English, Department of


First Advisor

Timothy Schaffert

Second Advisor

Hope Wabuke

Third Advisor

Stacey Waite

Date of this Version


Document Type



Master's Thesis, Critical Component, 2019


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 Timothy Schaffert. Lincoln, Nebraska : June, 2019

Copyright 2019 Ilana Masad


This critical component of the creative thesis All My Mother’s Lovers explores the question of fiction writers’ responsibility to themselves, their work, and their readers in the age of social media and easy access of readers to writers and vice versa. Using two examples of recent online controversies, this piece explores the varying ways in which readers respond to writers and writers to readers and rhetorically analyzes the responses of those in positions of power (writers, publishers) as well as the cultural contexts from within which they respond. It then draws conclusions as to the trajectory of these two controversies, finding one to be productive and the other leading to a dead end. This piece then moves to explore its author’s positionality and context as well as how she arrived at her current position, attempting responsible representation, consideration of language and historical stereotypes, and a commitment to listen to and learn from potential reader criticism.

The introduction to the creative thesis All My Mother’s Lovers briefly lists important plot points and the themes its author considered during the writing process.

Advisor: Timothy Schaffert