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    Evaluating and improving lexical language understanding in neural machine translation

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    Lexical understanding is an inalienable component of the translation process. In order to correctly map the meaning of a linguistic unit to the appropriate target language expression, the meaning of its constituent words has first to be identified and disambiguated, followed by the application of compositional operations. This thesis examines the competency of contemporary neural machine translation (NMT) models on two core aspects of lexical understanding – word sense disambiguation (WSD) and coreference resolution (CoR), both of which are well-established and much-studied natural language processing (NLP) tasks. Certain linguistic properties that are under-specified in a source language (e.g. the grammatical gender of a noun in English) may need to be stated explicitly in the chosen target language (e.g. German). Doing so correctly requires the accurate resolution of the associated ambiguities. While recent modeling advances appear to suggest that both WSD and CoR are largely solved challenges in machine translation, the work conducted within the scope of this thesis demonstrates that this is not yet the case. In particular, we show that NMT systems are prone to relying on surface-level heuristics and data biases to guide their lexical disambiguation decisions, rather than engaging in deep language understanding by correctly recognizing and leveraging contextual disambiguation triggers. As part of our investigation, we introduce a novel methodology for predicting WSD errors a translation model is likely to make and utilize this knowledge to craft adversarial attacks with the aim to elicit disambiguation errors in model translations. Additionally, we create a set of challenging CoR benchmarks that uncover the inability of translation systems to identify referents of pronouns in contexts that presuppose commonsense reasoning, caused by their pathological over-reliance on data biases. At the same time, we develop initial solutions for the identified model deficiencies. As such, we show that fine-tuning on de-biased data and modifying the learning objective of a model can significantly improve disambiguation performance by counteracting the harmful impact of data biases. We furthermore propose a novel extension to the popular transformer architecture that is found to strengthen its WSD capabilities and robustness to adversarial WSD attacks by facilitating the accessibility of lexical features across all layers of the model and increasing the extent to which contextual information is encapsulated with its latent representations. Despite the so effected improvements to WSD and CoR, both tasks remain far from solved, posing a veritable challenge for the current generation of NMT models, as well as for large language models that have risen to prominence within NLP in recent years

    Biocompatible aldehyde modification in Escherichia coli

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    Aldehydes are ubiquitous in living organisms and have a foundational role in prebiotic chemistry. However, the modification of aldehydes in a biological environment is generally limited to enzymatic reactions. Recent reports have shown that biocompatible organocatalysis can be used to dimerise aldehydes produced in situ via the whole-cell oxidation of alcohols. However, the non-enzymatic modification of aldehydes produced directly from central metabolism remains unexplored. This work demonstrates that non-enzymatic catalysis can be used to modify aldehydes produced from D-glucose by engineered E. coli. Three reactions were developed under biorelevant conditions and successfully integrated with butyraldehyde biosynthesis in vivo: aldol dimerisation, α-methylenation with formaldehyde and a Roskamp reaction with ethyl diazoacetate. These results provide new routes to three compounds that are inaccessible using engineered metabolism alone: 2-ethyl-2-hexenal, 2-methylenebutanal and ethyl butyrylacetate. Additionally, two reactions involving cinnamyl alcohol, produced from glucose via L-phenylalanine and cinnamaldehyde, were also examined. A Ni-catalysed allylic amination of cinnamyl alcohol within TPGS micelles and a metal-catalysed cyclopropanation of cinnamyl alcohol were both shown to be incompatible with the conditions required for the growth of E. coli. Nevertheless, further development of these reactions could provide new sustainable routes to useful compounds including pharmaceuticals. This thesis demonstrates that biocompatible chemistry can be combined with engineered E. coli to access molecules which have no known metabolic route. The catalytic activity of biogenic molecules under biocompatible conditions suggests that non-enzymatic catalysis occurs in Nature and can be applied as a tool in metabolic engineering

