Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Joan Richardson

Committee Members

Ammiel Alcalay

Wayne Koestenbaum

Subject Categories

American Studies | Art Practice | Arts and Humanities | Creative Writing | English Language and Literature | Fine Arts | Poetry | Rhetoric and Composition | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education | Visual Studies


Interdisciplinary Studies, Poetics, Institutional Critique, Composition, Zora Neale Hurston, Jimmie Durham


This dissertation is an exploration of transdisciplinary creative practice as a means of institutional critique. The artists I have chosen as my primary focus—Robert Kocik, Eleni Stecopoulos, Zora Neale Hurston, Jimmie Durham, Leslie Scalapino and Lyn Hejinian—employ multiple mediums and fields of discourse to address the presumptions and exclusions that are structurally integral to the institutions that house them. They enact “architextural” interventions through their use of forms that move between the page and three dimensional space, incorporating architecture, sculpture, drawing, painting, film, performance, poetry and prose. My work aims at a renewed understanding of critique as such, and therefore—though the artists I bring together work in various mediums—I focus heavily on works of writing, the art form that is generally regarded as the most suitable means of articulating critical positions. In acknowledgement of the pedagogical indispensability of writing in its many critical and scholarly applications, my investigation contains an underlying questioning of conventional approaches to teaching writing. It is not my aim to suggest new, better ways. Rather, I provide an array of examples demonstrating the inventive and transdisciplinary shapes that critical writing may take.