Date of Award

5-14-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Gina Caison

Second Advisor

Paul Schmidt

Third Advisor

Renee Schatteman

Abstract

While scholarship on Lillian Smith and her works has increased in recent years, there is a lack in variety when it comes to how scholars discuss her work. In the same vein, no one has discussed Smith as a critical theorist in her own right despite her analysis of the U.S. South in Killers of the Dream. This thesis argues for re-examining Smith as an unrecognized critical theorist of the twentieth century by analyzing Killers of the Dream. It also explores Smith’s theories in relation to that of Michel Foucault’s and what her theories regarding structural racism add to Foucault’s discussion of biopolitics, state racism, and governmentality in his lectures.

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