Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

English, MA

Committee Chair

Stansel, Ian

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Anderson, David

Committee Member

Anderson, David

Committee Member

Boone, Stephanie D.

Author's Keywords

fiction; short story; race; medicine; virus; ghetto


This thesis consists of a collection of linked short stories, connected at the intersections of medicine, public health, race, gender, and socioeconomics. The Sick Ones was completed during a time of social unrest and the emergence of the Covid-19 virus. Inspired by medicine’s history of exploiting sick, poor, and racialized bodies, The Sick Ones explores the treatment of illness and societal woes in a near-speculative future. Each story is plot-driven, but complimented by a protagonist who keeps the narrative grounded, as they attempt to survive unprecedented circumstances. Some of the protagonists are complicit in their own medical exploitations, while others unwittingly participate as casualties of a flawed institution. And still for others, the goal is to hold tight to their personal autonomies, even if it means death for themselves, and possibly the ones they love.