Recent Ph.D. Dissertations Concerning Freemasonry or Secret Societies
Freemasonry and the role of fraternalism in Western culture has long held a fascination for the academic community. The following list is only one small sample of the wealth of available research.
TITLE: Clubs, secret societies and male quest romance (Rudyard Kipling, H. Rider Haggard, Bram Stoker)
AUTHOR: Greene, Thomas Michael;
SCHOOL UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST
ADVISER Farrell, Kirby
SOURCE DAI-A 63/06, p. 2252, Dec 2002
SUBJECT LITERATURE, ENGLISH (0593)
Abstract: The psychological realm in which late nineteenth century male romance takes place is not simply an anarchic land liberated from the conventional constraints of Victorian morality. Rather it is a complex male space that reflects the dynamics, protocols and contradictions of nineteenth century middle-class masculine relations as embodied in male fraternal associations such as public schools, secret societies, and the clubland of London's West End. A historical survey of London clubs and secret societies demonstrates the characteristics and social function of these institutions in defining and sustaining prevailing models of masculinity. An examination of Rudyard Kipling's Kim in relation to Masonic symbolism and initiation rites shows the didactic role of boys' fiction in transmitting and sustaining the imperial masculine ideology. A reading of H. Rider Haggard's African novels demonstrates the dynamics of idealized middle-class fraternal relations. Finally, an analysis of Bram Stoker's novels illustrates issues of male communities in dealing with alien others. In an environment in which men perceived an increasing threat from outside social forces, the network of fraternal associations, quest romance and masculine ideologies created a dynamic that illuminates a more complex reading of the culture and literature of the genre.
PUBLICATION NUMBER AAT 3056232
ACCESSION NO: AAI9997684
TITLE: "THE ESSENTIAL LINK": FREEMASONRY AND BRITISH IMPERIALISM, 1751--1918
AUTHOR(S): HARLAND-JACOBS, JESSICA LEIGH DEGREE: PH.D. YEAR: 2000 PAGES: 00347 INSTITUTION: DUKE UNIVERSITY; 0066 ADVISOR: SUPERVISOR JOHN W. CELL SOURCE: DAI, 61, NO. 12A (2000): P. 4899
Abstract: Emerging in Britain during the seventeenth century, the Masonic brotherhoodwhich claimed to admit any free man, regardless of his religion, social status, political orientation, and race (provided he believed in the existence of a supreme being)taught its members lessons of self-improvement, spirituality, and benevolence. During the eighteenth and nineteenth century, the fraternity suited itself remarkably well to the British Empire. It spread primarily through the activities of lodges in British Army regiments, which resulted in the development of a vast service network that was fundamentally global and masculine in nature. Looking at the British North Atlantic world between 1751 and 1918, this dissertation explores the reciprocal relationship between Freemasonry and imperialism. It asks how Freemasonry contributed to the building and consolidation of the British Empire and what the fraternity reflected about the broader imperial context. Having conducted research in Masonic and public archives on both sides of the Atlantic, I draw on a wide range of manuscript and published sources, including correspondence; private papers of prominent Freemasons; British government documents; proceedings of the English, Irish, Scottish, and Canadian grand lodges; and Masonic speeches, sermons, periodicals, pamphlets, and monographs. I deploy the methodology of world networks history to argue that cultural institutions played a critical role in British imperialism and that the imperial and metropolitan spheres were highly interconnected arenas. As it underwent the simultaneous processes of bureaucratization in the metropole and global expansion, Freemasonry experienced a transformation. Despite its consistent cosmopolitan claims, it changed from a relatively open institution that included men of various religions, social classes, political affiliations, and races to one that became increasingly Protestant, middle-class, loyalist, and white over time. From the mid-nineteenth century on, Freemasonry marched hand in hand with the British imperial state. Its network connected the metropolitan and colonial spheres, fostering what I describe as an imperialist identity among its members and becoming implicated in the increasingly racialized imperialism of the late nineteenth century. Like cosmopolitanism, imperialist identity is an example of an under-studied supra-national identity. Appreciating its role in imperialism is crucial for understanding the timing and location of national identity formation and the hegemonic function of cultural institutions in the imperial arena.
