Date of Degree

9-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian Literatures & Languages

Advisor

Araceli Tinajero

Subject Categories

Latin American Literature

Abstract

This work explores the different portrayals of the female body and its relationship to transmodernity, sublimity and identity in the latter part of the 20th century up to the first decade of the 21st century. The poets cited in the following chapters are Gioconda Belli, Alejandra Pizarnik, Ana Istarú, Elvia Ardalani, Nancy Morejón, Eliane Potiguara, and Natalie Diaz. The selected poets reflect a diverse sampling of writers from the last fifty years who regularly reference the female body as part of their work, particularly in the context of violence and testimony, motherhood and authorship, the search for home and cultural roots and as a source of sublime beauty that is capable of provoking both fear and awe. Many of these writers also employ techniques that blend the female body and elements of the grotesque while at the same time recognizing that these earthy interpretations are not necessarily a negative thing, but that they are actually complementary to the concept of the sublime when addressing how the female body is viewed both culturally and artistically. While many of these poems were written at a time where postmodernist theory was dominant, it makes sense to tap into the more recent theories of transmodernity in order to provide a more complete analysis of these poets and their works. This work chronologically traces the development of a new approach to the female body through poetry and contrasts it with previous attempts to understand and label women and their role in art and culture. Starting very far back with eighteenth century philosophers such as Immanuel Kant and Edmund Burke and moving into the twentieth century by citing psychoanalytic and postmodernist theory, this work finally breaks through to the most recent and comprehensive literary theories up to date, most of which aim to reject and/or reshape the ideas that preceded them.

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