Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of English

Content Description

1 online resource (vi, 156 pages) : illustrations (chiefly color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Edward Schwarzschild

Committee Members

Aashish Kaul, Kir Kuiken


Ecocriticism, Fiction, Flat ontology, Literary theory, Multimodal, Salt, Chemical reactions, Photography, Artistic

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Creative Writing | Environmental Studies


Hal: A Romance is a multimodal work composed of short stories, meditations, poetry, photography, and essays that together explore the great love affair of Sodium and Chloride that gives us salt. This is an ethical project concerned with expanding the voice and representation of actantcies beyond the human in the craft of writing and in the public imagination. The project intends to be a praxis that plays through a flat ontological orientation, including various strains of New Materialism and Object-Oriented-Ontology, some of the ideas from which are addressed directly in the section “Loving: A Primer.” Individually and collectively, the pieces experiment with voice, structure, and language to attempt a polyvocal, defamiliarizing, and necessarily incomplete, rendering of the chimeric lifeworld of salt as it travels through its metamorphoses chemical, biological, historical, and geological.