Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





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


Adrienne Rich, feminist poetics, Claudia Rankine, Audre Lorde


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.

This work is embargoed and will be available for download on Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Graduate Center users:
To read this work, log in to your GC ILL account and place a thesis request.

Non-GC Users:
See the GC’s lending policies to learn more.