Date of Award


First Advisor

Asma Abbas

Second Advisor

Nancy Yanoshak

Third Advisor

Katie Boswell


This thesis is an exploration of collaborative writing and virtual space as locations for the political. Using Donna Haraway’s cyborg politics and Hélène Cixous’ feminine writing as framing mechanisms and grounding points, I look at two particular instances, one a collection of letters and other works by three women called The Three Marias: New Portuguese Letters, and one an epistolary blog currently being written by two women living together and attempting to build intimacy and solidarity. Putting all of these writers and their projects in conversation, I attempt to frame a politics of identity and connectivity that does not rest on the primacy of the sovereign individual as the starting point for thinking about the political. Through these case studies and conversations emerges a figuration of a “virtual witness” as a political presence and actor through which questions are addressed about the possibilities of political relationships to and collaborations with the absent, the immaterial, and the virtual.

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