Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Pearl Amelia McHaney

Second Advisor

Gina Caison

Third Advisor

Keith Cartwright


“American Corpus: The Subversion of National Biopower in Post-Emancipation Literature” centralizes the practice of racialized slavery as a framework for interpreting economic contours of corporeal-based public policy as illustrated in U.S. American fiction after Emancipation. Investigating literary evidence of (neo)liberal bio-policies across divergent identity categories, “American Corpus” takes to task historical moments of state-sanctioned bodily oppression by engaging representations in literature by Charles Chesnutt (1887-1925), William Faulkner (1932), Carson McCullers (1940), Eudora Welty (1970), and Jesmyn Ward (2011). This examination is performed through a rubric that the author terms anteliberalism, which traces the long arc of American (neo)liberalism back to racialized slavery in order to conceptually foster intersectional subversion of national biopower. Anteliberalism triangulates corporeality, capitalism, and citizenship within slaving practices, tracing capitalist bio-policies as they are reincarnated throughout U.S. history and replete within national literature.

Available for download on Friday, April 24, 2099