Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.576958
Title: Articulating the elsewhere : utopia in contemporary feminist dystopias
Author: Cavalcanti, Ildney de Fátima Souza
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 2291
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2002
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Abstract:
By examining the relationships between literary texts and theories, feminism and utopianism, this thesis reads some contemporary feminist critical dystopias. It is situated within a developing interest, in the field of utopian studies, both in the literary dystopian subgenre and in its radical potential for social critique. I argue that these fictions offer a privileged cultural space for paradoxical manifestations of feminist utopianisms, aiming to highlight the utopian strategies manifested in them. The first part of the study critically revises Ernst Bloch's utopianist thought, shows the possible alignments between his work and a feminist reading perspective, and elaborates on a way of reading which brings together Bloch's utopianism, narrative semiotics (theorized by Roland Barthes and Julia Kristeva), and feminist formulations of utopian "elsewheres". The second part contains close readings of feminist dystopias which succeed in uncovering manifestations of utopian "elsewheres": the representation of utopian space/time in Marge Piercy's Body of Glass and Doris Lessing's The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five; the reconfiguration of the quest pattern in Suzy Mckee Chamas's Walk to the End of the World, Motherlines, and The Furies; and the (a-)linguistic utopianisms in Lisa Tuttle's "The Cure", Suzette Elgin's Native Tongue and The Judas Rose, and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. The juxtaposition of such utopian patterns is demonstrated in Margaret Elphinstone's The Incomer and A Sparrow's Flight. My analyses also consider feminist theoretical work on cultural constructions of spatiality, sexual/political separatism, reversal of sexually-polarized power relations, and (meta)linguistic issues. Although this study examines texts written from 1974 to 1994, the bibliography includes fictions published between 1967 and 1998, covering three decades of feminist dystopias. This acts to contextualize this writing within a wider frame, and offers further evidence that the dystopian genre constitutes a major form of expression of contemporary women's utopian desires and hopes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.576958  DOI: Not available
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