Affecting Differences: The Gendered Performance of Affect in Willa Cather and John Steinbeck

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Title: Affecting Differences: The Gendered Performance of Affect in Willa Cather and John Steinbeck
Authors: Bigelow, Scott
Date: 2020-09-18
Abstract: This thesis examines the performance of affect in relation to gender identity across some of the major works of Willa Cather’s and John Steinbeck’s careers. Throughout this discussion, I contend that Steinbeck—an author not often thought of as projecting feminist concerns—indeed approximates the feminist themes of Cather in his creation of characters who embody nonnormative castes of gender identity, even if Cather does perhaps exceed Steinbeck’s feminist vision in her optimism for the potential of people of nonnormative gender identity to find peace, happiness, and acceptance in an often xenophobic early-twentieth-century America. Over the course of this thesis, I build on the work of affect theorists such as Sara Ahmed and Anu Koivunen by demonstrating the power of affect theory as a tool for understanding gender politics and gender identity.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/41037
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-25261
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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