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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.
1

Race, gender and empire: transnational and transracial feminism in the first novels of Pauline Hopkins and Olive Schreiner

Barends, Heidi 2015 (has links)
Includes bibliography. White South African author Olive Schreiner (1855-1920) and African American author Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins (1859-1930) are well-known and celebrated literary figures in their own right, but are seldom read side by side. Furthermore, these authors and their works are traditionally placed on different spectrums of feminist literary genealogies despite writing during a similar time-frame and sharing converging feminist agendas. This thesis analyses The Story of an African Farm (1883), Schreiner?s first completed novel, alongside Hopkins? first full-length novel, the romance Contending Forces: A Romance Illustrative of Negro Life North and South (1900). Individually, these novels and their authors do radical work in liberating their female characters from the patriarchal and racial oppression prevalent in each context. This thesis argues that reading the two in tandem offers unique insight into a specifically transnational and transracial feminist consciousness emerging at the turn of the nineteenth century. Identifying multiple links between the novels? feminist concerns and their intersecting negotiations with race and empire, this comparative literary study establishes temporal, spatial and conceptual links between the two works, arguing that these links transcend both the space and race of their novels? local contexts in order to suggest a definitive transnational and transracial feminist awareness. Such a reading moreover disrupts traditional genealogies of western feminism, urging scholars to look beyond the narrow scope of feminist ?waves? and schools in order to detect nuances, convergences and relationships between texts which such genealogies disregard.
2

(Dis)Remembering the slave mother: shame, trauma, and identity in the novels of Michelle Cliff and Zoë Wicomb

Dressler, Mercedes Angelina 2016 (has links)
The 'new' nationalisms that have developed in postcolonial Jamaica and South Africa invite the reclamation of the slave mother, while simultaneously 'cleansing' her body of slavery's atrocities for the purpose of national healing. Michelle Cliff's Abeng and No Telephone to Heaven, and Zoë Wicomb's David's Story and Playing in the Light, reveal this national practice of elision, and especially how the disremembering of slavery factors into personal identity formation. A deeper glance into this process exposes the lingering white supremacist, patriarchal symbolic at the centre of these nations, which maintains its centrality through the erasure of the slave mother and the disavowal of rape - two things which inevitably obscure the intersection of race and sex. The colonial residue of shame and trauma, left uninterrogated in the national script, imprints itself on women of colour and affects our legibility in society today. This dissertation evaluates the exclusion of slavery and the slave mother from the national script, and highlights this exclusion in postcolonial literature to reveal its impact on an intimate level. In my analysis, I interrogate the Lacanian symbolic to showcase the white male universality it employs, which alongside the intersecting discourses of race and sex, render women of colour illegible. Furthermore, in burying the slave past, the traumatic histories of rape are buried with it. Without a platform to excavate this trauma in the national space, there is a resulting disidentification with the nation among the women of colour it fails to represent. Additionally, I suggest that the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders that undeniably ensued postslavery, including Rape Trauma Syndrome (RTS) and what Joy DeGruy calls Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS), are ultimately undealt with and therefore have potentially intergenerational, melancholic ramifications. In narrating the lives of mixed-race characters, both Cliff and Wicomb reveal shame's transgenerational chokehold, resulting from neglected legacies of trauma. For the protagonists' ancestors, shame results in the denial of blackness, which manifests as a lost ideal among their descendants. As the search for identity collapses with ethnognesis and the reclamation of the black mother, Clare Savage's, Marion Campbell's, and David Dirkse's trauma remains unresolved, leading to a state of melancholia and unbelonging. Because the national scripts in Jamaica and South Africa are so exclusive, it becomes necessary to invent alternative modes of belonging. The projects of rememory and memory justice have the power to engender this sense of belonging, and therefore also create a platform for past trauma to be reconciled. In conclusion, I posit that the mining of folklore is crucial in the search for slave memory and collective healing, but also, when the erasure of slave memory has rendered these stories hidden, it is important to generate our own stories, memories, and truths.
3

