Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Richard A. Kaye

Committee Members

Nico Israel

Tanya Agathocleous

Subject Categories

Ethics and Political Philosophy | Literature in English, British Isles | Women's Studies


Hospitality, Modernism, Dissent, Power, Normative, Agency, Host


This dissertation discusses the tacit forms of political activity operating through the performance and space of hospitality in modern fiction. I read the habitus, praxis, and dissemblages of hospitality in modern fiction as conduits that reveal dialectics of submission and resistance to Victorian and Edwardian markers of normativity. This is ultimately an infrapolitical work. I locate fulcrums of dissent, cloaked in a guise of hospitality, in the domestic sphere and the politicization of formerly private spaces into sites with the potential to reorder legitimated forms of agency. This project attempts to uncover veiled forms of sociopolitical resistance in and through the (in)hospitable spaces and subject positions found in D. H. Lawrence’s Aaron’s Rod (1922), works of fiction from Virginia Woolf’s oeuvre, Jean Rhys’s Voyage in the Dark (1934), and Good Morning, Midnight (1938), and Samuel Beckett’s The Unnamable (1953, trans. 1958).

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