Sampling: A Transformative Fair Use Argument

© 2012 “The general rule of law is, that the noblest of human productions – knowledge, truths ascertained, conceptions and ideas – become after voluntary communication to others, free as the air to common use.”[1] INTRODUCTION Digital sampling is the process of manipulating pre-existing sound recordings and incorporating them within one’s own music.[2] This creative […]

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Descartes’ Meditation III: Examining the Causal Argument for the Existence of God

© 2011 As Descartes closes his Second Meditation, the only thing he is certain of is that he is “a thing that thinks” and also, therefore, exists (Med II, paragraph 8). Now, in the Third Meditation, Descartes hopes to deduce and prove the existence of something greater than himself—in this case, God. In order to […]

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Does “Liking” a Novel Affect Its “Greatness”: An Examination of ‘Quicksand’

© 2010 W. E. B. Du Bois hailed it as “the best piece of fiction that Negro America has produced since the heyday of Chesnutt” (qtd. in Shockley 432); the Amsterdam News classified it ultimately as “a disappointment” (16). Since its initial publication in 1928, Nella Larsen’s Quicksand has seen mixed reviews from the literary […]

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Subtle Confessions of a Subversive Mind: A Tribute to William Blake

© 2009             One of the most outrageous poets and artists of his own time, William Blake (1757-1827) was regarded by his own contemporaries as a madman. He rebelled against society, government, established forms of poetry, and, above all, religion (Munson 30). His seditious and heretical ideals made him one of the most subversive writers […]

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The Apocalyptic Tragedies: An Examination of ‘Hamlet’, ‘King Lear’, and ‘Oedipus Rex’

© 2009             Death: the inevitable end to man’s existence. Judgment Day: the end of the world. These intertwining forces weave themselves through the texts of Hamlet, King Lear, and Oedipus Rex, allowing a glimpse of three instances in which the destruction of the macrocosm of the world is brought about and personified by the […]

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Fifty Shades of Tobacco: Sherlock Holmes and the Birth of the ‘Fan-fiction’

© 2013 In December 1893, select citizens of London gathered together in their grief, donning black armbands in a state of respectful mourning (Brown); for, in the eyes of these Londoners, the world had lost a great man. His name was Sherlock Holmes. To this select group—known by anything from “Sherlockians” to the “Sher-flock”—Conan Doyle’s […]

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The Americanisation of London

© 2013 The struggle of British culture and society against what has been dubbed “Americanization” is the internal strain of the individual against the impersonal, mass-produced, ‘plastic’ culture associated with industrialization, urbanization, and, inevitably, capitalism. As the “capitalist society that is most closely associated with [mass production and consumption]” (Hoggart 22), America, as a contrast […]

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