Testimony and poesis: Challenging the symbolic supports of a culture of violence against women

Stuart, Penelope J. (2007) Testimony and poesis: Challenging the symbolic supports of a culture of violence against women. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b2646806


This thesis begins with an acknowledgement of the reality of wide-ranging, cross-cultural violence against women because they are women, in the world today. In a quest to locate a strategy for prevention of such abuse in cultural change, it initially details directions and difficulties of research in this field. Seeking deep- seated cultural change beyond that which existing legal, political and educational interventions offer, it engages with the power of poetics and literature to disrupt social imaginaries: the shared understandings that underpin practice within societies. It explores factors that inhibit or enable the emergence of witness to trauma in examples of post-Holocaust and incest survivor testimony. In engagement with the writing of Paul Celan, it asks how poetics might speak the unspeakable when such trauma narratives fail. It draws on the thinking of Julia Kristeva and Emmanuel Levinas on language, subject formation and ethics to examine the complexities of this issue. Having located this move within a current strand of feminist theory, it goes on to employ the fiction of J.M. Coetzee as an example of literature which by its form disrupts and subverts existing discourses, such as those that currently frame gender identity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Modern literature, women in literature, feminist theory.
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisor's Name: Walton, Dr. Heather
Date of Award: 2007
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2007-71442
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 May 2019 09:31
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2021 13:32
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.71442
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/71442

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