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Date of Award

6-2018

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English Composition

Department

English

First Reader/Committee Chair

Luck, Chad

Abstract

Recollecting the history of the United States, which is inextricably entangled with westward expansionism (Manifest Destiny) and the construction of borders, is also a complex and troubling reexamination of the American identity itself. This is evident in critical perspectives that analyze our violent past and the narratives that continue to govern not only contemporary culture but also the academic sphere as Native scholars have been proposing over the last twenty years. However, what remains vital to this conversation is how to better include the narratives and voices from both native peoples and Mexicans—especially in the southwest borderlands—which also counteract the dominant narratives mentioned above. However, these alternate narratives can be affirmed and authorized as crucial histories by utilizing Baudrillard’s notion of simulacra and at the same time, act as a form of resistance. By reevaluating three crucial moments in The Crossing, Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation, and employing a heuristic I will call the rhetoric of violence, I hope to highlight the importance of such marginalized narratives and the voices that occupy them in American history.

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