    God, science, and truth: a signpost theory of truth for science and religion

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    This thesis proposes a signpost theory of truth and argues that a theory of truth for science and religion is possible because scientific representations (such as, measurements and models) and Christian doctrine are used in a similar manner. Scientific representations and Christian doctrine are used as means to point towards a reality that is beyond them. Since scientific representations and Christian doctrine point towards what is beyond them, they are used as signposts because signposts point towards a destination. Signposts are used within the context of a journey to a destination with some amount of distance. Signposts point towards a destination but are not identical with the path or the destination. In order to articulate a signpost theory of truth, I argue for the similarities and differences between scientific representation and Christian doctrine. So, I attempt to formulate a signpost theory of the truth of Christian doctrine as well as of scientific representations. To demonstrate the similarities in the use of scientific representations and Christian doctrine as signposts, I distinguish between epistemologies and theories of truth, highlight assumptions of realism, and survey other theories of truth found in the science and religion literature (chapter 1 of part I). My survey of theories of truth indicates the space for a signpost theory of truth and provides a list of key points of focus for this thesis. After narrowing the focus of my study to Christian theology, I examine the relation between God and truth in chapter 2. I conclude part I with a signpost theory of the truth of Christian doctrine in chapter 3. The role of faith in the lives of believers is discussed as a significant parameter for a signpost theory of the truth of Christian doctrine. I contrast a signpost theory of truth with other understandings of doctrine and truth in Christianity. A signpost theory of the truth of Christian doctrine highlights the use of Christian doctrines as aids that can point humans towards God. The use of doctrines by Christian believers identifies potential problems that arise due to attempts to unite the theory of the truth of doctrine with the use of doctrine in practice. The unity between theory, practice, and reality can be examined by learning from the use of scientific representations, such as measurements. In part II, I argue that it is possible to learn from an empirical approach to measurement in scientific practice because an empirical understanding of scientific representations upholds the unity of theory, practice, and reality. So, I examine truth in philosophy of science by focusing on an empirical understanding of scientific representations. To introduce an empirical philosophy of science, chapter 4 presents a survey of realism(s) in philosophy of science. In relation to chapter 1, I demonstrate that the connection between realism and truth is extremely complex. In chapter 5, I outline the implications of an empirical understanding of measurement scientific practice with the example of a model-based approach to time as well as theories of truth in philosophy of science. I conclude part II with a general account of scientific representation in chapter 6. Lastly, in part III, I relate the insights from an empirical understanding of scientific representations to a signpost theory of truth for theology. To do so, I conduct a close reading of Aquinas on truth from the Summa Theologiae and De veritate as well as surveying some relevant secondary sources in chapter 7. The detailed analysis of Aquinas in chapter 7 shows why Aquinas provides inspiration for a signpost theory of truth due to the (implicit or explicit) presence of the key points of focus for a theory of truth for science and theology found in chapter 1. In chapter 8, I provide an in-depth analysis of secondary sources that help highlight the uniqueness of a signpost theory of truth. In chapter 9, I outline a metaphysical system in support of a signpost theory of truth that responds to empirical critiques of metaphysics. In conclusion, I defend a signpost theory of truth as a novel theory for science and religion

