Author: Cameron Elizabeth. Williams
Title: "A Primitive and Frightening South"
Subtitle: Gender and Sexual Violence in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Southern Fiction
Thesis: Ph.D. Thesis, Florida State University
Year: December 2013
Link: DigiNole Commons (Available for download on October 5, 2016)
Abstract: »This dissertation interrogates the intersection of gender representation and sexual violence in twentieth and twenty-first-century Southern fiction. It looks specifically at incest, rape, and necrophilia, three forms of sexual violence that appear time and time again in the fiction of the region. These are forms of sexual violence that in fact have a long and storied place in the South's narrative and cultural history. By exploring the South's historical preoccupation with sexual violence, this dissertation reveals the extent to which these narratives of incest, rape, and necrophilia are tangled up with--and in some cases responsible for producing--the South's ideas and myths about gender, as well as sexuality, race, and class. This dissertation argues, then, that Southern writers--William Faulkner, Harper Lee, James Dickey, Harry Crews, Cormac McCarthy, and William Gay--in their treatments of sexual violence, engage images of Southern manhood and womanhood as a means of resisting, challenging, or complicating the South's complex system of gender, sexual, class, and racial politics. Ultimately, this dissertation hopes to prove how these writers demonstrate an engagement with the South's mythologies, and how even though these writers seem to want to push against them, they very often reaffirm their value.« (Source: DigiNole Commons)
Added: November 1, 2014 – Last updated: November 1, 2014