Thesis Abstracts

Here is a selection of MALS thesis abstracts. The Dartmouth College Library also retains copies of completed MALS theses.

"Something Like Love," Mi-Kyung "Mika" Shin

These are five “something like love” stories, each one shaded more or less by fear, nostalgia, illusion, obsession, and other murky emotions that so often accompany love. After all, who can ever put a finger on love? The five protagonists in this collection, although their backgrounds and circumstances differ, are young women with a certain temperament: sensitive, introspective, prone to “disquiet.” And this temperament is what primarily drives the stories. The drive is born when their disquiet leads to their desire for something that would quell that disquiet: for a sense of certitude, fulfillment, stability, connection…just something that isn’t here, that she hasn’t got. It is a desire as amorphous as it is powerful: it’s hard to ascertain its orientation and even harder to reach its terminus. I call this mysterious impetus “longing.”

"And Other Stories - An Experiment in Transformative Fiction," Arsalan Ul Haq

Drawing from my background in architecture, I have attempted to apply design sensibilities to the production of fiction. Conceptualized as a collection of three separate yet interconnected stories, my thesis – And Other Stories – investigates how different genres of fiction and writing styles, specifically, the short story, graphic novel and play, can interact to address a single story arc. Thematically, all three stories are tied by the thread of otherness, which is explored through relationships, location and questions of identity and belonging.

"Call of the Song Sparrow," Carmen Brady

Call of the Song Sparrow grew from an awareness of family and from my desire to understand the intricacies of familial ties.  I have held a long-standing interest in exploring the inter-relational dynamics within the family unit, particularly between parents, children and siblings.  The main impetus behind creating the storyline that carries this novella has stemmed from my realization that part of what people need in life is the ability to process their own individual journeys, to tell their stories and to have their stories heard.

As this family drama unfolds, I emphasize the importance of honesty and forgiveness amongst family members while also focusing on the power of reconciliation, unconditional love and the need for courage even in the midst of debilitating fears.