Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Campus Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

English Language and Literature

Committee Member

Charles Cunningham, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Paul Bruss, PhD


This interdisciplinary project, which primarily uses cultural studies methodologies, explores the role of the literary text in relation to both Karl Marx's "material conception of history," as well as Raymond William's idea of a "structure of feeling." Using the novels published by Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs in the 1950s (specifically, On the Road, Dharma Bums, and Naked Lunch), the intent is to gain some understanding of the relationship between the historical moment in which these texts were written and the material conditions affecting both culture and society during the immediate post-World War II era. It will focus largely on the intersectionality between aesthetic representation and political economy during the transition from the modern to the post-modern and the industrial to the post-industrial.