Archaeology; or, the school of resentment

Document Type



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor's Name

Denise Duhamel

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Bruce A. Harvey

Third Advisor's Name

Campbell McGrath

Date of Defense



ARCHAEOLOGY; OR, THE SCHOOL OF RESENTMENT is a novel in verse and other genres that, on the one hand, follows the progress of Nancy Drew as a new votary of Dionysos who has too long been on a detour in the Apollinian realm, and, on the other, records the excavation of psychological sites by Nancy’s Africanist alter ego, Sarah Fumeaux, archaeologist and historian of humanity.

The trajectories of the two female protagonists are chronicled in the tradition of the feminist long poem. The work explores postlapsarian ways in which race and gender disturb life. Nancy’s quest as Dionysiac votary drags the archaeologist into peril in a process that finally decolonizes the archaeologist’s soul and restores balance to Nancy’s sidetracked self. As plot, the work reconsiders the Modernist and apparently politically incorrect feminism of Virginia Woolf as expressed in Three Guineas. As aesthetic object, the poem weaves through a collage of shadows of imperial dismantling cast by the work of Anna Akhmatova, Anne Carson, Nick Carbo, Colette, H.D., Denise Duhamel, Sergei Eisenstein, Robert Hass, Audre Lorde, Campbell McGrath, Frank O’Hara, Sylvia Plath, Gertrude Stein, Stephanie Strickland, Eleanor Wilner, and others.

Laying bare the detritus of patriarchal convention that began with the Ur- metaphor of Aristotle, ARCHAEOLOGY; OR, THE SCHOOL OF RESENTMENT represents one poet’s exploration of the relationship of excavation to literature, of landscape and silence to history, of text to body, of metaphor to news.



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