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Title: Feeling freedom : Reading emotion in Anglophone African-Caribbean women's writing
Author: Ashworth, Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 919X
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis explores the interpretative possibility of literary emotion in Anglophone African-Caribbean women's writing. It develops the now well-established study of mental and cultural decolonisation to focus on the role and value of emotions in this process. I argue that when power structures have become internalised to the extent that the emotions are affected, literature's privileged role in affecting its readers offers a way to impart knowledge that is both cognitive and emotional and that can lead towards social and human transformation. The social structures in the Caribbean that evoke or prohibit emotion and its expression have a specific history in the region that need to be understood in context. Thus a study of emotion in these literary works needs to move from the universal discourse of emotion to a specific Caribbean emotion epistemology. A focus on the role of emotion in Caribbean women's writing provides an awareness of how shame, anger, and love shape subjectivities and can deepen an understanding of the political and social mechanisms that result in hierarchies, disunity, conflict, and even physical violence. Through close readings of selected novels (Merle Hodge' s Crick Crack, Monkey and For the Life ofLaetitia, Dionne Brand's In Another Place, Not Here, Merle Collins's Angel, and Erna Brodber's Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home, Myal, and The Rainmaker's Mistake) I explore how emotion works to broaden an awareness of social problems. Furthermore, I argue that the authors' literary techniques shape a specific reader response to each novel that makes an intellectual understanding of healing and transformation simultaneously affect the reader on an emotional level. In this way, I suggest that each novel's structure mirrors the form of intervention that is described in the novel.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available