Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

English

Advisor

Lisa Hinrichsen

Committee Member

Sean Dempsey

Second Committee Member

Yajaira Padilla

Abstract

This work aims to explore the themes of pragmatism and liminality, particularly as they pertain to spirituality, in Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop. By taking an interdisciplinary critical approach to the novel, I will synthesize its spiritual affect into a sensibility called “pragmatic liminality.” Finally, I will connect this sensibility to other works in the Southwestern literary canon and elucidate the foundational importance that pragmatic liminality has to the Southwestern “sense of place” and its role in the larger narratives of regionalism in American literature.

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