The postcolonial playground: colonial narratives in contemporary tourism

Smith, Sean P 2016 (has links)
This survey of twentieth and twenty-first century novels, guidebooks, magazines, and the social media platform Instagram illustrates the discursive paradigm by which Western backpacking tourists encounter the formerly colonized world. The "postcolonial playground" avails the non-Western world as a theatre for recreation and meaning-making, an engagement which renders locals as accessories to an experience, perpetuating colonial-era power dialectics that continue to privilege the Western subject over the individuals in whose homes they travel. Ideologically and in praxis, the postcolonial playground has become the naturalized disposition of Western tourists seeking their next holiday. In so many words, the formerly colonized world has been recolonized by tourists, who are oblivious to the regime of privilege that extorts locals in popular tourist destinations.
4

The common reader and the modernist Bildungsroman : Virginia Woolf's The Waves

Timlin, Carrie-Leigh 2016 (has links)
In this dissertation I intervene in and challenge already-existing critical studies of Virginia Woolf's The Waves (1931) that focus on ideas of imperialism, empire and subject-making practices in the novel by arguing for a revisionist reading of The Waves as a Bildungsroman. Unlike the Bildungsroman of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, which utilised standard novelistic conventions to explore the relation between form and reality, I contend that The Waves is a thoroughly modernist reinvention of the Bildungsroman form designed to capture a rapidly industrialising and modernising English society. To capture the socio-political unrest in twentieth-century England at this time, Woolf deviates from the convention of a single-protagonist narration, using multiple perspectives to expose the contradictions in processes of self-formation, especially with regard to the relation between the self, nation and national identity. The correspondence between self, nation and national identity is explored through the silent seventh character, Percival, who I argue is characterised as a hero in the medieval romance tradition to expose the romantic and heroic fictional narratives that provided the framework for ideas of empire and imperialism, then at the core of nationhood and national identity in England. Conversely I argue that the character who narrates a third of the novel's narrative, Bernard, provides us with an alternative to empire and imperialism in subject-making practices. I argue that in the final section of The Waves Bernard deviates from the direct-speech narrative of preceding sections of the novel and engages the reader directly. The reader is thus alerted not only to his or her role as a reader, but also to Bernard's overarching role as primary protagonist in the novel. The reader has progressed alongside Bernard through the narrative in keeping with the genre designation of the Bildungsroman which encourages the progression of the reader alongside the progression of the primary protagonist. The reader is further encouraged in his or her progression by an aesthetic education present in the music and poetry that Woolf incorporates not only in the content, but in the very structure of the text. Two of the novel's characters, Louis and Neville, use poetry to locate their subjectivities within larger historical narratives, while Beethoven's String Quartet No. 13 in B♭ major, Opus 130, informs the structure of the text, contributing to the interactive sonic and non-sonic landscape that actively invites the participation of the reader. The reader's participation in the novel is most fully realised when Bernard addresses the reader directly in the final section of The Waves. This interaction explains and thus concretises Woolf's overarching critiques of empire and imperialism in the novel alongside her proposed methods - which directly oppose the ideology of imperialism - for developing a subjectivity formed in relation to the common, and the individual experience of the common as a historically and materially determined phenomenon. The common in this sense is a community of 'common reading subjects', who like Woolf are not formally educated, but develop a subjectivity through reading premised on an equality of intelligence which enables them to engage critically with, order and make sense of the society and politics of their surrounding world. In this way, I show that Woolf challenges the already existing subject-making practices in twentieth-century England by exposing the contradictions - the exclusion of the marginalised, the poor and women - in ideas of Englishness. She proposes an alternative form of subject-making that is as diverse as her reading public and premised on a non-exclusionary acknowledgement of an equality of intelligence that defies class, gender and social boundaries.
5

Symbolic masters/semiotic slaves : subjectivity and subjection in Atwood, with reference to The circle game and Two-headed poems

