Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Muriel Rukeyser and the sources of documentary
Author: Gander, Catherine
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis explores the sources of documentary in the work of Muriel Rukeyser. It argues for a distinct correlation between her writing and the modes, techniques, and ideologies of the documentary movement as it flourished during the 1930s, the decade in which Rukeyser came of age. Although recent scholarship has noted Rukeyser's debt to the photographic and reportorial trends of the 1930s, such scholarship focuses primarily on her early, modernist poetry, and does not investigate the enduring influence of documentary on her work. My thesis addresses this lack, charting the dialogue that emerged between Rukeyser's relational poetics and documentary's similarly intertextual and interdisciplinary approach to the realities of the world. It posits that Rukeyser's interest and involvement in the various aspects of documentary lasted for the duration of her life. It further argues that this profound connection goes some way to explaining her guiding poetic principles. Chapter one discusses Rukeyser's experimentation with the documentary form of the photo-text. It examines a process by which Rukeyser's belief in the necessity of the confluence of image and word took shape. Chapter two investigates Rukeyser's engagement in the documentary discourse of biography. It examines the extent to which the 1930s' impulse towards the aesthetic and iconographical depiction of human lives informed Rukeyser's own methods of biographical representation. Chapter three locates the sources of Rukeyser's engagement with documentary within the discipline of American Studies, and examines her contribution to the American project of national and literary re-discovery. Chapter four explores Rukeyser's involvement in travel reportage and touring the American landscape. It illustrates how Rukeyser pioneered a poetic cartography that provided witness to both the past and the present. In so doing, she constructed a mapping device by which to read her own poetics of connection.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available