Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects



Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name



Biography and Memoir


Jason Tougaw

Subject Categories

American Material Culture | American Popular Culture | Ceramic Arts | Fine Arts | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Nonfiction | Sculpture | Women's Studies


Memoir, coming-of-age, LGBT, American South, material culture, porcelain


In Precarious, a coming-of-age memoir set in Missouri’s Ozarks, a teenage Sumner works as a waitress in a country-western themed bar where she meets figures of American giftware fame. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the southern town’s tourism was driven by the giftware company’s headquarters and religious theme park that features a chapel boasting millions of visitors. Through her relationship with the art and the people behind it, Sumner develops a kind of appreciation with lasting effects.

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