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Title: 'It is our stories that will recreate us' : reading, 'woman', and the crisis of reproduction in the works of Doris Lessing and Marge Piercy
Author: Podkolinski, Alice Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 4990
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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The thesis maps the critical application of reading literary terrains. Drawing on the work of Rosi Braidotti and Gilles Deleuze, I demonstrate a methodology of thinking through reading literature that counters limiting binary arguments concerning the feminist female subject and assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs). Using additional thinkers in each chapter, Donna Haraway (Chapter Two), Judith Butler (Chapter Three), and Michel Foucault (Chapter Four), I develop a rhizomatic thesis through a comparative literary analysis of texts from both Doris Lessing and Marge Piercy. Each chapter focuses on particular literary figurations to map key aspects of reading, 'woman', and ARTs: mothers, monsters, and machines to map difference (Chapter Two); the womb to map embodied subjectivity and creative spaces (Chapter Three); genealogies, the familial figure and the critical method, to map narrative construction and power (Chapter Four). As well as enriching critical discussions regarding the female subject, this methodology provides original contributions to literary analysis of Piercy and Lessing's respective works. My reading of Piercy's works considers the spectrum of applications and implications of ARTs residing between the utopian and dystopian conceptions of them, consequently critiquing a complex matrix of difference and power. It also presents the significance of imagination and storytelling in mobilising resistance to these matrices. I further pursue this affirmative consideration of storytelling and narrative building through my reading of Lessing's works. It locates the dynamic and multi-stranded thinking accessed within her texts. Noting her works' facility to disturb and affect the reader, I demonstrate a methodology of reading and thinking that locates the reader, their positionality and embodied responses, as central to my consideration of the efficacy of literature in contemporary discussions on the female subject and the crisis of reproduction.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available