David Bowie, one of the most recognizable names in the history of modern music, is primarily famous due to his constantly reinvented public image and often flamboyant alter-egos. However, throughout all his distinct stylistic eras, the presence of science-fiction, fantasy, and horror themes has remained a constant characteristic of his work. It is found on stage and in the studio as a singer and musician, as well as on-screen in his theatrical and television career. This thesis explores how his personal fascination with these genres has influenced his career, through the inclusion of specific references to works of fiction in his writing, as well as more generalized imagery and themes. Interestingly, as Bowie’s career has progressed, he has admitted to not only drawing from outside sources, but recycling and revisiting his previous work as well. Overall, due to the unique themes present throughout his career, Bowie can be used as a case study of sorts to illustrate how, rather than creating completely original work, modern writers and performers create from the synthesis of works they are fans of.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2014


Greg Engstrom

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level