Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Humanities and Cultural Studies

Major Professor

Brook Sadler, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Daniel Belgrad, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Brian Connolly, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lisa Logan, Ph.D.


affect theory, archaeology, early America, Indigenous, Puritan, wigwam


Scholarship surrounding captivity narratives long agrees that the psychological and philosophical beliefs of their authors lend insight into the contemporaneous hegemonic power structures through literary forms. Looking beyond these forms to the places they describe, however, illustrates the extent to which cultural perceptions infiltrate even the mere relationships that individuals have with their environment as well as the material structures surrounding them. I focus the role of place in Mary Rowlandson’s narrative, The Soveraignty and Goodness of God (1682). I argue that Rowlandson forms an attachment with the wigwam on account of her traumatic experiences while in captivity. Her displacement from Puritan culture not only uproots her geographical positionality, but also psychologically destabilizes her. Without a community and other identificatory social and material markers that associate her with her Puritan upbringing, Rowlandson is forced to form her own residence and identity anew. Through the lens of place theory and affect theory, I shift the discourse surrounding this narrative from literary forms to spatial recognition. Effectively, this study’s revisioning of Rowlandson’s narrative through the function of place uveils the historical misrepresentation of place as a Puritan-based concept, one which contributed to the erasure of indigenous heritage and cultural practices through its repeated publication.