Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


American Studies


Nancy Gray


Drawing on poststructuralist theories of gender, nation and modernity, this dissertation is an interdisciplinary exploration of American experimental women's writing and their linkages to and explorations of colonial and U.S. imperialist histories. "Between Fact and Fiction: Writing by American Women in a Transnational Context" considers experimental literary texts by women writing from diverse spaces across places and times as cultural texts that can provide important insights for understanding transnational politics of power and possibilities for disrupting power. The project examines a broad range of experimental literary texts by women including Gertrude Stein, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Alicia Gaspar de Alba, and Iranian-American women writers from the first literary anthology of Iranian-American women's work entitled Let Me Tell You Where I've Been: New Writings by Women of the Iranian Diaspora .;Each author, in her own way, produces nuanced readings of power and domination on a structural (macro) level. Power and domination work both in terms of a culture's official narratives about itself, for example its history and its politics, as well as the literary stories it cherishes. These readings of power often remain unacknowledged in critical discourse because they are bracketed as aesthetic only. However, through an examination of American experimental writing by women, I argue that the aesthetic, the historical, and the political are all part of the same kind of discursive structure. and, for this reason, it is imperative to make known those discursive structures which masquerade as only historical or only aesthetic when basic discursive structure is left intact. I argue that together, these writings provide new ways of understanding U.S. culture and studying "America" within a transnational historical framework.



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