    Intelligent ultrasound hand gesture recognition system

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    With the booming development of technology, hand gesture recognition has become a hotspot in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) systems. Ultrasound hand gesture recognition is an innovative method that has attracted ample interest due to its strong real-time performance, low cost, large field of view, and illumination independence. Well-investigated HCI applications include external digital pens, game controllers on smart mobile devices, and web browser control on laptops. This thesis probes gesture recognition systems on multiple platforms to study the behavior of system performance with various gesture features. Focused on this topic, the contributions of this thesis can be summarized from the perspectives of smartphone acoustic field and hand model simulation, real-time gesture recognition on smart devices with speed categorization algorithm, fast reaction gesture recognition based on temporal neural networks, and angle of arrival-based gesture recognition system. Firstly, a novel pressure-acoustic simulation model is developed to examine its potential for use in acoustic gesture recognition. The simulation model is creating a new system for acoustic verification, which uses simulations mimicking real-world sound elements to replicate a sound pressure environment as authentically as possible. This system is fine-tuned through sensitivity tests within the simulation and validate with real-world measurements. Following this, the study constructs novel simulations for acoustic applications, informed by the verified acoustic field distribution, to assess their effectiveness in specific devices. Furthermore, a simulation focused on understanding the effects of the placement of sound devices and hand-reflected sound waves is properly designed. Moreover, a feasibility test on phase control modification is conducted, revealing the practical applications and boundaries of this model. Mobility and system accuracy are two significant factors that determine gesture recognition performance. As smartphones have high-quality acoustic devices for developing gesture recognition, to achieve a portable gesture recognition system with high accuracy, novel algorithms were developed to distinguish gestures using smartphone built-in speakers and microphones. The proposed system adopts Short-Time-Fourier-Transform (STFT) and machine learning to capture hand movement and determine gestures by the pretrained neural network. To differentiate gesture speeds, a specific neural network was designed and set as part of the classification algorithm. The final accuracy rate achieves 96% among nine gestures and three speed levels. The proposed algorithms were evaluated comparatively through algorithm comparison, and the accuracy outperformed state-of-the-art systems. Furthermore, a fast reaction gesture recognition based on temporal neural networks was designed. Traditional ultrasound gesture recognition adopts convolutional neural networks that have flaws in terms of response time and discontinuous operation. Besides, overlap intervals in network processing cause cross-frame failures that greatly reduce system performance. To mitigate these problems, a novel fast reaction gesture recognition system that slices signals in short time intervals was designed. The proposed system adopted a novel convolutional recurrent neural network (CRNN) that calculates gesture features in a short time and combines features over time. The results showed the reaction time significantly reduced from 1s to 0.2s, and accuracy improved to 100% for six gestures. Lastly, an acoustic sensor array was built to investigate the angle information of performed gestures. The direction of a gesture is a significant feature for gesture classification, which enables the same gesture in different directions to represent different actions. Previous studies mainly focused on types of gestures and analyzing approaches (e.g., Doppler Effect and channel impulse response, etc.), while the direction of gestures was not extensively studied. An acoustic gesture recognition system based on both speed information and gesture direction was developed. The system achieved 94.9% accuracy among ten different gestures from two directions. The proposed system was evaluated comparatively through numerical neural network structures, and the results confirmed that incorporating additional angle information improved the system's performance. In summary, the work presented in this thesis validates the feasibility of recognizing hand gestures using remote ultrasonic sensing across multiple platforms. The acoustic simulation explores the smartphone acoustic field distribution and response results in the context of hand gesture recognition applications. The smartphone gesture recognition system demonstrates the accuracy of recognition through ultrasound signals and conducts an analysis of classification speed. The fast reaction system proposes a more optimized solution to address the cross-frame issue using temporal neural networks, reducing the response latency to 0.2s. The speed and angle-based system provides an additional feature for gesture recognition. The established work will accelerate the development of intelligent hand gesture recognition, enrich the available gesture features, and contribute to further research in various gestures and application scenarios

    “I’m talking but no-one is listening”: how sound in British experiential realist cinema captures class dynamics from Tony Blair to Brexit

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    This Ph.D. dissertation investigates how sound in British experiential realist film captures changing class dynamics felt in the United Kingdom from the resignation of Tony Blair through the Brexit referendum. The films in this project are part of the experiential realist genre, or a form of social realism in which aesthetic liberties are used in cinematography, editing, and sound design to represent the perceptual and emotional reactions of individuals through certain political and social turmoil. This project looks specifically at the role of sound design and examines how the sounds heard are changing for characters. This study prioritises the affect – that is the perceptual and sensory reactions of these characters – in order to understand how their reactions to the worlds around them (and, their awareness of their class identity) change over time. It looks at fifteen films over the course of five chapters, and studies various aspects of the cinematic soundscape. This includes: the mixing of sounds, the construction of silence, the use of diegetic and non-diegetic music, the composition of noise, and the volume levels of dialogue. To demonstrate how these films represent the actual experiences of individuals, this analysis is paired with sociological studies of class; musicology and sound studies; and other anthropological and geographical works. The conclusion that this project reaches is that the sense of silence and voicelessness is increasing in recent decades amongst characters in recent British experiential realist films. Although characters interact with their soundscapes by creating noise, listening to music, and attempting to become dominant over their soundscape in a variety of ways, members of all the classes lose their ability to communicate with one another, and thus are subsequently deprived of their agency to act in their social spheres. It suggests that this is a common theme that must be studied, in order to assess what the future of the classed British character is. These feelings of voicelessness arise due to uncertainty over what one’s class identity is, and the uncertainty of whether they can ever be meaningfully heard by others around them. This dissertation not only benefits studies of recent British film, but it suggests a method to connect sociological studies of class and sound with that of film. It also provides a new methodology to the research of Blairism and Brexit that prioritises the experiences of individuals. It suggests that feelings of dread surrounding Brexit can be meaningfully studied and the marginalisation of oppressed individuals can be measured. This project comes at a crucial moment in British history and provides a new approach to the study of class and Brexit in the future

