Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2022

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 critical essay accompanies and describes my thesis project, Medievalia Miscellany, a magazine for middle-grade readers which explores the world of medieval fantasy through art, comics, stories, and activities. Throughout the essay, I use my own term “archaeological upcycling” to discuss and explore a variety of relationships between ideas of parts and a whole. I then use it to characterize the way stories are created out of many different parts and how these parts help a reader to relate to both the world of the story and the world in which they live. I describe the genre of medieval fantasy and how the cultural concept of medievalism is formed through popular media. Throughout the essay, the imagery of curiosity cabinets is evoked as a way of describing modular formats which provide space for the individual while maintaining a cohesive sense of the whole. I describe and summarize research into the contemporary renaissance faire, using both it and personal experience to critique and examine interactions with imaginary worlds created through stories which have real world outcomes. Finally, I describe examples from my project that relate to the themes of interactive stories, identity and community, and the cross-section of history and fiction present throughout the essay.



Program Chair

John Hendrix