Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

On location: Race and family in the poetry of Sonia Sanchez, June Jordan, and Cathy Song
by Stanton, Brandi, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2009, 219; 3378394
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation seeks to augment our narratives of third-wave American feminism and late twentieth-century poetry by analyzing how three contemporary poets represent and complicate claims to multiple identities. I employ close readings of texts written by Sonia Sanchez, June Jordan, and Cathy Song, three acclaimed poets whose work has received little critical attention, in order to examine the cultural conceptions of race and family that underlie feminist theoretical texts from the 1980s. Sanchez, Jordan, and Song call attention to the absence of the family from what fellow poet Adrienne Rich calls “the politics of location,” a theory that argues for an informed awareness of one’s ideological position. Far from posing the family as an ideal answer to the issues of identification, however, I contend that these poets represent the family as a metaphor for the challenges of forming coalitions and of learning how to establish connection across difference. By reading these poets as theorists I question the generic separation of poetry and criticism. By uniting these diverse voices, furthermore, as well as theorists who address AIDS, literary influence, and whiteness studies, I also counter the historic isolation of ethnically distinct feminisms. Therefore, my research expands our understanding of feminist theories of coalition and identity intersection by looking outside the genre of theory to understand how a poetic voice might enact intersectional identities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gubar, Susan
Commitee: Bowman, Catherine, Crawford, Margo, Hutchinson, George
School: Indiana University
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 70/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Modern literature, American literature
Keywords: Contemporary american poetry, Family, Feminism, Jordan, June, Location, Poetry, Race, Sanchez, Sonia, Song, Cathy
Publication Number: 3378394
ISBN: 978-1-109-40712-9
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