Voicing Parts: Contexts, Relationships, and Approaches in Experimental Feminist Poetics

Nisha Ramayya

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This project is an investigation of relationships between women, language, and experimental practice. The critical component focusses on examples of women writers and experimental feminist poetics; the creative component is more abstract, experimenting with ideas about women and language in mythical and imaginary contexts. I present a Tantric poetics: the critical component identifies aspects of Tantric poetics in relation to the selected writers and their works; the creative component explicates and demonstrates these aspects in relation to my own practice.

Critical Component: Contexts, Relationships, and Approaches in Experimental Feminist Poetics

The critical component presents an overview of a range of works by diverse women writers, considering these works in terms of experimental feminist poetics. This study serves to contextualise my practice and to theorise my poetics. The discussion is organised into three sections: critical and creative contexts for women’s experimentations with language; different types of subjectivities and relationships between women writers; poetic and political perspectives and approaches shared by women writers. Writers are read in relation to each other in order to identify and investigate points of convergence and divergence. Due to the cultural and creative diversity of the many women and works included in this thesis, formal rather than historical perspectives are prioritised, although both are considered. This is an anti-canonical and anti-hierarchical survey, which is to say that works are not privileged according to date of publication or number of citations but are arranged horizontally according to instances of dialogue, commonality, and interchange. The writing seeks to examine as well as to enact key critical aspects of experimental feminist poetics, including dynamic exchanges between individual subjectivities, cultivation of difference, establishment of community, and proliferation of multiplicity.

Creative Component: Voicing Parts: As Of The Stones Used For Pressing

The creative component explores ideas surrounding relationships between women and language. Issues of gender and identity, and their construction and representation by means of language and literature, are investigated through experimental translations of the Sanskrit language and Hindu and Tantric mythology and ritual practice. This is a multidisciplinary and cross-genre project that works with history, religion, culture, and biography through formal experimentations with text, image, sound, and video.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Olsen, Redell, Supervisor
  • Kreider, Kristen, Supervisor
  • Hampson, Robert, Supervisor
  • Shapcott, Joanne, Advisor
Award date1 Feb 2015
Publication statusUnpublished - 9 Feb 2015


  • Feminism
  • Poetics
  • experimental poetry, women, poetics
  • Cross-genre
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Sanskrit
  • Tantra
  • Goddess

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