Works of mourning: Francophone women's postcolonial fictions of trauma and loss

Show simple item record Almquist, Karin Marie, 1966- 2009-01-21T23:00:49Z 2009-01-21T23:00:49Z 2004-12
dc.description x, 215 p. A print copy of this thesis is available through the UO Libraries under the call number: KNIGHT PQ149 .A56 2004 en
dc.description.abstract This dissertation project seeks to connect the thematic concerns of Francophone women's post-colonial fiction to broader issues of breaking cycles of violence and resisting the negative effects of globalization. An important part of the study will be a discussion of the historical trend towards the mechanization of nature to account for an ideology of domination that the West has exported to its colonies. Borrowing especially from Carolyn Merchant and the Frankfurt School of critical theorists but also from feminist object relations theorist Jessica Benjamin, I trace masculine culture's will to mastery over a weaker other to a primal fear of chaotic nature and the omnipotent Mother. Violence that is currently directed at nature, women and children, and that is a central theme in the narratives I consider, has a long history. Colonization in all its forms stands out as the main characteristic of this history that will continue to repeat itself if left unexamined. My project demonstrates how these particular post-colonial novels engage with the past in such a way as to diffuse the internal mechanism of abusive power. There are two principle components of this engagement: one is the bringing-to-light of a buried history, personal and collective, that Western, masculine culture strives to repress. The other is the creation of an aesthetic that offers a means to mourn a traumatic past, thereby initiating a process of emotional and social healing. Both phenomena serve as political resistance to a hegemonic system based on denial of loss. In these novels I refer to this aesthetic of mourning as a "feminine symbolic of loss" to distinguish it from a traditional male canon of melancholy literature which instead capitalizes on loss for its own advancement. Their representations of oft-tabooed subjects attest to a refusal to comply with the cultural mandate of silence, driving a wedge into that mechanism of power that perpetuates itself by the disavowal and repression of loss. en
dc.description.sponsorship Committee in Charge: Karen McPherson, David Castillo, Linda Kintz, Wolf Sohlich en
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.publisher University of Oregon en
dc.relation.ispartofseries University of Oregon theses, Dept. of Romance Languages, Ph. D., 2004;
dc.subject Postcolonialism -- French-speaking countries en
dc.subject Postcolonialism in literature en
dc.subject Grief in literature en
dc.subject Women and literature -- French-speaking countries en
dc.subject French literature -- French-speaking countries -- History and criticism en
dc.subject French literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism en
dc.subject Postcolonial en
dc.subject Loss en
dc.subject Trauma en
dc.subject Women en
dc.subject Francophone en
dc.subject Mourning en
dc.title Works of mourning: Francophone women's postcolonial fictions of trauma and loss en
dc.type Thesis en

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