Botha, Fourie 2008 (has links)
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 82-86). This dissertation explores the construction of the subject via a relationship of power in two poem sequences, 'The circle game' and 'Two-headed poems', by Margaret Atwood. I argue that Atwood proposes a subject similar to the kind of subject found in psychoanalysis. Like the psychoanalytic subject, Atwood's subject is formed in relation to its other. This relation is essentially a power relation and can become unbalanced, forcing one of the two parties into a subjugated position. Atwood not only exposes these skewed relations of power, but also explores possible solutions for escaping or reconfiguring these relationships. The first chapter briefly discusses theories of the subject by Freud, Lacan and Kristeva. I use Hegel's dialectic between the 'master' and 'bondsman', and subsequent psychoanalytic and postcolonial applications of it, to examine the construction of the subject in terms of an other in Chapter 2. Postcolonial map theory and Kristeva's ideas on the abject are used to verbalize the divisions, but also the interactions, between the subject and its other as well as possibilities of escape. Chapter 3 demonstrates these power relationships, and their expression in cartographic terms, in 'The circle game'. In Chapter 4, I show how processes analogous to the eruption of poetic language into the symbolic order are described in the poetry. Even though these processes do not provide a clear-cut solution to the position of the subjected, their presence signals the possibility of renegotiating unbalanced relationships of power.
6

Responsible responding: the ethics of a literary criticism of the Other

Maserow, Joshua 2013 (has links)
Derek Attridge???s insight that, ???Coetzee???s works both stage, and are, irruptions of otherness into our familiar worlds, and they pose the question: what is our responsibility towards the Other???? (Attridge 2005: JM Coetzee and the Ethics of Reading: Literature in the Event, xii), is conceptually rooted in Attridge???s tour de force on the theory of literary invention, The Singularity of Literature. In it he spins a complex, nuanced and powerful idea about the nature of literature as event in which the notion of otherness, or alterity, plays a primordial part in the advent of the literary. In this thesis, I develop a critique of the way in which a particular strand of literary criticism, which has blossomed in the field of Coetzee Studies, appropriates the ethical philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas in its creation of an ethics-based, theme-reliant interpretive framework. While Derek Attridge, Mike Marais and Stefan Helgesson have each contributed greatly to this critical outlook, which I abbreviate as the ???Levinasian Approach???, I choose to focus my research on the work produced by Attridge. My argument unfolds across two main sections. Section 1 contains a disquisition on pertinent aspects of Levinas???s ethical philosophy to literary aesthetics (Chapter 1). Section 2 consists of two chapters where the first (Chapter 2) is a study of the interface of Levinasian ethics with Attridge???s theory of literature in the event. There, I begin with an exposition of Attridge???s theory of literature, exploring its conceptual bearing on Levinas???s ethics. I make apparent the extent of his indebtedness to Levinas???s ethics by closely examining how and where, in the gestation of his theory, he borrows from Levinas???s ethical writings to develop a discourse on the nature of literature. This I follow up with a look at the nodes of divergence, unveiling the ways in which Attridge departs from Levinasian conceptions in his deployment of Levinasian terms. In conscripting the pseudo-phenomenological and transcendental ethics developed by Levinas into a hermeneutics of aesthetic evaluation and literary judgment, Attridge???s position diverges with undesirable consequence from Levinasian ethics. In the second chapter of Section 2 (Chapter 3) I reveal how Attridge???s method of textual analysis in J.M. Coetzee and the Ethics of Reading goes against the grain of the theory of literary invention he elucidates in The Singularity of Literature. Furthermore, I argue that, in converting ethics into an applicative analytic for the audit of texts, with a view to exploring their literariness, he responds irresponsibly in Levinasian terms to Levinasian ethics. If his position is regarded as Levinasian, certain conceptual problems arise for his critical method. Should Levinas???s ethics be regarded as the source of Attridges???s notion of otherness and alterity, then Attridge???s selective appropriation is methodologically at odds with the source of its possibility, with Levinasian ethics.
7

From denotation to detonation : aestheticization, memory and emphathic readings in trauma narratives

