Appointed As

Division of Arts & Humanities


ACLS Emerging Voices Fellowships program


University of California, Berkeley

PhD Field of Study

PhD, English, Wayne State University

Dissertation Abstract

"Enfreakment: Bodies as Spectacle in Children’s and Young Adult Fiction"

In Enfreakment, I investigate contemporary freak show relocations within literature written for young people. I examine the ways in which some young adult novels make use of and critique the nineteenth-century freak show’s historical rituals of display and narrative strategy to demonstrate Western culture’s ongoing treatment of non-normative bodies, including racialized and religiously marginalized individuals, as freak. While I explore how young adult fiction employs the public spectacle of the freak show, I also draw attention to the potential for transgressiveness within these works. Thus, my project raises the following question: To what extent do novels for and about teenagers reshape or borrow historical freak show conventions to destabilize and/or perpetuate norms of embodiment?