Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.799601
Title: A space of her own : literary representations of female subjectivity and space-time, 1868-1915
Author: Beesley, Patricia Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 8505 6483
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2019
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Abstract:
This thesis begins with the premise that, in order to express their subjectivity, women need a space of their own. Teresa de Lauretis calls this space an 'elsewhere' space of discourse outside male narratives. Here I consider literary representations of different 'elsewhere' spaces with their own space-time which compromises notions of the gendering of space as female and time as male. Applying a theoretical framework based on the work of Luce Irigaray and Elizabeth Grosz, both of whom argue for a new space-time framework for women, I argue that by reading the selected texts through the lens of a non-gendered 'elsewhere' space, more nuanced and multi-dimensional expressions of female subjectivity emerge. A complex, and sometimes problematic, interaction between discourses on evolution, religion and gender is involved in finding women a space of their own and an active role in shaping history. Chapter 1 considers changing conceptions of space and time, and the contribution of Irigaray and Grosz to my thesis. Chapter 2 explores expressions of female subjectivity and feminism in the conceptual spaces of the spirit world and séance room in the Spiritualist novels of Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, The Gates Ajar (1868), Beyond the Gates (1883) and The Gates Between (1887), and Florence Marryat's The Dead Man's Message (1894) and There Is No Death (1891). My discussion of Marie Corelli's A Romance of Two Worlds (1886) in Chapter 3 centres on celestial spheres as a conceptual space in which to reimagine femininity combining genius and divinity. In Chapter 4, the hyperspatial world of Charles Howard Hinton's Stella and an Unfinished Communication (1895) offers a representation of female subjectivity in which matter and spirit are reconciled. In Chapter 5, I explore the problem of freedom of expression in the feminist utopias of Mary Bradley Lane's Mizora (1880-1), Elizabeth Corbett's New Amazonia (1889) and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland (1915). I conclude by employing the idea of 'positive negative space' to reemphasise changing conceptions of space and time in the nineteenth century and the continuing challenge for women to find a space to call their own.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.799601  DOI: Not available
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