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Title: Madwomen agents : common experiences in British imperial, postcolonial, and Bedouin women's writing
Author: Alshammari, Shahd
ISNI:       0000 0004 5362 2276
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2014
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British imperial culture and indigenous patriarchy both work to subjugate women. There is very little room for resistance. Madness as protest is a dominant theme in Victorian literature as well as late twentieth-century postcolonial writing by women. This thesis refashions our understanding of the madwoman trope by investigating writers’ use of it to capture the diverse experiences of ‘other’ madwomen. Instead of a strictly Eurocentric approach to female protagonists’ experiences of madness, the thesis places British imperial literary culture in the nineteenth century alongside postcolonial writing by women, whether in the Caribbean (Dominica), South Asia (India) or the Middle East and North Africa (Jordan and Egypt). Jeans Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, Fadia Faqir’s Pillars of Salt and Miral Al-Tahawy’s The Tent are placed alongside Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. A transnational approach is necessary to establish commonality between Eastern and Western women’s literary experiences of madness. Such commonality persistently emerges, once one is alert to its possibility, despite the often obvious differences between literary madwomen’s experiences in a transnational frame. The relationship between madness and empire, madness and patriarchy, and madwomen as agents of resistance is exemplified throughout the thesis by closely analysing each literary text.
Supervisor: Landry, Donna; Bolaki, Stella Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HQ The family. Marriage. Woman ; JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration ; PN Literature (General)