MA Creative Thesis Defense for Kayla Geitzler

Tuesday, May 29th, 2:00pm in Carleton Hall, Room 304

Title: That Light Feeling Under Your Feet

Cruise ships are simulacra: manufactured sociological spaces the size of small towns or cities that offer a peculiar hyperreal environment, a fantasy suggestive of traditional ocean liners and a service-dependent bourgeois lifestyle. Through an anecdotal and confessional nature, That Light Feeling Under Your Feet examines the two years I spent as a “Shoppie” or Duty-Free sales associate onboard one Carnival and two Holland America Line vessels.

This poetry collection harnesses the surreal lifestyle and dilemmas faced by cruise ship workers; how individuals come to stoically embrace many problematic elements brought about by life at sea as they become acclimatized to existing within a racialized hierarchy.

Ship staff and crew must also face the inherent isolation, alienation, and disaffectation of this hyperreal dominion. For those who have left this rigorous life behind them, there is often withdrawal: a paradoxical feeling of nostalgia, an inexplicable yearning that indubitably alters their day-to-day lives.

Students, faculty, staff, and the public are welcome!