Honors Theses


David Fine, Ph.D.



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Honors Thesis


This thesis examines Evelyn Waugh’s 1945 Catholic novel, Brideshead Revisited, through the lens of queer theory. My work focuses on reproductive heteronormativity and queer time and how these concepts can be used to analyze Waugh’s text. I argue that Charles and Sebastian, among other characters, step out of the traditional—or heterosexual—timeline in a way that queers temporality. I examine Sebastian, Charles, and Julia to understand how their lonely yet holy lives contribute to a larger tradition of unhappy endings in queer and Catholic fiction. In this thesis, I define reproductive heteronormativity as the assumption that people will follow a heterosexual and reproductive lifestyle. This lifestyle is often associated with the common timeline of finding a job, dating someone of the opposite sex, getting engaged and then married, having children, buying a house, and retiring happily. Following theorists like Jack Halberstam, Sara Ahmed, and Hil Malatino, I define queer time as the failure to replicate the timeline of reproductive heteronormativity. I utilize Ahmed’s definition of happiness, in particular, to revalue Sebastian’s sad story in Waugh’s queer and Catholic novel. Ultimately, my thesis aims to bridge the gap between queerness and Catholicism, creating a space for inclusion and the opportunity to celebrate the unhappy ending.

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Undergraduate research