Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Michael Knight

Committee Members

Allen Wier, Michael Keene


Empress' Story is a creative thesis written by Brandy Michelle Yates in partial fulfillment of the Master of Arts in English degree. Empress' Story explores four days in Empress' adolescent life in which her best friend, Roni, is raped by a deacon in the church they both attend. Empress' Story is not a coming-of-age story; instead, it focuses upon race, gender, rape, and religion in a small Southern town. The way the town handles the rape of Roni is an example of the social context and stigma that surround the deeply personal actualization of people and their actions. This thesis looks to explore the deeply intricate complexities of the nature of humanity.

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