Date Awarded

Summer 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


American Studies


Alan C. Braddock

Committee Member

Susan V. Webster

Committee Member

Eliot Dudik


Sally Mann (1951- ) has spent forty years photographing scenes in the American South, including domestic scenes, landscapes, and portraits. Although scholars generally interpret her work as a reflection of the region’s history of violence and oppression, my research will consider her work through the lens of postcolonial ecocriticism. In her art and writing, Mann portrays the land as an indifferent witness to history, a force intertwined with humanity, lending matter for human lives and reclaiming it after death. However, she also describes the way the environment interferes with her the antiquated technology she uses, creating dramatic flaws that imbue the landscapes with emotion absent from the scenes themselves. My research offers new perspectives on Mann’s body of work, especially the way she grants agency to the environment, thereby giving a voice to silent ecologies or silenced histories.



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