Date of Award


First Advisor

Rebecca Fiske

Second Advisor

Jacob Fossum


My senior thesis, "Infected: The Experience of the Female Artist" deals on a theoretical level with the inherently feminine "anxiety of authorship", as proposed by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, and its application to my own creative process as a female artist. Through a detailed textual explication of Gilbert and Gubar's own work "Infection in the Sentence: The Woman Writer and the Anxiety of Authorship" I was able to unearth themes of disease, creative anxiety, and patriarchal suppression of the female spirit. By applying these themes to my own creative process, I contemporized and problematized the questions presented by Gilbert and Gubar. In order to best apply this content to myself as an artist, I had to construct a creative paradigm in which they would be significant. To do this, I gave myself the task of creating one self-portrait (of varied media but fixed size) every day for one hundred days, for a total of one hundred self-portraits. In doing so I was able to face head-on the problem of female anxiety of authorship. This project allowed me to view Gilbert and Gubar's writings not only as a theoretical work, but also as a literary explanation for my own personal processes.

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