within ecological jeremiads that offer, in turn, new insights into the growing field of African Media Studies.
  • Solving a hairy problem: Adaptation of non-trapping hair collection methods reveals urban mammal dietary shifts and provides opportunities for outreach

    Behm, Jocelyn E.; Cordes, Erik E. (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-12)
    Accelerating rates of urbanization create novel compilations of species in urban ecosystems which experience unprecedented proximity to large human populations. Although an integral part of these urban ecosystems, mammals are difficult to study in urbanized areas. However, questions regarding urban mammalian ecology, such as the maintenance or disruption of predator-prey relationships, are vital to understanding what impacts anthropogenic factors may exert on the functions of urban ecosystems. We show that non-trapping hair equipment can effectively collect hair samples from two mammal groups – small mammals and mesopredators – in urban areas for the purpose of addressing ecological questions. We deployed non-trapping hair collection equipment at 16 different parks, preserves, and nature areas along the urbanization gradient of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We collected a total of 354 small mammal and 41 mesopredator hair samples. Of these samples, 58 small mammal samples and 14 mesopredator samples were of adequate weight for stable isotope analysis. We analyzed relationships between δ15N and δ13C values from each species and percent impervious surface (our proxy for urbanization) to explore potential shifts in mammal diets. Our results indicated a decoupling of predator-prey relationships between mesopredators and small mammals, particularly in urban spaces and suggested that mesopredators may be relying upon anthropogenic food subsidies. Our methodology was not only effective in addressing an ecological question, but it also provided a unique opportunity to connect with community members through QR code labels attached to our field equipment. Non-trapping hair collection methods offer a viable way to collect useful samples in urban areas while also fostering connections between community members and field research occurring in their neighborhoods.
  • Consistency of Single Item Measures Using Individual-Centered Structural Analyses

    Kaplan, Avi; Schneider, W. Joel; Byrnes, James P.; French, Brian F. (Brian Forrest) (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-12)
    Estimating reliability for single-item motivational measures presents challenges, particularly when constructs are anticipated to vary across time (e.g., effort, self-efficacy, emotions). We explored an innovative approach for estimating reliability of single-item motivational measures by defining reliability as consistency of interpreting the meaning of items. We applied a psychometric approach to identifying meaning systems from distances between items and operationalized meaning systems as the ordinally-ranked participant’s responses to the items. We investigated the feasibility of this approach among 193 Introduction to Biology undergraduate participant responses to five single items assessing motivational constructs collected through thirteen weekly questionnaires. Partitioning among medoids (PAM) analysis was used to identify an optimal solution from which systems of meaning (SOM) were identified by the investigator. Transitions from SOM to SOM were tracked across time for each individual in the sample, and consistency groupings based on the percentage of consecutively repeated SOMs were computed for each individual. Results suggested that from an optimal eight-cluster solution, six SOMs emerged. While moderate transitions from SOM to SOM occurred, a small minority of participants consecutively repeated the same SOM across time and were placed in high consistency group; participants with moderate and low percentages were placed in lower consistency groups, accordingly. These results provide preliminary evidence in support of the approach, particularly for those highly consistent participants whose reliability might be misrepresented by conventional single-item reliability methods. Implications of the proposed approach and propositions for future research are included.

    Mao, Connie X.; Gao Bakshi, Xiaohui; Naveen, Lalitha; Viswanathan, Krupa S. (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-05)
    This dissertation analyzes the impact of external macro and internal factors on the price of Bitcoin. Employing data from January 1, 2020 to February 28, 2023, this dissertation starts with the system operation of cryptocurrency represented by Bitcoin and uses the Granger causality test of the time series VAR model, impulse response, and variance decomposition to analyze the factors affecting Bitcoin prices. Empirical tests have shown that the price of Bitcoin is affected by both the external macro factors and internal operation mechanism, and there are significant changes in the influencing factors before and after the issuance of the China mining ban in May 2021.

