Singularities : the interaction of feminism(s) and two strands of popular American fiction, 1968-89

Kelso, Sylvia (1996) Singularities : the interaction of feminism(s) and two strands of popular American fiction, 1968-89. PhD thesis, James Cook University of North Queensland.

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Abstract

The thesis examines how American writers in the popular genres of Female Gothic, Horror, and Science Fiction interact with strands of (mainly) American feminist thought and action, and with the cultural image of feminism(s) during the period 1968-89. The method-ology combines male theorists' work with Marxist, psychoanalytic and other feminist approaches, including gay and lesbian theory and post-colonial perspectives.

The thesis frames its genres theoretically: Female Gothic as the shadow of feminist resistance, Horror as an endorsement of masculinist and normative phobias, Science Fiction as a heterogeneous but potentially more subversive genre that explores cultural and intellectual pre-occupations. It then traces individual writers' progress through the synergy, or ongoing interaction of writers, genres, and changing feminism(s) over the period. The argument of the thesis contests the view of popular fiction as a shadow of canonical literature, indicating that within their various generic constraints the popular writers engage feminism(s) without mediation through 'high' writers' work. At times they actually anticipate the latter and can share in the construction of feminist ideas. These findings then provide both a literary study and a form of feminist history, which argues that the reception and perception of feminism(s) within the American middle-class habitus during the period was a genuinely interactive process, in which feminists must also assume responsibility.

Item ID: 47036
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

American writers; female writers; feminism; fiction; gothic writers; horror writers; popular fiction

Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2017 06:27
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2003 Language Studies > 200302 English Language @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950203 Languages and Literature @ 100%
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