Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Media, Art, and Text

First Advisor

Archana Pathak


The human subject is profoundly interdependent, in relation to other people and to the surrounding environment, both “natural” and technological. Western dualistic thinking creates bounded and oppositional categories and generates a conception of human subjects as autonomous, self-sufficient beings that are transparent to themselves and in control of self, other, and world. This contributes to the ongoing inequalities in society and supports normative hegemony. This dissertation argues that it is imperative to insist on the intersubjective, permeable, and contingent qualities of existence. While this project is preceded by a great deal of theoretical criticism of Western metaphysical dualism, we must still continually work to break down the binaries of mind and body, self and other, rational and emotional, culture and nature. We need not just to critique the binaries but to generate new ways of thinking. I propose that art can act as a catalyst for thinking the new. Art can queer the boundaries. It is impossible to separate out the mind from the sensual body in the production or reception of art. Art demonstrates how the sensual and affected/affecting body is integral to the thinking subject, not an impurity or distraction that needs to be controlled.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2014