Award Date

5-1-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Committee Member

Maile Chapman

Second Committee Member

Felicia Campbell

Third Committee Member

Emily Setina

Fourth Committee Member

Olesya Venger

Number of Pages

90

Abstract

The following manuscript, titled "WOLF!!! vol. 1," investigates the cultural fetishization of power. By placing value on power and on progress, each lauded for their own sake, distances these values from how they serve people. In a situation like this, a system of power is virtuous as far as it can't be overcome by another power. This concern is postmodern one; recognized by theorists such as Foucault, Lyotard, and Jameson. Lyotard posits that efficiency becomes the rubric for goodness in a late-capitalist society. Something is considered good if it produces the maximum amount of output with a minimal amount of effort. But this ignores the effects of efficiency on people. He also highlights the process of legitimation, in which progress (especially scientific progress) becomes a tool through which institutions may legitimate themselves allowing a continued sense of progress to be seen as good regardless of how negatively it impacts the lives of people. The poems contained within this manuscript put scientific knowledge and narrative knowledge in conversation with each other. Through imagery, references, and allusions to nuclear power/culture (one of the most immediately recognizable ways to visualize a large amount of power), they center themselves around the question: is power good? In order to explore this question, aspects related to scientific knowledge (specifically to nuclear power) appear alongside aspects of traditional forms of narrative knowledge (anchored by the symbol of the wolf). As a symbol, the wolf simultaneously represents power, but also symbolizes power as inherently negative or inherently positive. The contradictory nature of this symbol, in which the animal is praised for its strength while reviled for its savagery, perfectly suits it for this sort of discussion— the interpretation of the wolf as a symbol is heavily dependent upon the context in which it appears.

This manuscript functions in opposition to binary and dichotomous modes of thought; as in society, the roles of the each of the manuscript's characters constantly shift as they react to each other. In order to better disrupt these binary modes of thought, the manuscript includes poems that employ a variety of structures, typically eschewing or transmuting received forms.

Disciplines

Creative Writing

Language

English

Available for download on Tuesday, May 14, 2019


Share

COinS