English Language and Literature ETDs

Publication Date

8-28-2012

Abstract

This dissertation examines key moments in fictional and autobiographical texts when gender construction and colonization intersect and create the possibility for reciprocal visual exchange between disparate people. In a visual exchange, the participants actively and meaningfully look at one another, at the same time acknowledging the others subjectivity. I argue that these moments hint at the subliminal utopian desire by the author, and perhaps the reader, for a more equal, even democratic, community. I study a range of texts written during the long nineteenth century by male and female authors, including Sydney Owenson's The Wild Irish Girl (1806), The History of Mary Prince (1831), Charles Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit (1844), and Olive Schreiner's The Story of an African Farm (1883). Despite the rich scholarship in recent years on race and imperialism, gender, and the gaze as they are conceived in the nineteenth century, it is rare to find scholarship that examines the intersections of all three, and none of the texts I study have been the subject of this kind of intersectional analysis.'

Degree Name

English

Level of Degree

Doctoral

Department Name

English

First Advisor

Houston, Gail

First Committee Member (Chair)

Harrison, Gary

Second Committee Member

Hunt, Aeron

Third Committee Member

Cheek, Pamela

Language

English

Keywords

British literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism, Morgan, Lady (Sydney), 1783-1859 -- Criticism and interpretation, Prince, Mary -- Criticism and interpretation, Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870 -- Criticism and interpretation, Schreiner, Olive, 1855-1920 -- Criticism and interpretation, Imperialism in literature, Race in literature, Sex role in literature

Document Type

Dissertation

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