Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 12-5-2018

Faculty Advisor(s)

Morgan Read-Davidson, Dr. Lynda Hall


Throughout history, cultural designation has been plagued by unpredictability. It is all but impossible to know when the next revolution, violent or subtle, will arise and turn systems on their heads, systems appraised as carved in stone. If it is all but impossible, then the possibility still remains: Is there a hidden link to be discovered, to track and predict the outcomes of social unrest bubbling beneath the surface of society? I suggest that there is; this hidden link can be traced back to the field of semiotics, and primarily moves in a swift, subtle manner. Said link is known by the name of “Myth,” an external tool we subconsciously use to interpret meaning. By employing Roland Barthes’ theories of linguistic Myth, I plan to reveal ways in which popular society betrays its inevitable intent: to revolt against dominant Myth and meaning, replace them with newly crafted signs of its own design, and wield these transformations against the old sociopolitical order. However, it is difficult to predict without a precedent. My precedent is comprised of three of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novels: Notes From the Underground, The Idiot, and Demons. With help from Mikhail Bakhtin’s linguistic analysis, I will chart how each novel feeds into the next in their Mythological metamorphoses from the written page to reality. If such a template is established here, then perhaps it might be applicable to the present day; then, we will no longer have to wait for retrospect to determine the dashed line along which social construction’s destruction is directed.


Presented at the Fall 2018 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.