Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dr. Mark Baumgartner

Committee Members

Dr. Matthew Holtmeier, Dr. Kevin O'Donnell


Since the end of World War II, the possibility of fascism and totalitarianism as a global threat continues to proliferate in American art and literature to the point that many individuals paradoxically desire the very things that seek to control them. Postmodern literature often portrays fascism and totalitarianism as it exists under contemporary capitalist systems as a multiplicity of discreet machines operating within objects of desire. These objects are complicated by the 24-hour news cycle and the popularity of solitary, on-demand entertainment that in turn mediates the desires and fears of a population through strict control of information. This thesis examines works by George Saunders, Don DeLillo, and David Foster Wallace through a post-structural lens and seeks to explore the moments in these novels where desire and fascism intersect to create an endless, self-replicating form of control that is often too discreet to notice.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.