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 Co-Chair (if applicable)

Reitz, Christopher

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.