Date of Award

Fall 12-10-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Ian Almond and Calvin Thomas

Second Advisor

LeeAnne Richardson

Third Advisor

Renée Schatteman

Abstract

This project investigates various ways in which resistance is explored by Kamala Das, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Arundhati Roy in My Story, Vidheyan, and The God of Small Things respec-tively. “Liminal Resistances: Local Subjections in My Story, Vidheyan, and The God of Small Things” aims to examine the workings and creative subversions of hegemonic discourses of caste, class, gender and color within the local milieu of Kerala, India. By exploring the theoreti-cal apparatuses employed in three diverse texts set in Kerala, this project identifies: firstly, Das’s subversion of Nair Kerala’s sense of gendered and casted normativity in My Story; secondly, Adoor’s depiction of the notion of home that enables self-recognition between the exploited and tyrant ensuring both suppression and libratory self-formation for classed subjects in Vidheyan; and finally, Roy’s portrayal of the conceptual category of whiteness within Kerala as being nei-ther uniformly subservient nor stable as depicted in The God of Small Things. It is hoped that by identifying and exploring the theoretical nuances of resistances in these generically diverse texts—autobiography, film, and fiction-- all set within the local realms of Kerala, this project will contribute a new scholarship in postcolonial studies that will recognize and problematize local instances of subversions and their representations within the Indian subcontinent.

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