Title

naus

Semester of Graduation

Spring 2019

Degree

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

English

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

A collection of poems and nonfiction vignettes, naus entails a navigation of my experience with Tourette Syndrome and, consequently, what it can mean to have a noisy body. Rather than situate noise as a negatively construed iteration of sound, I contend that, following the work of Michel Serres, it is instead a disruption within a system, a parasitical interception, an affective force that has the potential to alter the positions and orientations of a given constellation of bodies, human or otherwise. Similar to how sound, as a verb, can be understood as “to fathom” or “to make sense of,” naus posits noising as both an analytic and as a practice against analysis, a destabilization of a priori understandings of how bodies and body-texts should function, a making unsound.

Formally, the text performs its noisings through the oscillation between reflexive, critical nonfiction sequences and poems exploring a virtual “fantaseascape,” an aqueous space of incipient potentials. Further, many of the poems are formed through the superimposition of their own texts, veering towards illegibility and, consequently, what’s at stake when we cannot logically navigate our bodies and the worlds they inhabit. Additionally, the collection is punctuated by erasures of 19th-century medical literature concerning Tourette’s, including Gilles de la Tourette’s initial case studies and Jean-Martin Charcot’s 1885 lecture on “cases of convulsive tics.” These situate attempts to understand tic disorders in a historical context, and, as erasures, contribute to a dialectical tension between intentionality and automaticity, composition and outburst, acts of silencing and/as noising.

Committee Chair

Glenum, Lara

Available for download on Friday, March 13, 2026

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