Semester of Graduation

Spring 2022


Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



Document Type



A Tendency to Forget and Other Minor Failures is an elegiac memoir about strange attachments. As she chronicles her relationships with pioneering queer theorist, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and her grandfather, a periodontist who died of Alzheimer’s, Kennedy pursues the unexpected in grieving and forgetting. This collection of critical and personal essays form a kind of meta-novel, which follows its narrator’s reading practice across time and space as she asks after absences particular to Alzheimer’s and answers with the kinds of love one can only find at a distance.

Drawing on the work of Roland Barthes, Italo Calvino, Renee Gladman, and Ocean Vuong, Kennedy invites her reader to participate in the making of this text through the repeated imperative, “Imagine a book…” With each refrain Kennedy offers an attempt at an ideal book, which might allow her grasp what is beyond her reach. As these attempts fold into failure, Kennedy seeds again and again the possibilities of something else.

Committee Chair

Ruffin, Maurice



Available for download on Friday, April 06, 2029

Included in

Nonfiction Commons