My dissertation examines how southern authors have utilized ecological disasters in their works as points at which to deconstruct monolithic mythologies about the American South. Employing theories of affect and emotion, I examine William Faulkner’s The Wild Palms [If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem], Barry Hannah’s Nightwatchmen, Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones, and Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly’s The Tilted World. Each of these novels features a diluvian disaster, such as the Great Flood of 1927, Hurricane Camille, or Hurricane Katrina, as the central catalyst for their respective plots. My project argues that authors often use ecological catastrophes, not simply as plot devices, but as forums for demythologizing pervasive ideas about gender, race, and identity in the American South. Building on recent trends understand the American South through its national and global connections, and the turn to affect, a theoretical framework that explored the importance of feelings and refuses to exclusively privilege logic, my dissertation intervenes in current (mis)understandings of the U.S. South.
|Advisor:||Wilson, Mary Ann|
|Commitee:||Davis-McElligatt, Joanna, Ingram, Shelley|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Literature, American literature|
|Keywords:||Affect, Faulkner, William, Franklin, Tom, Hannah, Barry, Ward, Jesmyn|
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