Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-10-2017

Major Department or Program



Jason Pribilsky


This thesis deals with the human and creative dimensions of living in proximity to radiation from nuclear production facilities. The effects of radiation exposure are complex, ambiguous, and unquantifiable. I use anthropological theory on illness narratives and embodiment to argue that through creative writing, people living "downwind" of such production zones are defining a new kind of biological citizenship focused on facets of personal and communal experience. This emerging and collective identity connects writers across national boundaries through their unique portrayals of the body, disease, and recognition that they must define for themselves a level of personal truth that remains unacknowledged by dominant political and scientific discourse.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Narratives, Chernobyl Nuclear Accident‚ Chornobyl’‚ Ukraine (1986), Manhattan Project (U.S.), Radiation Exposure, Radiation -- Health aspects, Nuclear facilities, Creative ability, Radio Fallout -- Adverse effects, Hazardous waste sites -- Downwinders, Hanford Site (Wash.), Nevada Test Site (Nev.), Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2017 -- Anthropology Department

Permanent URL

Document Type

Whitman Community Accessible Thesis



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