Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Megan Sinnott

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennie Burnet

Third Advisor

Dr. Julie Kubala

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Cassie White


Bridging ideas presented in contemporary media analysis and feminist theory, the research presented herein investigates the representations of pregnancy within Angel in order to draw conclusions about the lasting impacts of these story arcs for both the women who fall victim to these violent possessions and pregnancies and the male characters who bear witness as well. Extending this analysis outside of the interpersonal conflicts that emerge between these fictional characters, this thesis argues that these pregnancy storylines serve as a “shibboleth of death” that extends past the minutiae of these characters’ lives and deaths to influence their legacies, or lack thereof. This usage of “shibboleth” highlights the mere mention of pregnancy as an automatic signifier of death for the women of Angel; both on screen and beyond, women are held captive by their reproductive capabilities and exploited for the gains of their male counterparts even after their deaths.


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