Queer Reading Elizabeth Siddal

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Abstract

My thesis focuses on the art and poetry of the Pre-Raphaelite Elizabeth Siddal, working with queer theory to explore her corpus’s complicated relationships with her literary and artistic predecessors and contemporaries. I will show how queer theory and creative close reading can illuminate the chaotic methodologies and destabilising rewritings in Siddal’s work. My thesis, inspired by Siddal’s approach to her source material, will perform its own queer readings of her art and poetry. These queer readings will focus on a variety of Siddal works, exploring unexamined creative conversations between Siddal and lesser-studied Pre-Raphaelite figures, and revealing new disruptive connections between Siddal’s work and the historical sources that inspired it. My chapters move between historically-informed re-readings of Siddal’s medievalism, conceptual examination of the works’ queerness and queer desire, ecocritical analysis of Siddal’s queer landscapes, attentiveness to Siddal’s presentation of race, and continued interrogation of the works’ self-reflective meditations on the act of creative rewriting. I aim to extend the critical recovery of Siddal as artist and poet, but also to present a methodology with broader application beyond her corpus. I want to demonstrate an inclusive way to study historical creative work, especially that which has been subjected to dismissal or erasure.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - 2022

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