Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Creative Writing



Major Professor

Richard Goodman

Second Advisor

Randolph Bates

Third Advisor

Anne Boyd Rioux


What makes a man a king? And what makes an American King? In a country with no formal hierarchy, the author identifies four distinctly American icons that have since been deemed with the moniker “king”—Elvis Presley, White Jesus, Walt Disney, and Michael Jackson—and attempts to discover what their lives, their bodies, their innovations, their artistry, and their very desires say about the United States’ culture as a whole. The author also uses these kings to explore her own relationship to men, as well as her relationship with the country she lives in.


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

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