Date of Award

Spring 2000

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




When I returned to graduate studies in 1994 to a field I defined as "English" after an absence in the early 1990s, I faced the fact, immediately and shockingly, that the original drive and skills I had toward reading, enjoying, and analyzing literary texts were no longer viable. Indeed, I was soon to discover, close readings of novels, poetry, drama, and nonfiction prose were passe, and had been since the 1960s. Where had my MA program and I been? In fact, generic categories themselves had begun to shake and tremble under the pressures of vague yet powerful entities called deconstruction and poststructuralism. It was a postmodern world when I got back into the game, which meant for me not only that the rules had changed, but also that the idea of there being any "game" or "rules"at all was a Western, classist, racist, sexist, bourgeois assumption that could cause rifts in departments and fights at intellectually elite cocktail parties...



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