    Solomon, Miriam; McShane, Katie; Chislenko, Eugene; Hammer, Espen; Levitt, Laura, 1960- (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-12)
    In response to the human-centered contours of care in the mainstream ethical frameworks of Nel Noddings, Eva Feder Kittay, and Virginia Held, I consider the possibility of including plant life in care ethics. This dissertation argues for inclusion of plant cared-fors in care ethics based on the capability of human carers and plant cared-fors to meet central criteria at the core of the caring relationship: carers’ valuing-attitudes for plants, caring affect towards plants, human-plant interdependency, responsive interactivity between humans and plants, and plant success conditions. These factors establish the coherency of plant cared-fors in care ethics. After offering the argument for a plant inclusive care ethic, I demonstrate in three case studies that ethical care between human carers and plant cared-fors indeed is substantiated in the world. Through interviews and other empirical research, I provide sketches of contemporary relationships in the United States between human carers and plant cared-fors in three contexts: bonsai, tomato plants, and giant sequoia trees. Despite context-relevant challenges of each (aesthetic, consumption, and wild, respectively), the case studies highlight the possibility, and in some cases actuality, of ethical care in human-plant relationships of care.  
  • Exploring Nuclear Pore Complexes: Unraveling Structural and Functional Insights through Super-Resolution Microscopy

    Yang, Weidong, Dr.; Waring, Richard B.; Palter, Karen; Moore, Anna R.; Stanley, Robert J. (Temple University. Libraries, 2023-12)
    The nuclear pore complex (NPC) is a pivotal subcellular structure governing nucleocytoplasmic transport through a selectively permeable barrier. Comprising approximately 30 distinct proteins, it includes FG-Nups with phenylalanine-glycine (FG) motifs and non-FG Nups forming the pore's scaffold. The selectively permeable barrier formed by FG-Nups enables the passive diffusion of small molecules and facilitates the transport of larger ones recognized by nuclear transport receptors (NTRs). Their roles are critical in regulating mRNA and pre-ribosome nuclear export and the nuclear import of transcription factors, underscoring their significance in cellular processes. However, studying NPCs remains challenging due to their structural complexity, heterogeneity, dynamic interactions, and inaccessibility within live cells. In this dissertation, three core questions were investigated to elucidate the structure and function of the NPC. First, the nuclear export dynamics of pre-ribosomal subunits revealed significantly higher transport efficiency compared to other large cargos. Through inhibition of nuclear transport receptor (NTR), CRM1, by small-molecule inhibitor, leptomycin B, we found a dose-dependent inhibition of CRM1s played a crucial role in pre-ribosome export efficiency. We confirmed these results through a series of controlled environments with both import and export NTRs. Our results suggest that cooperative NTR mechanisms may enhance the nucleocytoplasmic transport of not only pre-ribosomal subunits but other protein complexes as well. Second, we investigated the dynamic properties of the NPC’s selectivity barrier by altering the concentration of O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) sites on nuclear pore proteins. Using small-molecule inhibitors of O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT) or O-GlcNAcase (OGA) to decrease or increase NPC O-GlcNAcylation, respectively, we found a significant change in the overall 3D spatial density of NPC O-GlcNAc sites. Then, by applying the same OGT- and OGA-inhibited conditions, we found that NPC O-GlcNAcylation significantly impacted the nuclear export of mRNA, suggesting that NPC O-GlcNAcylation regulates mRNA’s passage through the NPC’s selective permeability barrier. Third, we examined the nuclear transport mechanism for intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). Our findings revealed that IDPs, unlike large folded proteins, can passively diffuse through NPCs independent of size, and their diffusion behaviors are differentiated by the content ratio of charged (Ch) and hydrophobic (Hy) amino acids. Thus, we proposed a Ch/Hy-ratio mechanism for IDP nucleocytoplasmic transport. In summary, comprehending the dynamic behavior of the NPC selectivity barrier and its involvement in mediating large transiting complexes and IDPs has provided valuable insights into the fundamental nucleocytoplasmic transport mechanism, emphasizing the NPC's crucial role in cellular health and function.

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