Date of Award

May 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Language, Literature, and Translation

First Advisor

Michelle K. Bolduc

Committee Members

Dragoslav Momcilovic, Peter Y. Paik


Eclectic, Intertextual, Literature, Modernisms, Modernity, Psychoanalysis


In this thesis I interrogate the role of aesthetic modernisms in art and culture, using, as a point de départ, Susan Stanford Friedman’s recent book, Planetary Modernisms. In her book, she lays the ground work for an aesthetic conception of modernisms. She declares the aesthetic experience of modernity is marked by the eclectic recurrence of themes across genres, artistic mediums, or other boundaries, themes which do not always follow one particular system and can be taken from many sources. This essay argues that aesthetic modernisms found in art, when read diachronically, offer a therapeutic perspective on narrativity not only to the artist, but also the reader and viewer who are consumers of it. Therefore, modernisms serve as outlets for human agents to reckon with the experience of disappointment with which human agents are presented throughout their lives.