Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




English (MA)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Rachel May


My thesis is a collection of nonfiction narrative essays that explore my relationship with fear: where it comes from, how it affects me, and how to move forward in life despite its sometimes crippling effects. My thesis also takes into consideration the ramifications of inherited trauma and how such shared family history--passed on through the blood or by the stories we share--provides a framework for analyzing my own fear. Like my title essay “Crossroads” implies, I find myself at a pivotal moment in my life--a fork in the road, if you will--and my thesis is an attempt to make a decision about my future by examining my current frustrations and also my past--in particular the moments and experiences in which I found the courage to move beyond fear. My thesis also takes into account how travel and travel literature, with their ability to take one outside one's normal life or experience, can offer perspective and, in the case of actual travel, the opportunity to take risks and grow beyond the limits we all too often place on ourselves.

Access Type

Open Access