Sheffield, Kimberly 2013 (has links)
My research centers around the representation of traumatic or otherwise extreme human experiences through modes of fictional writing. I am essentially looking into the renderings of unspeakable subject matter that occupies a liminal space in language's functioning. I aim to explore the potentialities of the most irredeemably strange or seemingly incoherent experiences of others, and show that they can be accessed and expressed. Accessing these types of memories or experiences by narrative and the techniques of fictional literature, brings us to a deeper understanding of and engagement with an experience when it is not our own. I believe that looking into the formal techniques of literature can function to provide a point of entry into addressing the integrity and expressibility of experiences and memory's functioning. In my initial section, I aim to give a general sense of the functional definitions and critical influences of the themes of narrative, witness, trauma, and testimony. The difficulties and paradoxes of coherent traumatic witnessing and testimonies are addressed through Laub, Felman, and Agamben - and I suggest that there is a need for something outside the realm of strict nonfiction and memoir in order to keep stories of extreme human experience alive in a cultural consciousness. Ultimately, I posit that the work of imaginative writing benefits and bypasses some of the discrepancies of testimony by means of some of the latitudes allowed by the formal aspects of fiction. The texts whose formal elements are addressed are W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz and Anne Michaels's Fugitive Pieces. Using Austerlitz, I attend to the themes of alienation through looking specifically at narrative style. Using Michel de Certeau's theory of the everyday, I suggest that the contours of the familiar have a specific capacity for expressing profundity in such a way in that they serve as a place of remembering and forgetting. The world to which most people can relate can be the location of an engagement with an experience that was perhaps beforehand beyond the realm of recognizable language. Through Michaels's text, I explore the value of acknowledging a suspicion of language for its shortcomings for capturing the essence of descriptions. Following this, I also make a case for the value of empathic readings, as they serve the purpose of redemption and of fostering hope and healing in the wake of traumatic memory. My research centers around the representation of traumatic or otherwise extreme human experiences through modes of fictional writing. I am essentially looking into the renderings of unspeakable subject matter that occupies a liminal space in language's functioning. I aim to explore the potentialities of the most irredeemably strange or seemingly incoherent experiences of others, and show that they can be accessed and expressed. Accessing these types of memories or experiences by narrative and the techniques of fictional literature, brings us to a deeper understanding of and engagement with an experience when it is not our own. I believe that looking into the formal techniques of literature can function to provide a point of entry into addressing the integrity and expressibility of experiences and memory's functioning. In my initial section, I aim to give a general sense of the functional definitions and critical influences of the themes of narrative, witness, trauma, and testimony. The difficulties and paradoxes of coherent traumatic witnessing and testimonies are addressed through Laub, Felman, and Agamben - and I suggest that there is a need for something outside the realm of strict nonfiction and memoir in order to keep stories of extreme human experience alive in a cultural consciousness. Ultimately, I posit that the work of imaginative writing benefits and bypasses some of the discrepancies of testimony by means of some of the latitudes allowed by the formal aspects of fiction. The texts whose formal elements are addressed are W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz and Anne Michaels's Fugitive Pieces. Using Austerlitz, I attend to the themes of alienation through looking specifically at narrative style. Using Michel de Certeau's theory of the everyday, I suggest that the contours of the familiar have a specific capacity for expressing profundity in such a way in that they serve as a place of remembering and forgetting. The world to which most people can relate can be the location of an engagement with an experience that was perhaps beforehand beyond the realm of recognizable language. Through Michaels's text, I explore the value of acknowledging a suspicion of language for its shortcomings for capturing the essence of descriptions. Following this, I also make a case for the value of empathic readings, as they serve the purpose of redemption and of fostering hope and healing in the wake of traumatic memory.
8

Devouring the father: family and recuperation in Triomf and the Native Commissioner

