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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

High Water Everywhere: Affect, Ecological Disasters, and Southern Literature
by Coby, James, Ph.D., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2016, 250; 10240309
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wilson, Mary Ann
Commitee: Davis-McElligatt, Joanna, Ingram, Shelley
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: English
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
Publication Number: 10240309
ISBN: 978-0-355-11278-8
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