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Title:Underground literature: Reshaping gender and nation in British and Irish fiction, 1871-1935
Author(s):Martinez, Michelle Marie
Director of Research:Mahaffey, Vicki
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Mahaffey, Vicki
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Courtemanche , Eleanor; Gaedtke, Andrew; Hansen, Jim
Department / Program:English
Discipline:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):British Literature
Irish Literature
Science Fiction
Underground
Subterranean
Invasion Fiction
Masculinity
National Identity
H. G. Wells
Joseph O'Neill
Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Bram Stoker
The Time Machine
War Games
Little Wars
Miniatures
The Snake's Pass
Bogs
Hollow Earth
Gothic
Gothic Mode
Land Under England
The Coming Race
Irish Bogs
National Identity
Gender
Speculative
Speculative Fiction
Underworld
Democracy
Totalitarian
Fascism
Fascist
Nineteenth Century
Twentieth Century
Victorian
Modern
Modernism
Irish Modernism
British Modernism
Mary Elizabeth Bradley Lane
Mizora
Abstract:This dissertation compiles a varied archive of British and Irish “underground literature”; forgoing an encyclopedic documentation of underground spaces for a series of case studies of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century texts, it demonstrates how the unusual and unusually durable topoi of underground space acts as a proving ground for intersections of gender dynamics and national identities that, for a variety of reasons, are less common in non-speculative environments. These texts span an impressive array of genres, including satire, utopia, science fiction, adventure and imperial romance, invasion fiction, and the Hollow Earth tradition. Chapter One identifies four modes working together to form the unique narrative resonances and affordances of fictional underground spaces: the scientific, the science fictional, the Gothic, and the utopian. The following chapter resituates the previously instrumentalized Norah Joyce as the central figure of Bram Stoker’s The Snake’s Pass (1890), bringing new complexity to portrayals and performances of gender in Stoker’s novel. My third chapter pairs H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine (1895) with his gaming books, Floor Games (1911) and Little Wars (1913); in it I offer an account of how the miniature and the underground work together to promote a masculinity that preserves itself through pacifist ideology, becoming a breeding ground and repository for not only Wells’s utopian projects and dreams of a global state, but for Britain’s fear of the rise of totalitarian politics. The fourth and final chapter reads Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s The Coming Race (1871) alongside Land Under England (1935) by Irish author Joseph O’Neill, ultimately arguing that these works use the totalitarian potential of the underground as a warning against political systems that limit the progress and development of individuals and nations.
Issue Date:2019-06-12
Type:Text
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/105752
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Michelle M. Martinez
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-11-26
Date Deposited:2019-08


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