Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
This project focuses on British and American speculative novels written between the 1960s and the 2000s that position the reader to critique the contemporary world. Depictions of violent, fictional spaces, or what I call mythscapes, are playing an influential role in literary, political, religious, and even scientific discourses. The mythscape can initiate introspection on real issues by suggesting possible alternatives, conjecturing about potential consequences, and posing compelling comparisons. I define "mythscape" as an imagined space that features: a setting that is nonrealistic and radically different from, yet implicitly contrastive with, material reality; a rhetorical stance, which is inevitably grounded in the author's historical and cultural moment; and the depiction of violent acts which are designed to shock and disturb while engaging the sympathetic emotions of the reader. Such imagined spaces could be fertile ground for rhetorical manipulation: consider, for example, individuals who have moderated their behavior due to imagined fears of the afterlife. Determining the argumentative designs and possible social impacts of such imagined spaces is the primary goal of my analysis.
Harvey, Jonathan R., "Mythscapes: Violent Spaces in Postmodern Literature and Culture" (2010). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 3256.