Defense Date

6-16-2021

Graduation Date

Summer 8-7-2021

Availability

One-year Embargo

Submission Type

dissertation

Department

English

School

McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Danielle A. St. Hilaire

Committee Member

Sarah Breckenridge Wright

Committee Member

Laura Engel

Keywords

early modern, waste, excrement, ecofeminism, Edmund Spenser, John Milton, Mary Wroth, Mary Sidney Herbert, John Evelyn, William Shakespeare

Abstract

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.

Language

English

Available for download on Sunday, August 07, 2022

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