Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Daniel Doll

Second Advisor

Reggie Poché

Third Advisor

Elizabeth Steeby


Though Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein over two hundred years ago, many of the main themes of alienation and revenge featured in Shelley’s novel reappear in HBO’s Westworld in 2016. This thesis establishes a genealogy for the stories of artificial people and analyzes the relationship between human beings and artificial life, as it is portrayed in speculative fiction and popular media. The popularity of robots and cyborgs is associated with people’s fear of technology, but their stories are often used as an allegory to explain aspects of the human experience that are unknown or difficult to understand. As artificial intelligence becomes seamlessly integrated into human life, the relationship between humans and machines merges into a posthuman conception of life.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

Available for download on Thursday, May 22, 2025