Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts

First Advisor

Donna Beth Ellard, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Tayanna Hardin

Third Advisor

Sister Fred


Body, Colonizing narratives, Decolonization, Fantasy literature, Performativity, Spectacle


This thesis engages the figure of the Chosen One in fantasy literature. The Chosen One arises as a key figure in fantasy and exists today in the Anglo-American literary imagination as a hero above other heroes. This figure embodies Anglo-American understandings of the Hero's Journey and savior narratives theorized by Joseph Campbell. It is a site of colonial triumph and violence and heteronormative white masculinity. Embedded into reiterations of Chosen Ones in American fantasy films and television, this body is being destabilized and decolonized.

In close readings of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars, Buffy Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and T'Challa in Black Panther, these characters decolonize the body of the Chosen One through the expected performance of this hero by engaging with Judith Butler's theory in Performativity. However, each of these characters experiences colonizing violence and narratives thrust upon them due to their racialized and gendered bodies, turning them into spectacles. These narratives confirm Anakin, Buffy, and T'Challa are antagonizing the heteronormative white male body. While the Chosen One has not been fully decolonized, the steps these characters are taking to change the performance and expected body of this identity show it to be changing for the better.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Alise Marie Wisniewski


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

78 p.


Literature, English literature, American literature