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On Sublimity and the Excessive Object in Trans Women's Contemporary Writing
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines trans women's contemporary writing in relation to a theory of the excessive object, sublimity, transmisogyny and minor literature. In doing so, this text is influenced by Susan Stryker's work on monstrosity, abjection and transgender rage in the article “My Words to Victor Frankenstein Above the Village of Chamounix: Performing Transgender Rage” (1994).

The excessive object refers to a concept coined in this thesis to describe sublimity from another perspective than that of the tradition following from Immanuel Kant's A Critique of Judgment, building on feminist scholarship on the aesthetic of the sublime. Of particular relevance are critiques of the patriarchal dynamics of sublimity and the idea of the feminine sublime as it is explored with reference to literature by Barbara Freeman in The Feminine Sublime: Gender and Excess in Women's Fiction (1995).

Following from the feminist critique of sublimity, trans women's writing is explored as minor literature through a re-reading of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari's work on Franz Kafka in Kafka. Toward a Minor Literature (1986), with attention to the importance that conditions of impossibility, marginality and unintelligibility holds for the political possibilities of minor literature.

These readings form the basis for an analysis of four literary texts by two contemporary authors, Elena Rose, also known as little light, and Sybil Lamb, in addition to a deeper re-engagement with Stryker's work. In so doing, this thesis also touches on topics of power, erasure, trauma, self-sacrifice, appropriation and unrepresentability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 80 p.
Keyword [en]
aesthetics, becoming, erasure, excessive object, feminine sublime, feminist aesthetics, literary theory, monstrosity, sublimity, transgender theory, trans women's writing, transmisogyny, unrepresentability
National Category
Philosophy General Literature Studies Arts Gender Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-30337OAI: diva2:937795
Subject / course
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2016-06-16 Created: 2016-06-16 Last updated: 2016-06-16Bibliographically approved

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