Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Daniel Westover

Committee Members

Scott Honeycutt, Jesse Graves


This thesis utilizes Foucault’s concept of “technologies of the self” to examine three texts from 1980s British literature for the ways that postmodern writers compose the self. The first chapter “Liminality and the Art of Self-Composition” explores the ways in which liminal space and time contributes to the self-composition in J.L. Carr’s hybrid Victorian/postmodern novel A Month in the Country (1980). The chapter on Jeanette Winterson’s novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1985) titled “Intertextuality and the Art of Self-Composition” argues that Winterson’s intertextual play enables her protagonist Jeanette to resist the dominance of religious discipline and discourse and compose a more autonomous, artistically oriented self. The third chapter, titled “Spatial Experimentation and the Art of Self-Composition,” examines R.S. Thomas’s collection The Echoes Return Slow (1988), a hybrid text of prose and poetry, arguing that Thomas explores spatial gaps in the text as generative spaces for self-composition.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.