Date of Award

Fall 12-1-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Dr. Olivia Clare

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Joshua Bernstein

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Alexandra Valint

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Jameela Lares

Committee Member 4 School



The following creative writing dissertation, Storm Chasers, includes a critical introduction that situates the individual works within the larger frame of contemporary literary fiction. These short stories explore themes of setting and the natural world, as well as childhood and mental health. Characters interact with their environments, which include waterfronts, cattle ranches, horse stables, Florida beaches, rural school yards, and city streets. Their conflicts are internal ones that are often reflected in their physical surroundings, such as turbulence in weather storms and destruction, or escape in wide, peaceful ranges of open land and sky. Their lives interact directly with the natural world of their environments.

In many of the stories, characters reflect on memories and traumas that correspond with specific environments, and this movement is depicted through braided narratives of past and present scenes. They are observant characters, often too aware and introspective, but their situations demonstrate that loneliness and loss bring their own comfort in familiarity. This collection seeks to explore how emotions regulate themselves both internally, through rumination on events from the past, and externally, through direct contact with the physical, natural world around them. In essence, the stories are about identity and the journey of accepting it or changing it when life moves beyond control.



Available for download on Saturday, December 31, 2050

Included in

Fiction Commons