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Title: Reconsider referential signifiers : the deconstruction of gender and gender-related dichotomies in female-authored Beat literature
Author: Thomson, Gillian M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 5476
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2011
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Indetenninables, anomalies, intersections and rhizomatic networks establish the foundation of female Beat poetics. Theirs could be called a mutant poetics: a poetics which manifests unusual hybrids and fusions of those things usually designated as radically different or in a state of conflict. Language for the female Beats can be a potentially liberating medium. In accordance with tenets of post-structuralism, difference feminism and ecocritical enquiry, this thesis examines how female Beat authors question the referentiality of secondary binary terms including female, nature and the body in their poetry and prose. It argues that their intention is not to undermine the precedence of signifiers which act as the standard binary term in phallic culture such as male, culture and the body, but that instead these writers work to resolve the notion of difference between an autonomous and a referential signifier, and that in doing so they suggest an array of new possibilities for signification and identification of both the human and non-human subject. It also examines how they recreate language and modify traditional literary models such as the epic poem in order to interrogate and subvert phallogocentric frameworks. The analysis undertaken here reconfigures the existing Beat canon according to Beat scholarship, which focuses primarily on the works of William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. It also intervenes in signature male Beat discourse which often undermines the creative efforts of female Beat writers by positioning them primarily as lovers, girlfriends or inconsequential participants who remain silent. As such, this thesis promotes both a thorough re-examination of this relatively unacknowledged group of women writers and a reconsideration of their status as a subculture within a subculture.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available