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Dr. Lena Schneider

Dr. Lena Schneider
 

Dissertation

The Transcultural Feminist Grotesque: Embodiment in Contemporary Anglophone Literatures

(Supervisor: Astrid Fellner, Saarbrücken)

My research project examines grotesque representations of female characters and their functions in a selection of feminist literary texts from diverse Anglophone backgrounds. It explores how depictions of bodies in texts by female and feminist writers mediate sexual, gendered and racial difference. I argue that these narratives constitute examples of feminist transcultural diversity. Through the use of the grotesque, these novels shed light on a new, transnational conception of the body. Thus, these texts go beyond traditional, national boundaries and classifications into national literatures. In fact, they create global, transnational imaginary spaces in which a new conception of the body is developed. This new conception of the body incorporates both a critique of philosophical ideas on a mind/body dualism and of gender as a fixed category. Instead, gender is put forward as one dimension of diversity, inherently connected to other dimensions such as race, ethnicity, age, class, etc.

Drawing on Bakhtin’s grotesque body and feminist phenomenology, I analyse the ways in which the texts represent the embodiment and inscription of gender, and examine how depictions of grotesque characters challenge inscriptions and imagine (gender) identities differently.
 
 
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