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Title:Cannibalizing the Victorians: Racial and Cultural Hybridity in the Brontes and Their Caribbean Rewritings
Author(s):Mardorossian, Carine Melkom
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Anderson, Amanda
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, English
Abstract:This is not to say, however, that my project discusses Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights as paradigms of a colonialist perspective awaiting overhaul by timely postcolonial revisions. Rather, I offer historically grounded textual analyses of individual Bronte novels in order to challenge the dominant critical contention that all signifying systems in early and mid-nineteenth century were monopolized by imperialist ideologies. By drawing on literary and extra-literary material, I argue that the construction of race in these mid-Victorian works is best examined, as twentieth-century Caribbean rewritings have shown, not in terms of absolute differences between self and other but in relation to the underexplored model of hybridity. In short, my dissertation uses these linked literary works to examine the notion of race not as an irreducible and natural category of difference whose reality is registered in fiction, but as a trope which gets imaginatively deployed in cultural constructions in order to produce, consolidate, or revise historically specific ideas of categorical difference. My study breaks with the focus on racial or national particularity which motivates much contemporary literary and cultural studies and highlights instead the legacy of racism and of sustained resistance to oppression that characterizes the works of these four women writers across geographical and historical boundaries.
Issue Date:1998
Description:285 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9912313
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1998

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