Date of Award

Spring 5-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

Committee Chair

Steven Barthelme

Committee Chair Department

English

Committee Member 2

Dr. Charles Sumner

Committee Member 2 Department

English

Committee Member 3

Dr. Monika Gehlawat

Committee Member 3 Department

English

Committee Member 4

Dr. Eric Tribunella

Committee Member 4 Department

English

Committee Member 5

Dr. James Robison

Committee Member 5 Department

English

Abstract

How to Remain Childlike examines themes of place and identity, focusing on how regionalism impacts the individual’s perception of self. The stories herein, set in the post-millennial South, focus on characters with a worldly recognition of prevailing misconceptions that cast Southerners as unsophisticated and anti-intellectual. Though these characters recognize the beauty of the South, they possess ambivalence toward the region, a desire to be less insular and more cosmopolitan. This ambivalence, a love for the South coupled with a longing to escape it, highlights the importance of place in the process of self-definition.

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