Unstable Subjectivities in British Post-War Experimental Women's Writing (USEWW)

Project Details


USEWW examines in what ways and to what effects human subjectivity is represented in the fiction of experimental British women novelists between 1945 and 1975. Aiming to help redress the invisibility of post-war experimental women writers in the British canon, this project counters
overviews of the period which either largely ignored experimental writing or, alternatively, posited
B. S. Johnson as Britain's post-war 'one-man literary avant-garde'.
Focusing on the relatively neglected writers Anna Kavan, Brigid Brophy, Christine Brooke-Rose, Eva Figes and Ann Quin, USEWW enquires to what extent their formally innovative novels can be interpreted as politically transgressive acts. As such, it puts forward new feminist readings of their so-called 'anti-realist' fiction, proposing that their work continued the modernist project to 'look within' in its exploration of fragmented selves and that this focus on unstable subjectivities equally reflects on and challenges dominant cultural credos and ideologies in post-war Britain. Combining archival research with textual, historical and theoretical analysis, this project creates an overarching narrative which traces the development of these writers' engagement with gender politics, demonstrates the influence of phenomenological, existential and anti-psychiatric theories
on their representations of fragmented subjectivities and determines the relationship between the formal innovations and political subversions at work in their fiction.
Effective start/end date1/10/1830/09/22


  • Literature

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Classical literature


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