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Modern Literature Commons

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Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Modern Literature

Wild Abandon: Postwar Literature Between Ecology And Authenticity, Alexander F. Menrisky Jan 2018

Wild Abandon: Postwar Literature Between Ecology And Authenticity, Alexander F. Menrisky

Theses and Dissertations--English

Wild Abandon traces a literary and cultural history of late twentieth-century appeals to dissolution, the moment at which a text seems to erase its subject’s sense of selfhood in natural environs. I argue that such appeals arose in response to a prominent yet overlooked interaction between discourses of ecology and authenticity following the rise and fall of the American New Left in the 1960s and 70s. This conjunction inspired certain intellectuals and activists to celebrate the ecological concept of interconnectivity as the most authentic basis of subjectivity in political, philosophical, spiritual, and literary writings. As I argue, dissolution represents ...


Southern Transfiguration: Competing Cultural Narratives Of (Ec)Centric Religion In The Works Of Faulkner, O’Connor, And Hurston, Craig D. Slaven Jan 2016

Southern Transfiguration: Competing Cultural Narratives Of (Ec)Centric Religion In The Works Of Faulkner, O’Connor, And Hurston, Craig D. Slaven

Theses and Dissertations--English

This project explores the ways in which key literary texts reproduce, undermine, or otherwise engage with cultural narratives of the so-called Bible Belt. Noting that the evangelicalism that dominated the South by the turn of the twentieth century was, for much of the antebellum period, a relatively marginal and sometimes subversive movement in a comparatively irreligious region, I argue that widely disseminated images and narratives instilled a false sense of nostalgia for an incomplete version of the South’s religious heritage. My introductory chapter demonstrates how the South’s commemorated “Old Time” religion was not especially old, and how this ...


The Power Of Multiplying: Reproductive Control In American Culture, 1850-1930, Virginia B. Engholm Jan 2014

The Power Of Multiplying: Reproductive Control In American Culture, 1850-1930, Virginia B. Engholm

Theses and Dissertations--English

Prior to the advent of modern birth control beginning in the nineteenth century, the biological reproductive cycle of pregnancy, post-partum recovery, and nursing dominated women’s adult years. The average birth rate per woman in 1800 was just over seven, but by 1900, that rate had fallen to just under than three and a half. The question that this dissertation explores is what cultural narratives about reproduction and reproductive control emerge in the wake of this demographic shift. What’s at stake in a woman’s decision to reproduce, for herself, her family, her nation? How do women, and society ...