Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Digital Production Arts

Committee Chair/Advisor

Anthony K. Summey

Committee Member

Eric K. Patterson

Committee Member

Jerry Tessendorf


Trauma is a very common theme in works of fiction, as it is something that all of us
experience in our lives and as a result is emphasized in art. Whether it is injuries, abuse, the loss of loved ones, and much more, trauma is ubiquitous within the human experience. Sometimes trauma can have lasting impacts on an individual’s mental health, often taking the form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD as it is more commonly known. We see this form of mental illness portrayed quite often in the media that we consume. Examples across various artistic mediums include Sarah J.
Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses novels, the long-running Legend of Heroes series of video games; specifically the Trails in The Sky games and Trails from Zero, or the animated series Avatar: the Last Airbender. However, these stories cover not only topics of PTSD and its effects on individuals, but also the significant impact of community and the “family of choice,” or “found family,” on one’s recovery. The goal of this paper is to help contextualize the positive impacts of the found family and its portrayals in media, and tie it into the creative process for the characters and world I have created in Archangel.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.