ACCESSION NO: AAI9994906
TITLE: FRATERNAL REGALIA IN AMERICA, 1865 TO 1918: DRESSING THE LODGES; CLOTHING THE BROTHERHOOD (OHIO)
AUTHOR(S): MCBRIDE, HARRIET WAIN DEGREE: PH.D. YEAR: 2000 PAGES: 00388 INSTITUTION: THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY; 0168 ADVISOR: ADVISER PATRICIA A. CUNNINGHAM SOURCE: DAI, 61, NO. 11A (2000): P. 4435
Abstract: Prescribed forms of dress, including theatrical costumes, ritual articles of clothing and militaristic uniforms, were an essential element in the phenomenon of the secret fraternal society movement in the United States in the years 1865 to 1918. The demand for fraternal regalia spawned a distinct industry which flourished for eighty years. The story of the fraternal society movement is incomplete without consideration of the garments used by the secret societies, and of the companies that made them. This story of fraternal regalia is told from the perspective of The M. C. Lilley & Co. of Columbus, Ohio.
In nineteenth century America, as fraternalism embraced twenty percent of the male population, the use of specialized clothing increased and took on new meanings. Rituals increased in complexity and initiation rites assumed a theatrical quality. Fraternal orders added new degrees and side orders modeled on private militias, which required uniforms. Fraternal regalia evolved into three distinct categories reflecting the three aspects of the Great Fraternal Movement sacred rites, theatrical dramas and public displays of patriotic militarism. All required non-normative forms of dress.
The M. C. Lilley & Co. manufactured, distributed and sold fraternal regalia from 1865 to 1953. The largest of the regalia houses, it is exemplary of that industry in the years of the Great Fraternal Movement. During that time, regalia manufacturers used specialized marketing techniques and capitalized on political events to create demand for their wares. These companies were instrumental in organizing new lodges and devising new rituals in order to expand markets for their apparel products.
The rise of the regalia industry in the United States paralleled that of the societies it served. Firms which identified themselves specifically with the fraternal orders, and which concentrated their product lines on items of dress, prospered as the movement grew. The fortunes of the secret fraternal societies and those of the regalia manufacturers were intertwined, and the interests of one organization informed and served the interests of the other.
ACCESSION NO: AAI0801984
TITLE: NINETEENTH-CENTURY RHETORICS OF AMERICAN BROTHERHOOD
AUTHOR(S): DAVIS, MATTHEW REID DEGREE: PH.D. YEAR: 2000 PAGES: 00001 INSTITUTION: UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON; 0250 ADVISOR: CHAIRPERSON MARK PATTERSON SOURCE: DAI, 61, NO. 11A (2000): P. 4384
Abstract: Nineteenth-Century Rhetorics of American Brotherhood analyzes relationships centered in brotherhooda heretofore-unexamined component of American literature and culture. Exploring brotherhood's significance in both historical materials (the membership rolls and publications of secret fraternal organizations) and in literary works (by figures such as Frederick Douglass, Martin Delany, Louisa May Alcott, Thomas Dixon, Edward Bellamy, William Dean Howells, and others), my dissertation argues that relationships centered in brotherhood are crucial to American nationhood in the decades surrounding the Civil War. My introduction theorizes brotherhood as a continuum which extends from consanguineous (blood) models to purely voluntary ones (Freemasonry, the Ku Klux Klan, etc.); significantly, brotherhood's complicated rhetorics allow for much confusion and conflation, such that voluntary fraternal associations are often given the imperative of blood and that blood brotherhoodsespecially those that cross racial boundariesare easily disavowed. My project begins with an examination of the abolitionist movement during its period of greatest agitation, surveys the changes in the social and political landscape wrought by the Civil War and Reconstruction, and concludes on the eve of a new century, at a time when the political landscape is marked by the apparent healing of the once-fractured Union and when the social landscape is dominated by the highest levels of participation by the nation's men in secret fraternal organizations. The Civil War's creation of a fractured national family results in particular rhetorics of brotherhood being used with increasing frequency in order both to heal this deeply divided family and, importantly, in order to demarcate further its boundaries in response to social transformations such as the emancipation of slaves, the enfranchisement of African Americans, and increasing industrializationall of which radically enlarged or transformed the American family. Using theories first developed by Eve Sedgwick, Kaja Silverman, Robyn Wiegman, and others within gender studies, psychoanalysis, and literary studies, I argue that brotherhood exceeds these fields and requires new tools that recognize the spectrum of brotherly relations and analyze brotherhood's rhetorics of inclusion versus its practices of exclusion.