    Indigenous landscapes in Caspana: exploring a Ch'ixi epistemology

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    This thesis explores Indigenous landscapes and methodologies in Northern Chile in co-labouring with Caspana, a Likan Antai community. It consists of epistemic reflections within Caspana's Indigenous knowledge systems, drawing upon the Indigenous paradigm while acknowledging my non-Indigenous positionality. The study incorporates Aymara philosophy as an alternative epistemology, mainly focusing on concepts such as Pacha, time-space, and ch’ixi as the juxtaposition of contrasting elements. This approach acknowledges the limitations of an external researcher in fully comprehending Indigenous worldviews. Rather than seeking a complete understanding of Indigenous knowledge, the study recognises the existence of partial connections, allowing for temporary windows of mutual comprehension between different worldviews. This approach fosters respect for diverse ways of being and challenges academic hierarchies and societal roles. In practical terms, I engaged with the people of Caspana using methods that enabled them to decide on the research themes: placenames, rock art, and medicinal plants. Therefore, this dissertation recounts the decisions, processes, and projects from my collaboration with Indigenous groups. Thus, it presents a resulting methodology, plus a position towards the landscape that pays attention to their deep connection to it through reciprocity, which is fundamental today in times of climate and environmental crisis. I began this thesis by proposing an intuitive methodology, co-labour, that prioritised the interests and perspectives of people from Caspana. In co-labouring, that is, working together and acknowledging our epistemic differences, visual methods played a crucial role in this research, particularly in the adaptation to an online mode due to the pandemic. The concept of esquejes, which involves configuring new objects based on initial elements such as territory, rock art, and plants, is discussed in depth. Maps are utilised to visualise relationality, and maquettes are created to activate collective memory and explore placenames in the Indigenous language. Therefore, following their guide, they have channelled different research moments. First, a pre-pandemic interaction allowed the collection of placenames, followed by site visits, which activated the collective memory of those participating in the model-making. In addition, I visited rock art sites guided by Luisa, a local interpreter of the signs and the stories of the landscape embedded in those images. Later, as the pandemic arrived, adapting to online collaboration allowed me to pursue a grant to collect medicinal plants throughout Caspana's territory. Therefore, an ethnographic writing style today reveals how every interaction has dealt with storytelling, collective memory, place identity and territory. The findings of this thesis involved a retrospective analysis of my approach to Indigenous peoples. By exploring the ch’ixi condition inspired by Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, I elucidate that the landscape originates within our bodies, as our organs interact with the environment. This understanding is embodied in amuyt'aña, which involves perceiving and comprehending the world through our upper organs or chuyma. Using placenames, esquejes enabled me to connect partially with the landscape's structure, particularly the interplay between the aran (mountain) and urin (water), as Germán conveyed through his stories or willakuy in Quechua. By studying rock art with Luisa, I gained insights into how Indigenous communities reclaim time and space, known as Pacha kuti, and how the chullpas, as embodiments of space-time, hold significance in their understanding of the landscape. These visits to sacred sites and engaging in acts of reciprocity, or ayni in Quechua and Aymara, allowed me to experience a different sense of time. Lastly, through the medicinal plant collection project, I recognised the profound influence of the ch’ixi condition on new practices and uses of plants, including those that have been introduced, and I also investigated the concept of Indigenous herbal landscape. Additionally, I discuss the limitations of applying Northern landscape theories to Indigenous landscapes and emphasise the importance of decolonisation as a necessary practice. In terms of contributions, this thesis significantly advances the integration of Indigenous methodologies and principles into research conducted within Indigenous territories. Furthermore, the primary contribution of this research lies in its methodological approach that can be applied to broader fields of Indigenous studies. It also provides valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities when non-Indigenous scholars engage with Indigenous knowledge. Thus, this thesis contributes to ongoing decolonisation efforts by centring Indigenous voices, knowledge systems, and perspectives, enriching our perception of landscapes. By employing esquejes, the study establishes a means of accessing and engaging with Indigenous worldviews while offering insights into decolonisation studies deeply rooted in Indigenous terms and concepts

