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Bring an Axe and Your Wildest Dreams: Post-Apocalyptic Desires, Science Distrust, and the De(con)struction of a Zombie Story

Masters Thesis, CU-Boulder April 2014

Observing the current popularity of the zombie narrative in American culture, this thesis explores the questions “why zombie?” and “why now?” through a combination of research and the creation of an original zombie story. Moving beyond existing criticism which argues that the zombie transforms to fit each generation’s specific fears, I argue that zombie movies, novels, and video games from George A. Romero-onwards continually speak to a distrust of science and scientific progress while additionally romanticizing the post-apocalyptic landscape. Consequently, the zombie’s unprecedented mainstream popularity over the last fifteen years could be read as symptomatic of this distrust intensifying, paralleling an increasing politicization of science and a rise in apocalyptic thinking within the public sphere. Through the deconstruction of my own zombie story, I uncover not only what these timely narratives tell us about our perceptions of the future, but also how they can help us change them.

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Lefting the User-Friendly: An Experiment in Altered Images

Artist Residency with Media Archaeology Lab, June 2014

This project asks the following question: How has the dominance of right-handed media shaped our experiences of it and our world if we believe Marshall McLuhan’s famous quip that the “medium is the message”? By “lefting” various technologies visually, this work seeks to challenge the ideological dimensions of the user-friendly while highlighting the intimate relationship between technological experience and capitalism. Beyond this, “Lefting the User-Friendly” is an attempt at a creative media archaeological approach as idealized by Ernst.

Artist Residency at Media Archaeology Lab 

No longer online, view PDF version.

Catherine as Transgender: Dreaming Identity in The Garden of Eden

The Hemingway Review, May 2013

This essay introduces the possibility that the character of Catherine Bourne can be read from a clinical perspective as a transgender individual who exhibits related desires and behavior. While understanding about transgender identity was not developed in the time of Hemingway's writing, transgenders certainly existed. Recognizing such an individual struggle within Catherine's character helps illuminate some of her complex and contradictory behaviors that have thwarted easy explanation by previous critics. Considered as transgender, she is neither signpost nor scapegoat.

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