Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Grace Burton

Second Advisor

Rachel Seligman


The work of artist David Wojnarowicz continues to illicit controversy 20 years after his death. Recently censored at the Smithsonian, his work is an example of the power of art as a tool for resistance and elucidation of not only political oppression, but cultural as well. Wojnarowicz explored the hegemonic relationship between agency and structure, making private moments public to dispel the notion of a ' one tribe nation'. Starting with a theoretical framework based on Pierre Bourdieu's concept of field production and ending with Giorgio Agamben's theory on the state of exception, this iconoclastic artist is examined to explore the power of his work from the late 1970s to the height of the AIDS crisis.