    Turbulence and stability: civilian cooperation in Boko Haram’s insurgency

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    Why do some civilians become embedded in militant organizations while others do not? It is commonly assumed that civilians either support or resist rebels, depending on whether they share their political cause, or that they are forced to cooperate. The messy reality, however, is that people rarely fall in just one category. Some cooperate but maintain weak linkages to insurgents, carrying out quotidian chores and labor, whereas others get swept up in high-stakes rebel activities. They move within militant hierarchies, experience and execute punishments, and provide logistics, social services, and military support on the frontline. This thesis seeks to describe a broad spectrum of civilian engagement, from collusion to compliance to resistance, and to explain variation in civilian patterns of cooperation in rebel-controlled territories. Through a fieldwork-driven case study of Boko Haram’s insurgency in Northeast Nigeria, this research examines theoretical and empirical differences in the roles that civilians perform and the relations they establish with a rebel movement. It relies on extensive interview material to identify and explain the emergence of two patterns of cooperation – stability and turbulence. Specifically, it demonstrates that these patterns result from civilian adaptation to varying levels of insurgent control. Contrary to the assumption that stability is rooted in high oversight, it is rebel neglect in areas of limited strategic value that allows for everyday civilian life to persist in the periphery. In turn, militarized governance in core territories draws civilians into high-risk and turbulent engagement as they try to navigate vulnerability and empowerment within the rebel system. Consequently, civilian behavior is shaped by proximity to military power, which creates unpredictability and entanglement with armed actors. This fine-grained analysis is based on original qualitative data, primarily in-depth interviews with people who lived under Boko Haram’s rule, collected in Nigeria over the course of eleven months between 2018 and 2020. By tracing insurgent-civilian interactions within their specific institutional settings, this study shows how the micro-dynamics of cooperation are shaped by the strategic and operational dimensions of insurgent war-making. Understanding patterns that define civilian experiences in conflict zones fundamentally shifts away from the politically charged assumptions of collusion to instead focus on constraints for civilian – and armed group – survival. Finally, this thesis bridges scholarly debates about civilian agency and rebel governance while applying them to a context that is representative of increasing Islamic extremist influence, violence, and territorial contestation in Africa

    Investigating the sex-specific role of perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) on vascular function in obesity

