Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2022

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

Author's Department

Graduate School of Art

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Illustration & Visual Culture

Degree Type



This paper attempts to redefine genre as a set of bodily experiences rather than a collection of thematic objects. Beginning with the western genre as a whole and ending with my own comics work, I pull apart elements within specific narratives and analyze them as mechanical divides that disrupt the reader’s experience of time and space. This paper explores these generic arcs that branch from film to comics to video games. The first section of the paper pulls apart the approach I take when looking at genre, one that is influenced by Bahktin’s idea of the chronotope, a time-space defining of genre. Focusing on the example of a cowboy’s hat, I pull out implied meanings and understandings of the object to better understand what effect seeing the hat has on the viewer. I also look at the basic mechanics of how comics work. The second part examines parody in genre and how time and space work to emulate an established pattern within a genre, only to turn that genre upside down. The third part of this essay looks at religiosity as a genre and the profundity that deliberate slowness evokes. It pulls apart one of my comics, Two Tigers, and looks at how its elements of density, simplicity, and flatness give the reader a sense of slowed time and symbolic space. I conclude the paper looking at the wider applications of this kind of analysis, especially as it applies in a teaching environment.



Program Chair

John Hendrix