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Title: Speaking starvation : representations of bodily protest in contemporary postcolonial fiction
Author: Rahman, Muzna
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 5101
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis traces the forms and contexts of hunger strikes as they are represented in contemporary postcolonial fiction. I look specifically at three postcolonial novels: Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss (2006), J.M. Coetzee’s Life and Times of Michael K (1983), and Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions (1988). The final work examined in this piece is a selection of prison writings by Bobby Sands, a non-fictional figure who underwent a hunger strike in 1981 in Long Kesh (otherwise known as the Maze Prison) in Northern Ireland.The historical and regional scope of this investigation is broad. The works presented are framed by very different socio-cultural backgrounds. The common thread that runs throughout the pieces is an engagement with the themes, motifs, and concerns of postcoloniality. The hunger strike is figured as a response to the pressures associated with the fractured form of postcolonial identity. This identity is informed by contemporary and historical engagements with colonial ideology. I utilise historical and sociological material in order to outline and trace an inherited legacy of this colonial ideology – specifically through a frame of hunger and deprivation as associated with imperial domination.The four chapters of this thesis examine one hunger-strike scenario apiece. In each instance, the bodily protest performed takes on a common form. The logic of the hunger strike relies on a division between mind and body. Using the four individuals analysed in this thesis I examine how the form of the hunger strike seeks to separate the realm of representation, which is associated with the mind, from the realm of the material, which is related to the body. The failure of each hunger strike is reflected in the indivisible relationship between representation and the material contexts they construct.Using this basic dichotomy, I consider how each text comments on, reacts to, and contains the categories of representation and the material. Through the lens of this oppositional binary I examine the relationship between historical colonial narratives and the texts and subjects that they produce, and are in turn produced by.
Supervisor: Valassopoulos, Anastasia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Hunger ; Postcolonial ; Hunger Strike ; Food ; Identity