My research examines sensory and affective features of language and experimental form in twentieth century writing by women. I am particularly interested in how these are used to counteract Western modernity’s body-suppressing discourses of war, nationalism and urbanity. Conceiving such counteractions in terms of space-gender relations, my work most often explores how women writers engage with sensory and emotional realms to create embodied, environmental and textual forms of space that celebrate female experience in diverse, liberating ways. I investigate the resistance posed by these new sensory and emotional geographies primarily by drawing attention to their defiance of genre and gender norms. This, in turn, frequently leads me to consider relationships between subversive literary spaces and the various communal as well as individual selves that emerge both in and through them. Indeed, I consistently align spatial acts of insurgence with sensory-emotional networks not only depicted within texts but also formed externally between writers and readers. Making transnational links and focusing on how gender intersects with race, sexuality and class, my own scholarly practice forges connections that aim to expand female literary communities. Simultaneously, as exemplified by my recovery of archival material, I open up more new spaces through which the historical interventions and cultural contributions of women writers, as attached to linguistic and formal strategies, can be better understood in experiential as well as intellectual terms.
Research Interests: Women writers; modernism; theories of feminism, gender and sexuality; critical race studies; geocriticism and spatial literary studies; postcolonial studies; experimental literature; sensory studies; visual culture; political protest.
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Sensory Aesthetics and Feminist Modernisms: A Revisionary Study of Novels by Virginia Woolf, Gloria Naylor, and Naomi MitchisonAuthor: Strausa, A., 23 Jan 2024
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis › Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)File