ACCESSION NO.: AAG9913940
TITLE: MYSTIC TIES OF BROTHERHOOD: FREEMASONRY, ROYALTY AND RITUAL IN HAWAI'I, 1843-1910
AUTHOR: KARPIEL, FRANK JOSEPH
INSTITUTION: UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII; 0085
ADVISER: Chairperson: IDUS NEWBY
SOURCE: DAI, VOL. 59-12A, Page 4503, 00306 Pages
DESCRIPTORS: HISTORY, ASIA, AUSTRALIA AND OCEANIA; HISTORY, UNITED
STATES; SOCIOLOGY, SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND DEVELOPMENT
Abstract: Masonry arrived in the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1843 with the formation of the French-sponsored Lodge Le Progres de l'Oceanie in Honolulu, which was joined in 1852 by Hawaiian Lodge under the auspices of California's Grand Lodge. This work examines the fraternity's growth and development along with its impact on the cultural and political life of the kingdom for the next six decades. The first lodges in the city played an important civic role, providing fellowship and charitable assistance to its members along with absorbing rituals. These rituals included secret initiations along with public processions and dedication ceremonies, each of which reinforced the "mystic ties of brotherhood"; and signaled the status of the individual and the fraternity collectively. Each chapter of this work describes a different facet of Freemasonry's history in Honolulu including its integrative social role in the ethnically divided city, its wide range of benevolent activities, and the involvement of Hawaiian royalty in the order. Three Hawaiian monarchs joined the Masons and participated in lodge meetings and festivities from the 1850s until the 1890s. Two of these kings, Kamehameha IV and Kalakaua, took leadership roles within their Masonic lodges as well as in the Scottish and York Rites, which helped to enhance their political power amid increasing American influence in the Islands. While doing so, they introduced other Hawaiians as candidates into the fraternity and appointed many Masonic brethren to high office. Hawaiian monarchs also appropriated Freemasonry's organizational structure for several new organizations that they founded, the most significant of which was the Hale Naua, or Temple of Science. King David Kalakaua hoped to revitalize the ancient cultural traditions of Hawai'i with the aid of Masonic forms and in the process of doing so engendered surprising reactions from all quarters of the kingdom's population. The syncretic process was a two-way street, however, and several fraternal groups associated with Masonry appropriated Hawaiian cultural motifs and inserted them in their rituals. This study thus illuminates the cross-cultural contests over history, culture and power that occurred in 19th century Hawai'i within the context of fraternalism.
ACCESSION NO.: AAG9837708
TITLE: EDGAR CAYCE'S BOOKSHELF: THE SOURCE QUESTION IN THE "SLEEPING PROPHET'S" SPIRITUAL TEACHINGS
AUTHOR: BELL, DAVID LAWRENCE
INSTITUTION: CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF INTEGRAL STUDIES; 0392
ADVISER: Adviser: STEVEN D. GOODMAN
SOURCE: DAI, VOL. 59-06A, Page 2070, 00395 Pages
DESCRIPTORS: RELIGION, HISTORY OF; RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY OF; BIOGRAPHY
Abstract: One of the New Age movement' s most revered authorities, Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) is remembered primarily for his trance-channeled teachings on such subjects as astrology, reincarnation, Atlantis, the untold life of Jesus, and psychic experience. This work attempts to trace Cayce's most distinctive spiritual teachings to other turn-of-the-century books and movements to which he could have been exposed. Probable sources include the Disciples of Christ, Freemasonry, Spiritualism, Theosophy, New Thought, and alternative medicine. Between 1890 and 1930 all but the first of these fed into a thriving alternative religious subculture roughly analogous to the New Age movement of our own era, and Cayce was one of a number of similar syncretic figures from this period.
This approach is somewhat controversial within Caycean circles, since Cayce himself explicitly denied authorship of the psychic readings which he dictated. Accordingly, Cayce writers have portrayed their subject as a simple, uneducated man who read the Bible, but not occult or medical literature. Parallels between the Cayce readings and such literature are typically treated as independent confirmations of Cayce's ideas, rather than indications of any historical relationship. In this light it is surely relevant that nearly all the published Cayce literature has been in some sense sponsored by the main Cayce organization, the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE). A chapter is therefore devoted to examining the history and nature of the ARE in order to determine why so little attention has been given to the "source question." Various facets of the ARE lead that organization to resemble a church or religion, a research society, a small-group support organization similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, an alternative health-care provider, or a business consortium. Each of these models suggests a different set of priorities with respect to the critical study of Cayce, most of which are unfavorable to the source question.
