Academic Essays

Graduate Essays

Afrosurreal Narratives: The Distance Between Contingent and Gratuitious Violence

An examination of how Afrosurrealism (in each of its three waves) functions in poetry and narrative: as a dream and a joke, respectively. This paper examines the poetry of Étienne Léro, Henry Dumas, and Will Alexander; the plays of Aimé Césaire and Amiri Baraka; and the films of Jordan Peele, Janicza Bravo, and Boots Riley.

Written in Spring 2021 for a graduate Independent Study at the University of Texas at Austin. It was presented at The University of Texas at Austin’s 2021 GRACLS Conference and The University of Texas at Austin’s 2020 E3W Sequels Conference.

Undergraduate Essays

Aporia: A Tale of Sittlichkeit and Allosensus

Published with Aporia! A Tale of Rhetoric and Philosophy, this work uses the writings of Thomas Wartenburg and Dmitri Nikulin to prove that art can do the work of philosophy. The paper examines the conflict between rhetoric and philosophy through Hegelian Sittlichkeit analysis (as practiced in his Aesthetics) in the accompanying play.

My undergraduate thesis in General Scholarship (or Interdisciplinary Studies) at Wesleyan University. Awarded Honors.

China is Here, Mr. Burton: A Brief Analysis of Carpenter and Weheliye

An outline of the Weheliyean transhumanism present in 1986’s Big Trouble in Little China. The paper also contains an explication of the Lugonesean world-travelling abilities of each of the characters, including and up to travel into the world of the audience.

Written in the Spring of 2017 for “Continental Philosophy & Its Others” at Wesleyan University.

It’s Pretty, But is It Real? An Historical Examination of Authenticity

Tracing the nature of authenticity from the pre-modern era into the age of digital reproduction, this essay uses Orson Wells’ F is For Fake and Drake’s “Hotline Bling”– in addition to Frankfurt school thinkers– to ask what makes a forgery, and if it even matters.

Written in the Fall of 2015 for “Aesthetics” at Wesleyan University.

Psychomagnotheric Slime or Value Soup? Sittlichkeit and the Ghostbusters

A precursor, of sorts, to my thesis, this paper uses Hegelian Sittlichkeit analysis to illustrate the culture clash, between big government liberalism and small business libertarianism in late 20th and early 21st century America, present in the Ghostbusters franchise.

Written in the Fall of 2015 for “Aesthetics” at Wesleyan University.