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American Literary Regionalism and the Sister Arts: Local Color Outside the Lines

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dc.contributor.advisor Newman, Andrew en_US
dc.contributor.author So, Brandi Dawn en_US
dc.contributor.other Department of English. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2017-09-20T16:52:56Z
dc.date.available 2017-09-20T16:52:56Z
dc.date.issued 2015-12-01 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11401/77583 en_US
dc.description 288 pg. en_US
dc.description.abstract Abstract of the Dissertation American Literary Regionalism and the Sister Arts: Local Color Outside the Lines by Brandi So Doctor of Philosophy in English Stony Brook University 2015 American literary regionalism was partitioned off from literary realism in a manner that marginalized a movement dominated by women. The gendering of the genre stems in part from the unprecedented integration of women authors into the mainstream market. Conversely, the masculinization of literary ekphrasis still actively shapes its relative discourse. Traditional characterizations of ekphrasis imagine a masculine and aggressive act upon a disempowered, voiceless, feminized object. The timbre of this conversation is often sexual in its connotation, and relies on a theory of art epitomized by the female nude. This dissertation argues that ekphrasis is a formal trait of literary regionalism in that the genre recapitulates the visual impression of an author who found that impression artistically significant. I argue that regionalism and ekphrasis share a theoretical similarity that opens fruitful cross-interrogations. Holding that analyses of regionalist literature benefit from the theoretical lenses commonly applied to literary ekphrasis, I show that the visual roots of American literary regionalism run as deep as American history itself. My work pursues the interpretations made possible by these ekphrastic associations. In a chapter about Sarah Orne Jewett and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s watercolor paintings, I find in Jewett a dialectization of the Victorian-era “language of flowers†that critiques the social restraints plaguing women’s spiritual and reproductive health. In Gilman, a startling alternative reading, one of conversion and transcendence, emerges in “The Yellow Wall-paper†(1892) by applying the formal tenets of the artistic arabesque to the structure of her literary arabesque. The next chapter focuses on the epiphanic ekphraseis of modernist Willa Cather, which integrate her sense of region with her background as a theatre, opera, and art critic. In the closing chapter, I show how the works of Southern literary regionalists Eudora Welty and Flannery O’Connor both advance themes of “double vision†that emerge most clearly in their paintings. In analyzing ekphraseis outside of overly-simple traditions, that is, considering female authors who deploy ekphraseis of their own art, I show that such representations constitute a double voicing of the authorial self, rather than the masculinist appropriation of a feminized ‘other.’ en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This work is sponsored by the Stony Brook University Graduate School in compliance with the requirements for completion of degree. en_US
dc.format Monograph en_US
dc.format.medium Electronic Resource en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher The Graduate School, Stony Brook University: Stony Brook, NY. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Literature en_US
dc.subject.other Archive, Art, Ekphrasis, Gender Studies, Literary Regionalism, Women's Studies en_US
dc.title American Literary Regionalism and the Sister Arts: Local Color Outside the Lines en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.mimetype Application/PDF en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Haralson, Eric en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Scheckel, Susan en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Pryse, Marjorie. en_US

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