Felix Bridel

Date of Award


First Advisor

Jane Wanninger

Second Advisor

Chris Coggins


This project, drawing from the original contexts and testimonies of the Salem witch trials, and animated by a theoretical apparatus drawn from the work of thinkers such as Hortense Spillers, Gayatri Spivak, and Jacques Derrida, works to probe the boundaries of political legibility through an exploration of embodiment, speech, and alterity. Taking the Indigenous slave Tituba as its focal point, and reading her testimony in light of Cotton Mather's evocation of a landscape irradiated of Indigeneity, this project works to illuminate the foundational limits of theorizations of politicality in and out of history. With an attentiveness to the theological invocations of sovereignty and the temporalities of signification, I try to juxtapose the rhetorical formations in settler colonial historiography and the discourses of Blackness and Indigeneity, in order to illuminate the temporal and spatial mechanisms through which colonial articulations of violence produce and foreclose political subjectivity.

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