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Title: Women staging the French Caribbean : history, memory, and authorship in the plays of Ina Césaire, Maryse Condé, Gerty Dambury, and Suzanne Dracius
Author: Lee, Vanessa
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis analyses the themes of history, memory, and authorship in the works of four women playwrights from the French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. In doing so, it aims to reveal the three levels of marginalization to which Caribbean women theatre practitioners are subjected: being a woman, being a French Caribbean woman, and being a French Caribbean woman who writes theatre. The thesis seeks to contribute to the expansion of the field of French Caribbean literary and drama studies, endeavours to redress the gender balance in studies on French Caribbean literature, and aspires to add to the existing body of work on French Caribbean women's writing. Therefore, the thesis aims to reveal and to analyse the world of French Caribbean women's theatre and to study how the playwrights address socio-political issues that affect their communities and influence their own writings and careers. The corpus consists of plays by Gerty Dambury, Ina Césaire, Maryse Condé, and Suzanne Dracius from the 1980s to the early 2000s. While focussing on a different theme, each chapter rests its analysis on theatrical works of a similar genre. The analysis of the plays deploys theories of the theatre pertaining to postcolonial drama and gender. The first chapter serves as an introduction to a group of female French Caribbean writers and their predecessors. The second chapter is a study of two historical plays, focussing on the collective experience of historical events and the role played by women in those events. The third chapter analyses plays that problematize the relationship between the collective and the individual. The fourth chapter looks at the image of the French Caribbean female artist and the multiple barriers she encounters in achieving creative independence.
Supervisor: Viala, Alain ; Scholar, Richard ; Hiddleston, Jane Sponsor: Zaharoff-Besse Studentship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Caribbean Women's writing ; Women's Theatre ; French Caribbean theatre ; Postcolonial studies ; Postcolonial theatre ; Caribbean literature (French) ; French ; Theatre ; Postcolonial ; Gender ; Martinique ; Guadeloupe ; Caribbean ; Women ; Playwriting