Publication Date

2012-04-25

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2013-04-25

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

English (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2011-12-15

First Committee Member

Dr. Sandra Pouchet Paquet

Second Committee Member

Dr. Patricia Saunders

Third Committee Member

Dr. Brenna Munro

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Joni Adamson

Abstract

This dissertation examines the intersections of gender, sexuality, community, landscape, ecology, and social justice as they appear in selected literary texts by contemporary Caribbean women writers. Beginning with an awareness of the various ecological crises enveloping the Caribbean as well as a firm belief that an analysis of literature might reveal inherent values regarding ecological sustainability and the need for propagating environmentally ethical practices throughout the region, the project uses Alice Walker’s notion of womanism to craft what it calls an “ecologically womanist” reading of texts by Lorna Goodison, Olive Senior, Jamaica Kincaid, Mayra Montero, Dionne Brand, and Pauline Melville. While using Walker’s definition of womanism to help identify the values that characterize ecowomanist texts, the dissertation simultaneously places ecowomanist texts and ecowomanist inquiry in relation to ecocriticism and ecofeminism as they have been articulated by Western authors and critics.

Keywords

Caribbean Literature; Womanism; Environment; Gender

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