Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Fine Arts

Degree Program

Studio Art and Design, MFA

Committee Chair

Calvert, Tiffany

Committee Member

Reitz, Christopher

Committee Member

Massey, Scott

Committee Member

Orton, Marybeth

Author's Keywords

performance; trauma; politically personal; radical vulnerability; witness and testimony


This thesis document accompanies a body of work that is radically vulnerable, personally political, and emotionally complex. Through my work, I challenge myself and my audience to sit with discomfort and create an environment suitable to generate a nuanced appreciation of pain that approaches its acceptance through humor, confessionalism, and the subversion of tropes against themselves as an act of counter-mimicry. This document situates my work within art-historical context with a primary focus on performance art and applies insight from each artwork referenced to further analyze and defend my own work. Additionally, I use texts relating to Camp sensibility, binary terror, affect theory, and trauma studies to make arguments about my work that both recognize the discomfort I create and honor the potential for said discomfort to be productive and transformative.