Term of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Literature and Philosophy

Committee Chair

Howard Keeley

Committee Member 1

Dustin Anderson

Committee Member 2

Joe Pellegrino


There is a long history of returning to a collective past or history during periods of cultural anxiety in human history. In what I term late-imperial anxiety comes a slew of writers returning to mythology and folklore in response to changing cultural and political environments around them. T.C. Boyle is living in a vastly changing America during the 1960s and 70s when he writes and publishes his first novel, Water Music. Boyle participates in the tradition of hearkening to the past to face the future by drawing from popular Irish mythology for his novel. In it he adapts popular heroes like Cú Chulainn into a familiar, yet innovative, new form in response to America’s fast-growing disillusionment domestically and abroad

Research Data and Supplementary Material