Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Literature; Gender and Sexuality Studies
Project Advisor 1
Placing Virginia Woolf's lesser known fiction in conversation with contemporary gender theorist Judith Butler's influential Gender Trouble (1990) and Bodies That Matter (1993) allows us to see what is to be gained by revisiting woolf's concepts of sex, gender, and androgyny. Using Butler's theory of gender performativity as an analytic framework, I explore instances in which Woolf's parodic or playful representation of sex and gender suggest that these categories are products of dynamic social processes rather than the reflection of some essential "inner nature." Drawing, extensively on Butler's notion of an unstable sexed or gendered subject, I trace how Woolf presents sexual identity in these texts as something that must be continually made and remade according to that subject's position in time and space. My aim is to offer new possibilities for reading or interpreting these two writers in dialogue with one another. I have become invested in bringing theory and fantasy together to shed light on the processes which work to create the illusion of a real or coherent sexual identity, troubling any singular or straightforward way of understanding sex, gender, and sexuality.
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Kuhn, Katherine Marielle, "Beyond Androgyny: Woolf's Play with Performativity, Gender, and Sex" (2015). Senior Projects Spring 2015. 266.
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