Blake Wilder

PhD Candidate, English
Graduate Students

Focusing on the troubled history of lynching in American culture, Blake Wilder’s research investigates multiple narrative modes across literary, public, and visual texts to explore how ritualized lynching murders spawned a codified set of racialized masculinities – a symbolic code that regulated rigid behavioral boundaries for white and black men. Elucidating how that symbolic discourse evolved and became separated from its violent origins and how it was exploited for political gain is of vital importance to understanding how the dynamics of lynching continue to affect society today.  Narrative theory is a crucial part of the broad methodology that is necessary to consider how literature is multiply entangled with the symbolic discourse produced by the power structures of lynching culture.