McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Danielle A. St. Hilaire
Sarah Breckenridge Wright
early modern, waste, excrement, ecofeminism, Edmund Spenser, John Milton, Mary Wroth, Mary Sidney Herbert, John Evelyn, William Shakespeare
This project seeks to understand the role of forms of waste in early modern literary texts. It both offers up a theory—known as early modern excremental ecofeminism—for reading period specific texts in relation to waste and articulates how we may do so through close analysis of Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene, John Milton’s Paradise Lost, the elegies of Mary Sidney Herbert, the sonnet sequence Pamphilia to Amphilanthus by Mary Wroth, John Evelyn’s Fumifugium, and finally, William Shakespeare’s play Antony and Cleopatra. It chooses a variety of genres across texts from the 1580s to the 1660s both to interrogate the applicability of early modern excremental ecofeminism and to conceptualize the role of waste in literature across the period. In so doing, this project also argues for waste as an agentic, feminine and feminizing, compositional, and hybridizing material in early modern literature. It also speculates on ways in which such readings can help us to rethink and address contemporary issues such as pollution, racism, gender, class, ecology, and sexuality.
Druzak, C. (2021). Excremental Ecofeminism: Unearthing Waste’s Feminine and Narrative Agency in Early Modern Literature (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/2009
Available for download on Sunday, August 07, 2022