Date of Degree

9-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

English

Advisor

Nancy K. Miller

Committee Members

Ammiel Alcalay

Wayne Koestenbaum

Subject Categories

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Literature in English, North America | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Women's Studies

Keywords

Adrienne Rich, feminist poetics, Claudia Rankine, Audre Lorde

Abstract

This single-author-oriented dissertation on the work of Adrienne Rich looks at her extensive body of work both in poetry, and in prose. This project considers how Rich re-visited and re-read her work over the course of her career, often making new discoveries and observations in quasi-autobiographical prose. This dissertation interrogates the ways in which these framing efforts may be in tension with both academic and journalistic narratives of her career arc. In looking at Rich’s own writing that, at times, attempts to re-contextualizes her work, even for herself, this project aims to chart out an oeuvre that functions as a kind of non-autobiography, or a recursive autobiography, in which the ultimate emphasis is on the reader, and not the subject. In this mode, the aim of the recursive autobiography is to forge a reading community that is politically and ethically minded.

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