Authorizing the self : negotiating normality in contemporary American memoir

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dc.contributor.author Leaf, Patricia L. en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n-us--- en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2011-06-09T15:28:55Z
dc.date.available 2011-06-09T15:28:55Z
dc.date.created 2010 en_US
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.uri http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/handle/123456789/193448
dc.description Writing a better story : authorizing a vivid and valid self -- Lauren Slater's Prozac diary : the medical model and the suppression of the patient -- Maxine Hong Kingston's The woman warrior : the spectacular subjugation of the dually oppressed and dis-abled body -- The three memoirs : no prosthesis needed. en_US
dc.description.abstract This study examines the contemporary American memoirs Goat (2004) by Brad Land, Prozac Diary (1998) by Lauren Slater, and The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (1976) by Maxine Hong Kingston to reveal how these texts push traditional thematic and genre boundaries as well as conceptions of minority identity. Their inclusion of fictional aspects, episodic structure, narrative excesses, and non-teleological endings work to enhance their status as sociocultural critique and protest. This dissertation utilizes a social oppression angle within disability studies to demonstrate the overlapping processes and experiences of marginalization faced by these disparate protagonists who are dis-abled due to their undesired bodily variations and their failure to meet sociocultural standards of appropriate embodied behavior. Society is ideologically unwilling to accommodate or accept the differences the protagonists possess. Such a frame expands the artificial and culturally constructed notion of disability by illustrating the ways that discourse and ideologies of embodied normalcy intersect to constitute various minority identities as incompetent and unworthy. The texts bear witness to each protagonists’ struggle to cultivate meaningful subjectivity and reject passive victim status; however, their resulting survivor subjectivities are both resistant to and complicit with hegemonic tenets. This literary project augments ongoing work in minority, identity, autobiography, cultural, and disability studies that deconstructs essentialist paradigms while reinforcing the important cultural and literary work of contemporary memoir. Moreover, it fills a critical gap with respect to Goat and Prozac Diary, bringing these two texts into the critical discussion of autobiography. Finally, this dissertation illustrates that memoir is uniquely positioned within literary genres to navigate the interconnectedness of identity, subjectivity, and ideology, thus challenging readers to confront the injustice of a sociocultural structure that sanctions these inequities in the first place
dc.description.sponsorship Department of English
dc.description.tableofcontents Writing a better story : authorizing a vivid and valid self -- Lauren Slater's Prozac diary : the medical model and the suppression of the patient -- Maxine Hong Kingston's The woman warrior : the spectacular subjugation of the dually oppressed and dis-abled body -- The three memoirs : no prosthesis needed.
dc.format.extent v, 249 p. : digital, PDF file. en_US
dc.source CardinalScholar 1.0 en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Conformity in literature. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Autobiography.
dc.subject.lcsh American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
dc.subject.other Slater, Lauren. Prozac diary.
dc.subject.other Kingston, Maxine Hong. Woman warrior.
dc.subject.other Land, Brad, 1976- Goat. en_US
dc.title Authorizing the self : negotiating normality in contemporary American memoir en_US
dc.description.degree Thesis (Ph. D.) en_US
dc.identifier.cardcat-url http://liblink.bsu.edu/catkey/1560839 en_US


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  • Doctoral Dissertations [3248]
    Doctoral dissertations submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University doctoral candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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