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Title: Re-membering masculinities in twentieth- and twenty-first-century French Caribbean literature and visual culture
Author: McGinnis, Laura Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 3454
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis explores literary and visual representations of masculinities in Martinique and Guadeloupe from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The term ‘re-membering’ points to the importance of memory (specifically, the memory of slavery), as well as the prominence, and the vulnerability, of the ((dis)membered) male body, and in particular the male member, both in its sexual and reproductive associations and as a phallic symbol of dominance. The analysis is rooted in close readings of text and image, and draws on a number of theoretical fields, including postcolonial theory, literary criticism and theory, psychoanalysis, theories of visuality, and francophone masculinities studies, which intersect with black masculinity and Caribbean masculinities theory. It is informed by established paradigms of masculinities in the post-slavery context, including emasculation, male marginalization/victimization and compensatory hyper-masculinity, but brings these models into dialogue with other theoretical frameworks, including the carnivalesque and abjection, to explore the ways in which authors and visual artists represent, destabilize and transcend fixed gender paradigms. The thesis analyses a selection of novels by six key male and female authors from Martinique and Guadeloupe, published between 1972 and 2012, alongside examples of contemporary visual commemoration, primarily monuments erected in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as well as carnival performances documented during fieldwork conducted in Fort-de-France in 2014. While the study privileges contemporary works, it remains attentive to the impact of the historical trauma of slavery and the ways in which it continues to affect masculine identities, behaviours, gender roles and relations. This first full-length comparative analysis of masculinities in French Caribbean literature and visual culture thus reflects and progresses existing conceptions of Antillean masculinities, contributing to scholarship on Antillean literature, visual cultures, masculinities studies and francophone postcolonial theory.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available