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    Obesity is defined as the abnormal and excessive accumulation of adipose tissue which is detrimental to health. Obesity can be a potent predictor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and associated risk factors, including hypertension. The Framingham Heart Study indicated that 78% of hypertension in men and 65% in women can be attributed to obesity. Sex disparities in the prevalence of obesity-related CVD have been well documented with premenopausal women having a lower incidence than age‐matched men. Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) surrounds most blood vessels, contributing to regulation of vascular tone. Under normal physiological conditions, PVAT exerts anti-contractile effects on the vasculature. However, in obesity this anti-contractile effect is impaired, leading to vascular dysfunction. While this association is well-established, the underlying mechanisms driving obesity-associated vascular dysfunction remain unclear. Investigation into this is complicated by the presence of distinct anatomical PVAT depots, with conflicting reports on their role in vascular regulation. Moreover, a lack of understanding behind sex-specific responses to vascular function in obesity remains apparent. In this thesis, we set out to address the hypothesis that sex specific PVAT dysfunction in the setting of obesity is an important driver of sex differences in vascular pathologies. To investigate this, we first established a model of obesity-induced vascular dysfunction and determined if there were sex-specific differences in the response. Male and female C57Bl/6J mice were fed either a high-fat diet (58% kcal fat w/ sucrose) or chow diet for 16 weeks, and vascular function assessed in the presence or absence of PVAT by wire myography. In both male and female control mice, mPVAT reduced the sensitivity of the response to vasoconstrictors; this is termed the anti-contractile effect. This was completely lost in the HFD female but not male group. Additionally, in male mice, mesenteric PVAT (mPVAT) reduced vasodilatory responses under obese conditions in an endothelium dependent manner. This reduced vasodilatory response was not significant in obese female mice. The anti-contractile effect of PVAT was also observed in thoracic arteries in both male and female control mice and again was completely lost under obese conditions in both sexes. These changes in vascular function in response to obesity did not alter blood pressure in male or female mice as measured by tail cuff plethysmography. This study demonstrated that there are clear sex differences in vascular function in response to an obesogenic diet which are mediated by the presence of PVAT. We have shown that HFD alters the relationship between mPVAT and the vasculature in female mice with a loss of the anti-contractile effect of PVAT on the vessel independent of a shift in sensitivity of the vessel alone. In contrast, male mice on HFD are more vulnerable to vasoconstriction, however this is still attenuated by the anti-contractile role of PVAT. In addition to this, we have also found that male mice on HFD are unable to dilate mesenteric vessels to the same extent in the presence of PVAT. In contrast to these sex-specific findings in mPVAT, we surprisingly found no sex differences in the role of tPVAT on vasoconstriction in response to an obesogenic diet. Having identified sex specific differences in the role of PVAT on vascular function, we set out to determine if changes in PVAT structure and function were evident in obesity, and if these changes provided clues to the sex-specific nature of the vascular phenotype. Male and female C57Bl/6J mice were fed either a high-fat diet (58% kcal fat w/ sucrose) or chow diet for 16 weeks. Both mPVAT and tPVAT were isolated and assessed in a targeted and untargeted (RNA-sequencing) approaches to investigate the molecular basis of any obesity-induced changes. Histological analysis revealed greater adipocyte hypertrophy and collagen staining in mPVAT from males compared to females under HFD conditions. Transcriptomic profiling from RNA sequencing revealed male mPVAT has a distinct transcriptome from female mPVAT under HFD, but not chow diet conditions. Gene set enrichment analysis indicated that in contrast to female mice, male mice significantly up-regulated extracellular matrix remodelling and pro-inflammatory pathways in response to HFD. In addition, obese male mice significantly downregulated oxidative phosphorylation pathways compared to obese female mice. Strikingly, these sex-dependent transcriptomic changes were not observed in thoracic PVAT. Extracellular matrix remodelling is a key process in the development of adipose tissue fibrosis and dysfunction. Evidence has shown that a lack of oestrogen increased visceral adipocyte area and upregulated ECM remodelling genes in rats. To determine whether these sex differences in mPVAT dysfunction were related to the presence of oestrogen, we employed a surgical approach to remove endogenous oestrogens. Female C57Bl/6J mice underwent ovariectomy (OVX) prior to 16 weeks of HFD. A control group of female mice underwent sham-surgery prior to HFD. While OVX female mice displayed increased weight gain and worsened glucose tolerance compared to controls, assessment of both mPVAT and tPVAT revealed that the histo-morphological and molecular markers identified in previous studies were not profoundly affected by OVX. Together, these results support findings that PVAT plays a key role in regulation of vascular function in health, and that this is altered by PVAT dysfunction because of obesity. Due to the multifaceted sex differences observed in vascular function studies, is it evident that obesity alters the relationship between PVAT and the vasculature differentially between sexes. Paired with transcriptomic studies, males appear more susceptible to obesity related PVAT dysfunction and that these sex differences are unique to mPVAT. This suggests that PVAT has a distinct role dependent on anatomical depot. This work is the first to explore the molecular signature of mPVAT in male and female mice under a HFD and highlights extracellular matrix pathways as important regulators of mPVAT function. This has important implications for investigating sex-specific treatments and pharmacological targets for obesity-induced vascular complications. However, it is still unclear how ECM pathways are modulated within mPVAT as a result of HFD feeding and the direct impact this has on vascular function

