Writing the gap : the performance of identity in texts by four Canadian women

Mellor-Hay, Winifred Mary Catherine (2000) Writing the gap : the performance of identity in texts by four Canadian women. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF (Migrated (PDF/A Conversion) from original format: (application/pdf)) - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (49Mb)
  • [img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
    (Original Version)

Abstract

This examination of the writing by four Canadian women takes common notions of identity to task. Investigating the strategies that Lee Maracle, Joy Kogawa, Dionne Brand and Gail Scott use in their texts, this work builds an argument for a positing of identity as a kind of assemblage. Re-configuring identity as an activity or performance rather than an inborn immutable trait empowers typically-disadvantaged groups to remake their worlds by re-making their identity. -- The importance of language as shaper of culture emerges as the examined texts manifest women characters who creatively seize control of their lives. They become agents of change by entering language and wrestling with its ambiguities. These writers insert markers, codes and signs of identity into gaps and spaces in traditional forms, breaking open codified patterns. Deft, flexible, adaptive and determined, women in these texts form a bricolage of signifiers and imbue them with the potency of identity. -- Language as a bodily act, the reclamation of sexual power, an exploration of the effects of hate speech, and interrogation of racist, sexist and classist paradigms all work in these selections to support the necessity for a new understanding of identity. Specific techniques such as the trace, the transverse, the genotext, and the deployment of certain positivist values enable the writing to re-invent the nature of identity.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5459
Item ID: 5459
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [354]-377. -- Four Canadian women included are Lee Maracle, Joy Kogawa, Dianne Brand and Gail Scott.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 2000
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Identity (Psychology) in literature; Women authors, Canadian; Sexism in literature

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics