English Honors Papers

Document Type

Honors Paper


Julie Rivkin

Publication Date



This paper may only be accessed on the Connecticut College campus until November 15, 2020.


Past scholars of Willa Cather, the American writer known for her novels describing life on the frontier, go to great lengths to explore how colonial settlement, loss, and queerness play their separate parts in her narratives. This analysis seeks to go further and examine how these elements intermingle under the influence of nostalgia. The two works that are analyzed, A Lost Lady and The Professor's House , feature main characters who experience the loss of a queer relationship and who try to regain their lost happiness through a nostalgic indulgence in pastoral memories. These memories, however, are inaccurate, and often erase the negative consequences of colonial settlement and appropriation. This paper ultimately seeks to reconcile the appeal behind Cather's nostalgic appropriation and metaphysical embodiment of the past with its negative consequences.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.