Date of Award

Fall 12-27-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Janet Neary

Second Advisor

Amy M. Robbins

Academic Program Adviser

Janet Neary


In the autobiographical illustrated novel Fun Home, Alison Bechdel uses various art styles and comic techniques to examine her father’s life as a closeted gay man and his tragic suicide, as well as her own childhood and experience with homosexuality. This thesis explores how Bechdel uses the medium of the graphic novel to showcase different visual perspectives and ways of bearing witness to the past, memory, trauma, and interpersonal relationships, showing how they converge to create the story of how one generation’s model of queer identity can impact and shape the next. Bechdel presents multiple points-of-view in her exploration of queer life, bears witness to her father’s life, and, in many ways, presents their shared experiences with homosexuality as mirror images—similar, but divergent in key ways.



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