Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Roberta Herrin

Committee Members

William Douglas Burgess Jr., Sonya H. Cashdan


In the last twenty years, Terry Pratchett's Discworld series has become very popular. Pratchett's success hinges in part on his use of allusion, in what Tolkien called the "Cauldron of Story," and what Pratchett refers to as "white knowledge." This paper explores the Discworld novels and illustrates Pratchett's use and success of storytelling through a few key directions: folk tales, fantasy literature, movies, and rock music.

Pratchett has received limited critical review, mostly of a negative nature, while producing a strong literary series, one crafted with both obvious and subtle recognition of his genre's sources. While standing on the shoulders of giants, Pratchett both respects and scrutinizes the myths and stories that construct our reality. Critically, Pratchett's fiction deserves more respect and closer study; this paper attempts to give him his due.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.