English, Department of


Date of this Version



Hiebner, Charles D. "Exploring Colonial Identity and a Growing Ecoconsciousness on the Great Plains." M.A. Thesis. University of Nebraska - Lincoln, 2015.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: English, Under the Supervision of Professor Frances W. Kaye. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2015

Copyright 2015 Charles D. Hiebner


This thesis is an exploration of my journey from an unapologetic industrial agriculturalist to a more environmentally sensitive citizen. I now recognize the inescapable relationship between colonialism and environmental issues surrounding water resources on the Great Plains and how these intertwined issues affect both the planet and its inhabitants. Specifically, I look at literature as both the catalyst and sustainer of my still-growing environmental and social consciousness. From important literary works encountered as a youth to the ecocriticism and explorations of social justice of the readings I engage in today, I examine how these literary choices have led me to create a work of environmental discourse about water on the Great Plains. This attempt to highlight the ecological issues that have become important to me as a result of these literary influences also serves as the beginning of a reconciliation with identity and place.

Adviser: Frances W. Kaye