Department Chair

Dr. Ralph Wahlstrom, Chair and Professor of English

Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

English, M.A.


English Department


Dr. Lorna Perez

Department Home page

First Reader

Dr. Lorna Perez

Second Reader

Dr. Jennifer Ryan-Bryant


Genre fiction can be used to explore literary themes found in marginalized literature such as Alicia Gaspar de Alba’s Desert Blood: The Juárez Murders, Emma Pérez’s Forgetting the Alamo or Blood Money, and Octavia Butler’s Kindred. Each author uses the respective genres of hard-boiled detective fiction, American Western literature, and science fiction to explore the elements of borderland literature and the neo-slave narrative. These elements include hybrid identities, the clash between two cultures, disjunctive localities, and the marginalization of both ethnic groups and women. This thesis will show how each genre’s elements are used to further explore the elements of borderland fiction and the neo-slave narrative and will argue that the conventions of genre and the political concerns of borderland literature and neo-slave narratives are mutually constitutive. This thesis will demonstrate that the conventions of genre, rather than detracting from the important political work of the novels, actually heightens it effectively, highlighting the radical work that genre can do.