Date of Award

4-30-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Audrey Goodman

Second Advisor

Marilynn Richtarik

Third Advisor

Mary Hocks

Abstract

This dissertation explores transatlantic modernist literature’s methods of representing the material female mind and body in light of photographic and cinematic composition and analysis. The ongoing and often concurrent transatlantic development of photographic and cinematic technology invites a broad historical trajectory: from stop-motion photography to cinematography to the transition from silent to sound film. As photography and film manipulate time and space by halting and resuming perpetual motion, so my investigation crosses time and space, freezing provocative moments and posing enlightening encounters. Through interdisciplinary associations, I aim to reframe and reanimate our critical perception of the multiplicitous modernist scene. Each chapter thus views literary works from the primary era of cinematic development, the 1920s and ’30s, through the proverbial lens of visual media works or analyses, such as stop-motion photograph series or feminist film theories. Rather than attributing a literary method to a media technique, or vice versa, I investigate their various intersections and deviations, their various possibilities and limitations. These explorations ultimately discover the potential of modernist narratives to engage the compositional methods and subjects of photography and film in the expression of otherwise unsanctioned, unseen, and unspoken female identity.

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