Third Culture

Open Access
Author:
Englert, Henry Ulysses
Area of Honors:
English
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Elizabeth Kadetsky, Thesis Supervisor
  • Marcy North, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • autofiction
  • nonfiction
  • Third Culture
  • foreign relations
  • Anglo-American special relationship
  • England
Abstract:
Third Culture is a work of experimental autofiction that follows a manic, troubled, unnamed American student on a single day of his study abroad trip in London. Throughout this day, the student interacts with a diverse cast of characters whose differing nationalities, upbringings, and psychographics throw every social situation into a state of 21st century-globalist-whatever-have-you-confusion. Such confusion is especially troubling to the student, who undergoes an identity crisis of his own while trying to figure out where he stands with Rena, the Dutch-American Muscovite he has been seeing on-and-off over the years. On top of all this, he is trying and failing to write a research project, which he feels “too removed from a shared reality” to finish. As the story progresses, the reader will hopefully experience a whole other social world, removed from any easy national or cultural signifiers or character types to which they can relate. The student and the other characters are deep within in a ‘third culture’ - where no person has a true home, no character a set identity, and no two individuals a shared language. The thrust of this story is the process figuring out a way in which to navigate this rough social terrain while retaining respect and love for those around you.