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Wednesday, April 26 • 1:40pm - 2:00pm
The Defense Of History: Willa Cather's Tell-Tale Heart

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Willa Cather’s O’ Pioneers! examines the appropriation of art and spirituality through episodic historical narratives. This novel regenerates histories of greed, unrequited love, and madness to puncture Western ideologies of expansion, feeling, and spirituality. Despite her recognition of the complexities of history, Cather’s authorial intent is blunted by her own anxieties surrounding her existence outside of the heteronormative. Despite her recognition of the function of history, pulling from Phillip Sidney’s The Defense of Poesy and Edgar Allen Poe’s “A Tell-Tale Heart”, her semiotic methodology failed to reform conventions related to literary form and psychoanalytic thought. My thesis demonstrates that Cather’s audience did not understand her project and intention, in part because of Cather’s own concerns regarding censorship and her culture’s insistence on social conventions.


Wednesday April 26, 2017 1:40pm - 2:00pm PDT
232 Karpen Hall