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WITH SLABS, BONES, AND POLES: DE/CONSTRUCTING NARRATIVES OF HURRICANE KATRINA IN JESMYN WARD’S SALVAGE THE BONES, NATASHA TRETHEWEY’S BEYOND KATRINA, AND SELAH SATERSTROM’S SLAB

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abstract
This thesis incorporates literary trauma theory, social theory, and cultural trauma theory in an examination of three texts about Hurricane Katrina: Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones (2011), Natasha Trethewey’s Beyond Katrina (2010), and Selah Saterstrom’s Slab (2015). The texts are arranged by form, beginning with Ward’s novel, followed by Trethewey’s hybrid memoir, and finally, Saterstrom’s experimental novel. The trajectory demonstrates the complexity not only of the storm but also of trauma—a theoretical concept that disrupts linear time, an experience that necessitates, yet eludes language, and a process through which collectivities make sense of “social pain.” Ultimately, this project affirms Hurricane Katrina as cultural trauma—Katrina shattered a collectivity’s identity, exposed the underlying fissures of American politics and biopolitics, and set the stage for competing narratives to tell, at least attempt to tell, the “true” story of one of the “costliest” storms in American history. Yet, even cultural trauma, comprehensive as it is, does not encompass the complexity of Katrina.
subject
Gulf Coast
Jesmyn Ward
Katrina
Mississippi
New Orleans
Salvage
contributor
Lang, Vivian (author)
Ruocco, Joanna (committee chair)
Still, Erica (committee member)
Bowie, Rian (committee member)
date
2016-05-21T08:35:49Z (accessioned)
2016-05-21T08:35:49Z (available)
2016 (issued)
degree
English (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/59307 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
WITH SLABS, BONES, AND POLES: DE/CONSTRUCTING NARRATIVES OF HURRICANE KATRINA IN JESMYN WARD’S SALVAGE THE BONES, NATASHA TRETHEWEY’S BEYOND KATRINA, AND SELAH SATERSTROM’S SLAB
type
Thesis

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