Queer Time & Space in Contemporary Experimental Writing

Sophie Robinson

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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The aim of this practice-based PhD is to develop the theory and practice of a queer poetics. In this thesis I will be looking at the work of four contemporary experimental writers: Abigail Child, Dodie Bellamy, Caroline Bergvall and kari edwards. Specifically, I will be addressing representations of time and space in contemporary queer poetic practice. Chapter One draws on recent, queer revisionings of temporality in order to examine representations of time in the work of Abigail Child and Dodie Bellamy. I will particularly be focusing on the relationship between acts of temporal disruption and queer history, arguing that
modes of experimental poetic practice might lend themselves well to representations of queer temporality.

In Chapter Two, I turn to the relationship between queer theory, phenomenology and experimental writing. Through close readings of Caroline Bergvall and kari edwards alongside these theoretical texts, I will propose that forms of queer space are generated by these writers. I will argue that this
is achieved through an innovative approach to book and page space, and through the introduction of queer bodies into public and private hegemonic spaces.

Alongside my close readings of these four writers, I will be discussing my development of a queer poetic practice in SHE!, the manuscript which accompanies this thesis. In Chapter One, I will discuss my use of collage, genre and repetition to create anachronistic and looping forms of queer time. In Chapter Two, I will discuss my use of collage to queer both the material site of the book and the textual representations of domesticity that occur in the text.
Finally, I will propose that these queer tactics of writing might be linked to a wider political project of subcultural political action; that the queer ‘other’ can be seen as a model for resisting hegemonic control, and that queer subcultures can suggest alternative ways of being in the world, outside of the realms of patriarchal, capitalist and heterosexual hegemony.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
Award date1 Jul 2012
Publication statusUnpublished - 2012

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