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Title: The image and the body in modern fiction's representations of terrorism : embodying the brutality of spectacle
Author: Sage, Elizabeth M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 1486
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2013
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My research arises from a critique of the tendency within terrorism debates to equate the terrorist act with the production of spectacular images. Chapter 1 uses the work of Luce Irigaray to critique this trend in terrorism discourses, arguing that such a characterisation relies on a repression of the very materiality that terrorist action exploits. Moreover, placing the concept of terror in an Irigarayan framework reveals that the concept of terrorism is bound up with concepts of masculinity. In developing this critical approach, I build on the thinking of both Irigaray and Gayatri Spivak in turning to literary representations of terrorism to find a means of articulating a new understanding of the concept of terrorism and its place within our culture. Chapter 2 brings together the figure of the woman terrorist in terrorism studies, Nadine Gordimer's Burger's Daughter(1979), and Doris Lessing's The Good Terrorist (1985) in order to critique the portrayal of the feminine in terrorism discourses. Chapter 3 then moves on to ask how the global reach of terrorism discourses after September 11th, 2001, has impacted on our understanding of masculinity and femininity, looking at the relationship between the body and subjectivity in Ian McEwan's Saturday (2006). Finally, Chapter 4 examines how Don DeLillo's Falling Man (2007) figures the body as a site of resistance to such global narratives of terror, as he explores the possibility of an embodied ethics opening up a suspension of photographic and filmic modes of perception. By setting up a dialogue between terrorism studies and literary fiction, I reintroduce the body to our conceptualisation of terrorism. In doing so, I show how literature can open up new ethical horizons in an otherwise closed rhetoric.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PR0471 20th century ; PR0481 21st century ; PS0221 20th century ; PS0229 21st century