Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Roberta Herrin

Committee Members

Theresa A. Lloyd, Anthony P. Cavender


In Selu: Seeking the Corn-MotherÆs Wisdom, Awiakta enlists the reader to participate on the path to knowing Selu, Corn-Mother to us all. In particular, the book provides a reader with a text that blends ancient Cherokee teachings of the oral tale of Selu with contemporary Western, Appalachian-American thought and experience. Awiakta adopts and adapts Selu in order to capture and express the essence of the tale within a contemporary American aesthetic.

Though Awiakta's approach is didactic, it rises above mere teaching to achieve an aesthetic characterized by accessibility, simultaneity, and liminality. She purposely combines stories, poems, teachings, histories, and cultural reflections to produce art that is dynamically personal and cultural. The purpose of this study is to investigate how Awiakta's construction of art surpasses didacticism to express the liminality of the author's cultural identity.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.