    A critical socio-cultural autoethnography: a soldier, here, there and back again

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    This thesis takes an unconventional approach to much of social science in developing the idea and practice of a critical social-cultural autoethnography. In bridging the social sciences and humanities, it cultivated a more thorough social version of autoethnographic research around the metaphor of its different components akin to a diamond’s facets. The development of autoethnography has markedly changed the scene of ethnography, making reflexivity and the central researcher’s role better developed. My thesis incorporates this by building on what others have done and adding a documents of life approach. It first considers the self as auto, juxtaposed against how much the other and society are incorporated. Next, it explores the slippery relationship between fact/fiction. Here, I have created an auto/biographical novella to investigate how autoethnographers navigate the interiority of fact, fiction, knowledge and truth. The next focus for discussion concerns the exteriority and how we craft narrative, myths and stories from these claims as a part of truth and knowledge systems through a dialogical voice/writer/reader motif and also considered the role of the hero in textual narratives. I will then chart how these associations between my novella, myself and relations to other people and their accounts were shaped by knowledge claims and how they fed through relations of ruling into a power/knowledge system by examining a copy of my military orders. I then autoethnographically look at two war memorials that help me better untangle all of this. The discussion here also examined how the self can become more constricted as it becomes more social, thereby further helping me explore the socially constructed character of self and society. However, it is also crucial to consider the individual and each stipulation in developing better knowledge claims through critical thinking and learning from our history and other lives. The conclusion considers the different facets of the diamond of methodological contributions to autoethnography and also explores what a future autoethnography built on these would comprise

    Representations of trauma in the Fourth Gospel

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    The Fourth Gospel, renowned for its profound theological significance in Christianity, is also the subject of a contentious hermeneutical debate due to its overwhelmingly negative portrayal of “the Jews.” The fundamental question often boils down to: how could an apparently Jewish evangelist be so hostile towards “the Jews”? Examining the impact of trauma on the composition of the Gospel, this study argues that the perceived experience of distress and conflict derived from intra-group tensions contributes to the shaping of the text’s polemical rhetoric and the narrative it presents. The first chapter of this thesis begins by addressing the FG’s seemingly anti-Jewish rhetoric and previous scholarly debates surrounding it. I show that the subjective nature of the text makes it challenging to reconstruct an exact history of conflict, yet the presence of the text’s largely antagonistic characterisation of “the Jews” suggests that it did not arise in isolation. This chapter highlights the need for further investigation into the potential impact of intra-group tensions and the disruptive effects of trauma on language and identity in order to gain insight into the Gospel’s peculiar rhetoric and narrative construction. Chapter 2 lays the study’s theoretical framework by tracing the development of trauma theory and its application in literary analysis. I show that trauma narratives often encapsulate the tension between trauma's resistance to representation and the impulse to narrate, in which the former can be displayed through aesthetic features such as fragmentations, aporias, and metaphors, while the latter involves the construction of a politicalised story. My analysis of the FG, as such, follows the framework of exploring the inexpressibility (Chapters 3-4) and expressibility (Chapters 5-6) of trauma. Chapter 3 establishes the baseline for the traumatic nature of the FG by analysing its psycholinguistic characteristics and evaluating editorial stress. The study finds that passages involving “the Jews” exhibit significant linguistic features associated with trauma as the narrative presence of the Johannine Jews predicts substantial linguistic variations related to attention, affect, and cognitive processing. Chapter 4 delves into the manifestation of trauma within the narrative structures and literary tropes of the FG. Specifically, I show how the spatial inconsistencies and aporias could be understood as aesthetic representations of conflict-related trauma. I also demonstrate that the utilisation of certain bodily-centred metaphors (i.e., food, light, and darkness) serves as a means of communication to convey the perceived reality of trauma through visceral sensations. Chapter 5 examines the interruptive impact of trauma on social identity and language, and analyses how the FG negotiates and claims trauma through its narrative. The chapter argues that the text could be read as a trauma narrative to the extent that it constructs victimhood, attributes responsibility, and performatively reshapes collective identities. Chapter 6 explores how specific passages and theological motifs in the FG function to provide consolation, guidance, and hope in the face of perceived traumatic circumstances, while also unravelling how the text at times ironically mimics the actions of the alleged opponents through envisioned judgement, condemnation, and exclusion. The concluding chapter summarises the contributions of this study and considers the hermeneutical implications concerning the FG’s enigmatic rhetoric and narrative

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