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Title:Post-Soviet women writers and the national imaginary, 1989-2009
Author(s):Shchur, Oleksandra
Director of Research:Sobol, Valeria
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Sobol, Valeria
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Kaganovsky, Lilya; Murav, Harriet; Barnes, Teresa A.
Department / Program:Slavic Languages & Literature
Discipline:Slavic Languages & Literature
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women writers
Ukrainian literature
Postcolonial studies
Post-Soviet period
Abstract:This project is a case study of how post-Soviet women writers have attempted to renegotiate women's (and women writers') traditional roles in and vis-à-vis their newly independent postcommunist nations through fiction that engages the questions of gender and national identity in the post-Soviet space. The dissertation examines the writings and paths to literary recognition of several by now established Ukrainian women authors who first appeared on the literary scene in the late 1980s (Oksana Zabuzhko, Yevhenia Kononenko, and Maria Matios) and compares the Ukrainian case of a proliferation in late/post-Soviet women's writing to the Russian one, which is better known in the West. I argue that one important way in which Ukrainian post-Soviet women writers have been able to gain recognition and even acceptance into the literary canon is by turning to important national themes, such as the traumatic Soviet past. Yet their fiction has often treated the questions of the nation through a gender lens, representing and re-imagining the Soviet past and its relevance for the national present from the perspective of a female subject. By placing women in the center of the narrative―as highly individualized characters and not mere symbols of the nation―these works participate in (re)shaping the Ukrainian national imaginary and especially those of its elements that have to do with gender (for instance, the stereotypes about women's roles in the nation). The project utilizes the tools of nationalism studies, postcolonial studies, and gender-nation studies to analyze women writers' interventions into the national imaginary and identifies two broad types of narrative plots about the nation which post-Soviet women writers have used and often simultaneously undermined in their recent fiction.
Issue Date:2013-08-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Oleksandra Shchur
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-08-22
Date Deposited:2013-08

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