The Albatross 2019-07-09T12:00:27-07:00 Robert Steele and Sonja Pinto Open Journal Systems <p><strong>Submit all essays to&nbsp;<a href=""></a>&nbsp;after consulting the&nbsp;<a href="/index.php/albatross/about/submissions#authorGuidelines">Submissions Guidelines</a>.</strong></p> <p><em>The </em><em>Albatross</em> is an undergraduate, peer-reviewed, academic journal that publishes the exceptional undergraduate scholarship of students at the University of Victoria in the fields of literary analysis, critical theory, and cultural studies. The first issue was launched in March 2011 and all previous volumes are <a href="/index.php/albatross/issue/archive">archived</a>.</p> Full Issue 2019-07-09T10:59:32-07:00 Editorial Team 2019-04-05T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Editors’ Note 2019-07-09T11:04:16-07:00 Sonja Pinto Robert Steele 2019-07-09T11:04:15-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Introduction 2019-07-09T11:07:33-07:00 Sonja Pinto Robert Steele 2019-04-05T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Branching Out: Trees and Knowledge in Chaucer’s “The Merchant’s Tale” and “The Pardoner’s Tale” 2019-07-09T11:50:58-07:00 Kathryn LeBere <p>In Geoffrey Chaucer’s <em>The Canterbury Tales</em> (1387–1400), the arboreal is imbued with symbolic and allegorical meaning. Used by Chaucer as rhetorical devices, the trees in “The Merchant’s Tale” symbolize fertility, while the tree in “The Pardoner’s Tale” symbolizes death. In both tales, the arboreal functions allegorically, representing the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. By using nature in this manner, Chaucer creates ambiguity in his work, complicating the idea of knowledge in both tales.</p> 2019-04-05T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Feminine Essentialism and Compulsory Maternity in the Works of Mary Wollstonecraft 2019-07-09T11:51:47-07:00 Amanda Scherr <p>Mary Wollstonecraft is often credited as the “aesthetic foremother of feminist expository prose” (Gubar 454), but her status as a feminist icon is problematized by her essentialist ideology regarding gender and motherhood. While her work presents a radical imperative for the civic equality of the sexes rooted in a fundamentally genderless capacity for reason, this imperative is nevertheless constructed around traditional notions of motherhood as the essential role of the female. This essay seeks to explore the dissonance between her clear feminist imperative for change and her tendency to err towards feminine essentialism.</p> 2019-04-05T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## The Paradox of Female Authorship in Samuel Butler’s The Authoress of the Odyssey and Harold Bloom’s The Book of J 2019-07-09T11:52:15-07:00 Esther Callo <p>Samuel Butler’s <em>The Authoress of the Odyssey </em>and Harold Bloom’s <em>The Book of J </em>both refute long-held assumptions of male authorship with respect to two of the most foundational texts to Western culture: <em>The Odyssey </em>and the book of Genesis. This essay discusses the evidence for these claims and addresses how such claims might affect the reception of these foundational works.</p> 2019-04-05T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## The Gendered Texture of Clothing and Art in Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye 2019-07-09T11:54:07-07:00 Lily Maase <p>Margaret Atwood’s novel <em>Cat’s Eye</em> (1988) is focused on the distinct differences between boys and girls and how they must present themselves. Texture, in both clothing and art, plays a central role in how the protagonist, Elaine, perceives these gender expectations. She is focused on the textures that differentiate boys and girls clothing and how they reflect her discomfort with this binary. As an adult, Elaine continues to focus on gender and texture through her paintings made with egg tempera. Her chosen medium is free of texture and the gendered connotations of the harsh and soft clothing of her childhood, providing her control over her desired gender expression.</p> 2019-04-05T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## “A Mexican Medea”: Challenging Western Literary Tropes in Cherríe L. Moraga’s The Hungry Woman 2019-07-09T11:55:28-07:00 Ryann Anderson <p>In her 1995 play <em>The Hungry Woman</em>, Cherríe L. Moraga imagines a new future for the Chicano civil rights movement of the 1960s. In her dystopia, national borders are strict and Medea is exiled (along with her lesbian partner and son) for engaging in a homosexual relationship; however, Moraga juxtaposes this Latin American movement against the backdrop of Euripides’s <em>Medea</em> and alludes to the Gothic trope of the mad ex-wife. This juxtaposition of Western allusions and Latin American mythology reflects the play’s overarching themes of patriarchal resistance and the fight to keep culture alive. In this essay, I argue that the play uses Euripides and the Gothic to challenge Western literary traditions and subsequently mirror the patriarchal binaries imposed on Moraga’s characters.</p> 2019-04-05T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Closing the Gap: Narrative Control and Temporal Instability in Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad 2019-07-09T11:56:52-07:00 Christopher Horne <p>In both conventional fiction and national metanarratives, such as that of the modern surveillance state, narrative progression is linear. Jennifer Egan’s <em>A Visit from the Goon Squad</em> (2010) subverts this expectation by progressing non-chronologically, thus prompting its reader to restore the narrative’s chronological order. However, the reader’s reconstruction of the novel, an attempt at narrative control, is disrupted by the presence of diegetic gaps—gaps that the novel suggests are incompatible with narrative control. By observing how the novel’s characters resist and reenact this control, I assert that Egan posits associative narrative building as an alternative to surveillance-dependent linear metanarratives.</p> 2019-04-05T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## “Dogism”: Fascism and the Philosophy of Violence in André Alexis’s Fifteen Dogs 2019-07-09T11:58:06-07:00 Erin Chewter <p>With <em>Fifteen Dogs</em> (2015), André Alexis presents the riddle of what it means to be human without prescribing his own solution. The task of deciding which of the hybrid dogs’ behaviours arise from which of their constituent elements—human or dog—is left up to the reader. This essay presents a theoretical exploration of the human-like violence found within <em>Fifteen Dogs</em>. I argue that the violence exhibited by the hybrid dogs is of a distinctly human quality and is fuelled by a fascistic ideology, which I call dogism. Attention is given to two particular manifestations of such violence: the sacrificial culling of the pack and the Garden of Death.</p> 2019-04-05T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Oral History and Cultural Preservation in Larissa Lai’s The Tiger Flu 2019-07-09T11:59:08-07:00 Drew Marie Beard <p>Larissa Lai’s <em>The Tiger Flu</em> (2018) explores a potential future of environmental devastation and biologically innovative magical realism. This essay focuses on Lai’s preoccupation with forms of cultural preservation and the ways in which the changeable nature of language in oral histories ensures the dissemination and preservation of the most important parts of culture. By examining how Lai contrasts female-dominated oral history with corporate monopoly, rampant militarism, and questionable biological experimentation, this essay will navigate the ways in which Lai proposes that our current attempts toward cultural preservation are lacking.</p> 2019-04-05T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## “Dance and Shake the Frame”: Culture Industry and Absurdity in Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” 2019-07-09T12:00:27-07:00 Kate Wallace Fry <p>This essay uses early twentieth-century critical and literary theory to examine the ways in which Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” critiques the violence and racism of American culture. While “This Is America” does not present an overtly Marxist critique of America, the song and video complement Horkheimer and Adorno’s Marxist criticisms of the culture industry. Furthermore, Gambino adopts devices and approaches popularized by absurdist art movements that critique the ideological mainstream. This essay concludes that, by applying absurdist approaches to his art, Gambino exposes the ways in which the American culture industry normalizes racism and gun violence.</p> 2019-04-05T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Editors & Contributors 2019-07-09T11:33:12-07:00 Editorial Team 2019-04-05T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##