ACCESSION NO.: AAG9706260
TITLE: THE PHILOSOPHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF FREEMASONRY IN THOMAS MANN'S "DER ZAUBERBERG" (BILDUNGSROMAN)
AUTHOR: GOINGS, CAROL P. DEGREE: PH.D. YEAR: 1996 INSTITUTION: NEW YORK UNIVERSITY; 0146 ADVISER: Adviser: BERND HUPPAUF SOURCE: DAI, VOL. 57-09A, Page 3954, 00201 Pages DESCRIPTORS: LITERATURE, GERMANIC; LITERATURE, MODERN; PHILOSOPHY
Abstract: This research project investigates the philosophical implications of Freemasonry in Thomas Mann's Zauberberg in view of the novel as a "Bildungsroman" placed in an era of social and scientific change, the turn-of-the-century. The novel can be considered "modern" for its attempt to reconcile the "classical theory" of science and philosophy with a new age of scientific "breakthroughs", bridging the gap between the objective and the subjective. "Reality" could no longer be considered "container-like" or "measureable" to one standard, but had to incorporate "flux", allowing the text to move beyond traditional bounds and "beyond realism". Freemasonry's influence on Mann's text is integral to the following interpretation, as it presents a Masonic view which is both challenged and broadened by transition. Hans Castorp's personal growth can, consequently, be regarded as a reflection of the growth and change society may take when faced with "crisis". Freemasonry acts as a stabilizing humanistic philosophy in a world of uncertainty and on the verge of WWI as it presents the "Platonic" predictable world view through the pedagoge Settennbrini. Chapter one discusses Mann's representation of space and time, showing how measured and objective time and space can overlap with the subjective. Chapter two addresses the metaphor of "Stone", as it is important to the Freemasons as "artisans in stone" as well as a "leitmotiv" for Mann. Images of stone are present in the text both on a physical as well as a meta- physical level as it embodies strength, fortitude, eternity, while not impervious to erosion and decay. The third chapter entitled "Music" develops connections between Mann and Masonic concepts of music-- as well as addressing the negative, inharmonious, discordent and destructive elements of music. Finally the last chapter "Matter/Spirit" characterizes the attitude of Freemasonry in regard to separation of spirit and matter. Integrally bound up with this discussion is Hans' facing of death and disease. There is a Masonic message of "hope" as an underlying philosophy of Mann's novel, according to this reading, as Hans' growth and enhanced humanism may better prepare men for a modern age.
ACCESSION NO.: AAG9634019
TITLE: WORKING THE ROUGH STONE: FREEMASONRY AND SOCIETY IN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY RUSSIA
AUTHOR: SMITH, DOUGLAS CAMPBELL DEGREE: PH.D. YEAR: 1996 INSTITUTION: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES; 0031 ADVISER: Chair: HANS ROGGER SOURCE: DAI, VOL. 57-06A, Page 2632, 00281 Pages DESCRIPTORS: HISTORY, EUROPEAN; HISTORY, MODERN; SOCIOLOGY, SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND DEVELOPMENT
Abstract: This dissertation explores Russia's eighteenth-century Masonic movement, a major social and cultural phenomenon comprising over 3,000 Masons active in more than 130 lodges. Attempting to avoid the unmistakable teleology and anachronisms that color the established historiography, which has conceptualized the history of the lodges as a chapter in the history of the Russian intelligentsia, this work situates Masonry within the specific socio-historical context in which it operated and uses Masonry as an entry point into an examination of the local logic of eighteenth-century Russian society. Informed by recent investigations into the history of the public sphere, or civil society, in the Old Regime societies of western Europe, this study examines the lodges against the background of Russian society in order not only to assess their relationship to this broad social topography but also to rethink our understanding of Russian society itself. It demonstrates the existence of a Russian public sphere composed of the print market, on the one hand, and of circles, clubs, societies, salons, as well as Masonic lodges, on the other. In addition, through an examination of the public debate over Freemasonry, this dissertation sheds light on the development of the modern notion of public opinion in the eighteenth century. This essay also seeks to disclose the sources of Freemasonry's appeal by illuminating the chief aim of Masonic practice as well as the salient features of the Masons' mental world. Seeking to distinguish themselves as men of superior moral and social worth, the Masons envisioned the lodge as society's sole seat of virtue and enlightenment within which they could devote themselves to a specific program of self-improvement. By "working the rough stone," Russia's Masons sought to reform their morals and to refine their manners and to become civilized, enlightened, and moral beings. Freemasonry played a major role in the construction of personal and social identities based upon novel ideas of civility and politeness that were then acquiring increasing importance among Russia's educated classes as the primary signs of social distinction in a new economy of status.
