Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Dr. Joe Wlodarz


This dissertation examines the work of contemporary director Quentin Tarantino in light of the concept of pastiche. After beginning with an outline of recent scholarship on postmodern pastiche, an analysis of criticisms of Tarantino’s use of pastiche in both Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction will provide a reference point for engaging with his later use of the mode. Richard Dyer and Ingeborg Hoesterey’s concept that pastiche can facilitate a critical potential in cinema will be privileged. Accusations of mistreatment and nontreatment of females, and of prioritizing a white masculine cool nostalgia for performative cool black masculinity will be challenged by Jackie Brown and Death Proof. A textual breakdown of both films showcases Tarantino’s proposed re- contextualization of gender in regard to genre. Through a grounding of history the use of pastiche allows Tarantino to comment on the nature of nostalgia and what this can tell us about our relation t ohistory. The purpose of this analysis is to assess both the films’exploration of cultural memory in relation to film history, and to document how Tarantino reframes his own conventions for screening both gender and race.



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