Emmett, Christine 2013 (has links)
This thesis seeks to account for the largely unprecedented vigour of white writing in post- apartheid South Africa. Though there are a number of contributing socio-economic factors, it argues that there is an inherent ambivalence in many texts written by white South African authors. Texts that are generally designated as 'reconciliatory' or 'reconstitutive' have a latent imperative. The ambivalence of these texts is exposed by my analysis of two prominent South African novels, Marlene Van Niekerk's Triomf and Shaun Johnson's The Native Commissioner. Alongside this concern, is the fact that the white South African family, regulated and constructed by apartheid legislation, provides one means through which post-apartheid white identity can be anatomized. Therefore, the methodology of this thesis is acritical application of Freud's Oedipal family structure and its attendant primal scene. Through this application we find that Van Niekerk's novel is preoccupied with subverting patriarchal Oedipal structures. This is expressed by the dysfunction of the Benade family. One aspect of this subversion is the dissipating and illegitimate patriarch, and his unremarkable death Mol, the mother, is analysed in terms of her disruptive and chaotic power, as well as her dispensation of narrative. The problem with Van Niekerk's text is that itis incapable of suggesting a post-apartheid Afrikaner (white) identity. This is indicated both by slippages in her portrayal of Mol, and by her attempt to counter-position lesbianism as a viable post-apartheid identity. Therefore, the text exposes an anxiety about paternal authority, suggested by the patriarch's death on voting day. Ten years later, I argue, Shaun Johnson attempts to recuperate this paternal white power in his text, The Native Commissioner. In Johnson's novel, George Jameson is represented as a benevolent bureaucrat and a loving father. I argue that though Johnson attempts to represent George's profession as encroaching upon the benign space of family. This is a false opposition in that colonial paternalism is implicit in George's identity as a father. By focussing on the recurrent image of the garden, I proceed to indicate that this novel is primarily about negotiating the Oedipus complex. By reliving the conflict through narration, the narrator identifies with the dead father. In the Oedipus complex, identification results in remorse and guilt, enacting a transmission of power from father to sons. I argue that this text is latently invested in this transmission of power. This indicates that at the heart of the text is an imperative to recuperate the lost paternalistic white power which the narrator's father represents. Therefore, through these analyses I show that the ten year trajectory represented by Triomf and The Native Commissioner latently enacts a process of loss and recuperation which concerns itself with white illegitimated power. This positions mothers in the novels as representing the illegitimacy of this power, and has the capacity to reflect on the ambivalence inherent in post-apartheid white narratives.
9

Beyond reason: revising the place of literature in theories of the uncanny

Anderson, Wesley 2016 (has links)
The psychoanalytic fixation in seeking to validate 'the real' has long overlooked various key components in theories of the uncanny as they relate to literature. The goal of the present study is to reaffirm the roles of uncertainty, ambiguity, and the purposeful lack of closure in the experience of the uncanny, features which will come to form an integral part of a new theory.
10

From "sad black stories" to "useful tragedy": Trajectories of hope in Johannesburg from Kgebetli Moele's Room 207 to Perfect Hlongwane's Jozi

Samson, Kathleen 2017 (has links)
How do emerging black authors write about hope in contemporary Johannesburg, when the horizons of expectation for the present seem to have collapsed? This question informs this dissertation's engagement with Kgebetli Moele's Room 207 and Perfect Hlongwane's Jozi. The dissertation positions itself within the field of Johannesburg studies. It draws from writing which explores the concept of belonging in Johannesburg and the ways in which this is interposed by racisms and narratives of upward mobility. The dissertation places the novels beside one another in order to examine the availability of new scripts about black subjectivities in post-apartheid Johannesburg. It grapples with some of the narratives being drawn upon by emerging black South African fiction writing on the city, and begins to trace connections between the two novels and other texts which have come to define the literary landscape of this field. The novels allow different approaches to these narratives to surface, while enabling the establishment of a trajectory of conceptions of hope. The dissertation first focuses on Room 207 and argues that the novel exposes the limits of the scripts with which it is engaging, but is unwilling to offer an alternative narrative. It then turns to Jozi to argue that the novel presents a new space for hope in Johannesburg as endurance in the city through the work of care. Reading between the two novels, the dissertation seeks to open a space in research on Johannesburg literature for emphasising the concepts of care, community and endurance as alternative modes of being in the post-apartheid city.

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