Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2024


Spethman, S. (2024). Asserting Individuality in a Futuristic Dystopia: A Critical Analysis of “Dirty Computer.” Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Sam Spethman 2024.


"Dirty Computer" is a groundbreaking science fiction film directed by visionary artist Janelle Monáe, which delves into the complexities of individuality in a dystopian future dominated by oppressive societal forces. Through intricate narrative construction and thematic depth, the film asserts the indomitable nature of human identity against the backdrop of advanced technology and mind control. This paper explores how "Dirty Computer" challenges traditional narratives of conformity and celebrates the power of self-expression and authenticity. By employing critical lenses such as feminist, queer, and racial critiques, along with narrative and visual analysis techniques, the analysis highlights Monáe's embrace of her Black queer identity and advocacy for inclusivity.