Semester of Graduation

Spring 2019

Degree

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

English

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The Wooden Boy considers Carlo Collodi’s 1883 classic bildungsroman Le Avventure di Pinocchio to unpack how its intuitive logic allows for the brutal punishment and “cure” of this divergent boy. Informed largely by Southern Studies and Disability Studies’ scholarship, it probes the United States’ continued desire to retell Pinocchio’s story and the text’s legible internalized dominance. Confronting white hegemonic nostalgia as expressed by the nation through media consumption, the puppet is juxtaposed with other abjected bodies, allowing for a larger discourse of whiteness, internalized dominance, and media representations of raced bodies. As such, The Wooden Boy considers the production of translating foreign texts both as a cultural product, one which is consumed, and as a cultural project, one which reaffirms and reimposes its own cultural values and norms. Additionally, this hybrid collection offers an adaptation of Pinocchio that sheds this nostalgia—one which does not situate Pinocchio’s body as in need of regulating, but which affords him internal subjectivity.

Committee Chair

Glenum, Lara

Available for download on Monday, March 16, 2026

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