Open Access Thesis
COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the WHO on March 11, 2020. The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency lasted from January 30, 2020, to May 11, 2023. During this time, abundant literature across disciplines began appearing, assessing the pandemic experience and aftermath. However, there needs to be more investigation and application of the term uncanny in the pandemic experience and literature.
Two short story collections, Out There by Kate Folk and Bliss Montage by Ling Ma, both published in 2022, are works of pandemic literature demonstrating the pandemic's inherent uncanniness and the human experience. The term pandemic-uncanny represents an inherent attachment between these two words and an inseparable experience. Moreover, Freud’s afterwardness is defined and used to describe this term further, as the pandemic-uncanny is a phenomenon that worked to reveal a latent truth in the world, an underlying, traumatic understanding that humans are fragile and not in control of their existence or of the world.
Many stories across the two collections were published previous to the initial onset of the pandemic. Still, their use of the uncanny, their content and analysis of intimate relationships and place, the human condition, and existential understanding speak to the latent, uncanny truths revealed through the pandemic-uncanny. In fact, in the context of the pandemic-uncanny, their content is more profound and sharper, reflecting the hidden truths at the core of human existence that have always been there—existed before the time of the pandemic, in the stories and beneath the surface of human existence—but have now been exposed for all to see and address.
Year of Submission
Master of Arts
Department of Languages and Literatures
1 PDF file (iii, 100 pages)
©2023 Kersten Khaley
Khaley, Kersten, "The Pandemic-Uncanny: Self-Estrangement and Environment in Out There and Bliss Montage" (2023). Dissertations and Theses @ UNI. 1547.