David’s PhD thesis combined an examination of religious experience in contemporary fiction, and a novel.
PhD awarded 2014
David Fleming is a writer from Boston, Massachusetts. He holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop (2008), and his short stories have appeared in Mississippi Review and Chicago Quarterly Review. He commenced his PhD in 2010.
David writes: 'The creative component of my PhD was a novel about a family of fundamentalist Christians living in the western United States. I was interested in the increased prevalence of these "closed" groups in American society, and the ways that these groups reflect (and react against) the larger culture.
'For my critical component I researched the ways authors have used God-and-Devil figures to reveal the conflict inherent in the development of individual identities within changing social contexts. Starting with Melville's Moby Dick, and proceeding to specific works by William Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy, and others, I discussed the ways that writers have framed their analysis of changing social contexts by creating figures that embody religious archetypes. What is gained in this process, both within the novel and as an element of craft? How has this pattern evolved in literature?'