Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Kara Thompson

Committee Members

Christy Burns

Elizabeth Losh

Nicholas Popper


This project makes an object-oriented analysis of the activity and vitality of the material culture present within contemporary American narratives, with a specific focus on the materiality of the ludic. Drawing upon new ideas of Being developed by Object-Oriented philosophers, this work aims to divert literary analysis’s focus from the non-material, Jamesonian mode of the ‘Political Unconscious’ to a re-energized grappling with the ‘Material Unconscious’ that pervades contemporary texts. As part of this grappling, the work looks at both traditional literary texts and video game and television narratives so as to better understand the activity of the narrative medium itself as ludic object. In analyzing Don DeLillo's Underworld, Square Enix's The World Ends With You, and Peter Berg's Friday Night Lights through this lens, it reveals the manner in which the ludic object vitally interacts so as to produce and negotiate an unconscious Utopian impulse within the texts.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

On-Campus Access Only