Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


English Language and Literatures

First Advisor

Greg Forter


"Power and the Orientations of Resistance in Twentieth-Century American Literature” analyzes the intersections of space, power, and the possibility for alternatives to power structures. I argue that social power circumscribes the spatial possibilities of normative and non-normative subjectivities. In particular, power curtails the ability of marginalized subjects (such as women, queer people, and people of color) to forge alternatives to the current social order. In dialogue with recent scholars of race studies, feminism, and queer theory, this project reveals how dominated subjects employ their quotidian spaces as sites of resistance and survival. The literature I examine in this dissertation identifies how power functions spatially within public and private spaces, and how subordinated people survive by reimagining their spaces through daily acts like walking, redecorating, gardening, and cooking.

Available for download on Monday, May 15, 2023