Author

Brandon Galm

Date of Award

12-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Mike Sell

Second Advisor

Susan Comfort

Third Advisor

Veronica Watson

Abstract

This dissertation examines three primary texts related to Hurricane Katrina: the 2012 film Beasts of the Southern Wild; Jesmyn Ward’s 2011 novel Salvage the Bones; and the HBO television series Treme, which ran from 2010-2013. In addition, the dissertation looks at the role that testimonial narratives of survivors play in the formation of these Post-Katrina texts, by examining those testimonies on their own and in relationship to the literature. The critical approaches utilized throughout include critical race and whiteness studies, ecocriticism and environmental justice perspectives, narrative temporality (including a new concept the author has derived, called the pantemporal event space), and trauma and testimony analysis provided by Shoshana Felman and Dori Laub. By incorporating these various approaches and the ways they intersect in the texts, the author seeks to unify and define Post-Katrina literatures under a working schema for analyzing Post-Katrina texts and their exploration of these themes, as well as providing a mechanism for understanding the racial, political, and environmental forces at play in the disaster itself.

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