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Dukelow, Alisha (2020) Pareidolia. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Pareidolia is a poetic cross-genre (creative writing) manuscript in three parts that interrogates techno-colonial-capitalism’s and the medical and wellness industrial complexes’ individualizing constructions of mental health and illness. The first part is comprised of lyric poems that conceptually foreground the mediated and/or dissociated psychology of the speaker in the digital age. The second part draws on the form of the feminist surrealist short story to defamiliarize themes such as nature, medicalization, and neoliberal routine. Finally, the third part hybridizes poetry and the essay in a case study of three monuments from 1962 that I see as co-featuring in creating our dominant societal affective atmosphere: the International Style building, Place Ville Marie, erected as an “archetype of technological know-how” in its “physical, aesthetic, and emotional presence” (Place Ville Marie: Montreal’s Shining Landmark, Vanlaethem, France et al., 9), and the concurrent publication of two psychological texts by major emotion theorists, Silvan Tomkins’s Affect Imagery Consciousness and Magda Arnold’s Story Sequence Analysis. 
With references, mainly, to affect theory and various figures of the modernist canon, I plumb the material and ideological origins of our cruelly optimistic state of political and climate crisis. I examine, further, the technological prescriptions and products that have become ubiquitous. How does our dependence on such products and diagnostic and commodifying formulas of thinking shape our emotional and physical dynamics with ourselves, others, and the land? How do our products and formulas alter or distort the way we project ourselves in the past, present, and future? Pareidolia—inspired by contemporary thinkers like Lisa Robertson and Dionne Brand as much as Sianne Ngai and Anna Tsing—attends to the porous and temporally fluid relationship between the body, mind, technology, and environment.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Dukelow, Alisha
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:1 March 2020
Thesis Supervisor(s):Bolster, Stephanie
ID Code:986675
Deposited By: Alisha Dukelow
Deposited On:30 Jun 2021 15:03
Last Modified:01 Apr 2022 00:02
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