ACCESSION NO.: AAI9600626
TITLE: CONSTRUCTING THE BLACK MASCULINE: IDENTITY AND IDEOLOGY IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN MEN'S LITERATURE AND CULTURE
AUTHOR: WALLACE, MAURICE ORLANDO DEGREE: PH.D. YEAR: 1995 INSTITUTION: DUKE UNIVERSITY; 0066 ADVISER: Supervisor: KARLA F. C. HOLLOWAY SOURCE: DAI, VOL. 56-09A, Page 3587, 00236 Pages DESCRIPTORS: LITERATURE, AMERICAN; AMERICAN STUDIES; BLACK STUDIES
Abstract: This dissertation locates and theorizes the intersecting anxieties of race, gender, and sexuality in African American men's expressive culture, especially literary autobiography. Throughout the black cultural and literary production of nineteenth- and twentieth-century America, from the inception of the black Freemasonry movement in 1775 to the present, maleness (after blackness, of course) appears as one of the severest anxieties (or "ego-disturbances," following Freud) of the African American male subject. Yet it is little remarked upon in the critical tradition. My dissertations treats the critical silence about black maleness per se and explores the epistemological possibilities for a coherent theory of African American male identity construction. Following Eve Sedgwick's lead with Epistemology of the Closet, I argue for the presence of closet-like constructions (real and metaphoric) permeating the literature and homosocial cultures of African American men as tropes for psychological self-alienation and identity coverture not exclusively sexual. The literary and cultural suppression (i.e. closeting) of anything like the full disclosure of the principals' racial, gender and sexual ambivalence explains the dearth of critical writing that takes up these matters. In short, "Constructing the Black Masculine" seeks to understand the representation of masculinity in a series of significant texts and contexts of black male subjecthood from 1775 to 1994, in order to determine how social preoccupations with race, gender, and sexuality inflect not only the writerly record but the larger issue of the social ideal of black masculinity.
ACCESSION NO.: AAI9540838
TITLE: A TRUE REPUBLICAN: THE LIFE OF PAUL REVERE
AUTHOR: TRIBER, JAYNE ELLEN DEGREE: PH.D. YEAR: 1995 INSTITUTION: BROWN UNIVERSITY; 0024 ADVISER: Adviser: GORDON S. WOOD SOURCE: DAI, VOL. 56-08A, Page 3283, 00450 Pages DESCRIPTORS: HISTORY, UNITED STATES; BIOGRAPHY
Abstract: A biography of Paul Revere affords the opportunity to explore several topics of interest to historians of the Revolutionary and Early National periods, including the meaning and attraction of republicanism for artisans, the importance of Freemasonry in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and the development of early American industry. Through an analysis of Revere's letters and business correspondence, his various businesses, products, and customers, Masonic records, and other primary sources ranging from diaries to government documents, I trace his economic, social, and political life from his days as a Son of Liberty to his transformation from artisan to merchant and manufacturer in the Early Republic. Revere's long-standing connections among Boston's artisans, mariners, and Freemasons made him a valuable asset to Boston's Revolutionary leaders. As a master goldsmith--an elite among his fellow artisans but a man of mere middling rank in colonial society--Revere served as a bridge between the "bully boys" of Boston's waterfront and the Harvard-educated leaders who needed to mobilize such men in the Revolutionary cause. He, in turn, was exhilarated by his association with these genteel, classically-educated men, and the promise of liberty, equality, and opportunity that devotion to republicanism promised. Republicanism offered Revere the chance for economic success and social distinction, but it also called upon him to practice the principles of honor, integrity, virtue, and benevolence. Intellectual historians have generally treated Paul Revere as a footnote in histories of the American Revolution: the patriot-silversmith and trusted messenger of Boston's Revolutionary leaders. Social historians cannot quite fit this master artisan turned manufacturer into their model of the role of laborers and journeymen artisans in the Revolution. A significant purpose of this work is to test the value of biography to historical analysis and to apply the disciplines of both intellectual and social history to a study of the life and mind of Paul Revere and the age in which he lived.
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"Masonry and the Printed Word," National Heritage Museum, Lexington, MA 02421
Brandy Farese, "Freemasonry in the Eighteenth-Century,"
"Documentary History of Philanthropy and Voluntarism in the United States, 1600-1900,"
Walgren, Kent Logan, Freemasonry, Anti-Masonry, and Illuminism in the United States, 1734-1850, A Bibliography. Worcester, MA: American Antiquarian Society, 2003.