Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Duncan Barlow

Second Advisor

Prentiss Clark

Third Advisor

Melanie Wood


Memoir, Small Town, Friendship, Place Attachment, Solastalgia

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities


This paper contains a memoir and artist statement. I determined my relationship to a small town in Iowa, my personal tragedy and friendship. I chose to focus the story on the course of one year in my life, specifically, my senior year of high school. During this time, two defining moments of my life happened in rapid succession, which quickly led to the downfall of several close friendships. After leaving and removing myself from this situation, I came to realize those I blamed, my friends and the town as whole, perhaps deserved more credit than I was giving them. Throughout the course of this project, I also set about researching what makes a person connected to their town and how this connectedness determines desire to leave. These themes tied into my story by informing the background and reasoning used to categorize groups of people. These themes are place attachment, which is the relationship and bond one shares with the place they live, and solastalgia, which is the feeling of nostalgia for a place of lost solace. During the course of this project I found memoir and nonfiction story telling effective tools for explaining an experience that may not be universal but present a universally recognized feeling.



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