Poetics of Dislocation: Comparative Cosmopolitanism in Charlotte Brontë, Flora Tristan, and Toru Dutt

dc.contributor.advisorParkinson Zamora, Lois
dc.contributor.committeeMemberGregory, Elizabeth
dc.contributor.committeeMemberArmstrong, Richard H.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberSingh, Kavita
dc.contributor.committeeMemberTolliver, Cedric R.
dc.creatorJagannathan, Meera
dc.date.accessioned2018-06-22T21:53:43Z
dc.date.available2018-06-22T21:53:43Z
dc.date.createdMay 2018
dc.date.issued2018-05
dc.date.submittedMay 2018
dc.date.updated2018-06-22T21:53:43Z
dc.description.abstractThis thesis explores three women writers from nineteenth-century, who used the genre of autofiction to transcribe their familial trauma and dislocation to reconstitute themselves with the help of their empathic readers. Charlotte Brontë's novels, Jane Eyre and Villette, Flora Tristan's memoir from her travels to Peru, Pérégrinations d'une paria, and Toru Dutt's novella, Le journal de Mlle d'Arvers are the focus of this study. Brontë's heroines, Jane Eyre and Lucy Snowe, Tristan's champion of the oppressed, "the pariah," and Dutt's heroine, Marguerite, are auto-portraits of the women writers themselves. The protagonists articulate their trauma through an aesthetic of wounding, which effectively transfers the burden of testimony onto the readers. Their narrative strategies rely on narration and transference for what Freud calls an, "abreaction," or working through. This transference conscripts and coopts the reader into becoming a collaborator of their autofiction. Reading these three writers together offers the reader a unique opportunity to read particular moments in nineteenth-century Europe as experienced by both the metropolitan and the colonized. They were deracinated from their own communities, which made them cosmopolitan by default. Their travels to distant places mark them as exiles, but at the same time the new geographic spaces reorder their interior worlds and helped them comprehend the disenfranchised other. It is evident when reading their letters that their traumas led them to become agents of change, particularly regarding the status of women in society. I study how their individual trauma led them o engage with the collective trauma of gender, which they effectively transfer to the empathic readers through their texts. I suggest that through their masked, textual selves, they transformed their intensely traumatic, idiosyncratic experiences into public battles about women's status in patriarchal societies.
dc.description.departmentEnglish, Department of
dc.format.digitalOriginborn digital
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10657/3130
dc.language.isoeng
dc.rightsThe author of this work is the copyright owner. UH Libraries and the Texas Digital Library have their permission to store and provide access to this work. Further transmission, reproduction, or presentation of this work is prohibited except with permission of the author(s).
dc.subjectAutofiction
dc.subjectFamilial trauma
dc.subjectDislocations
dc.subjectEmpathic reader
dc.subjectAesthetic of wounding
dc.subjectTransference
dc.subjectCollaborator
dc.subjectMetropolitan
dc.subjectColonialism
dc.subjectDeracinated
dc.subjectCosmopolitan
dc.subjectCollective trauma
dc.subjectGender
dc.subjectTextual self
dc.subjectDisenfranchised other
dc.subjectNineteenth century
dc.subjectEurope
dc.titlePoetics of Dislocation: Comparative Cosmopolitanism in Charlotte Brontë, Flora Tristan, and Toru Dutt
dc.type.dcmiText
dc.type.genreThesis
thesis.degree.collegeCollege of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
thesis.degree.departmentEnglish, Department of
thesis.degree.disciplineBritish and American Literature
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Houston
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy
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