Passing Figures: Fashion and the Formation of Modernist Identity in the American Novel

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/195911
Title:
Passing Figures: Fashion and the Formation of Modernist Identity in the American Novel
Author:
Gradisek, Amanda R.
Issue Date:
2009
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation considers the way in which the figure of fashion expands and complicates the field of literary modernism. My project treats "fashion" as more than just clothing and other bodily adornment, broadening it to include certain spaces, locations, and objects organized by social hierarchies of performance and display. I focus on the way in which characters--often in the texts of authors on the margins of mainstream modernism--use fashionable dress and the manipulation of social spaces to defy constraining social positions. I argue that fashionable expression allows characters to revise personal history and represent a self in opposition to externally imposed perceptions of identity.The readings of fashionable "moments" I consider show how fashion, like the modernist aesthetic itself, allows authors to fragment and remake conceptions of self and persona, meaning and value, and past and present, all categories scholars now argue were at the heart of the aesthetics of modernism. In chapters on Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, Nella Larsen, and William Faulkner, I explore the production of womanhood as anti-modern, the generation of personhood through new relations to things, the relations of the signs of race to the more general fashion system, and the relation between the domestic, modernity, and the American South. Examining texts through the lens of fashion reveals the ways in which modernist moments are produced by characters, subjects and authors often considered to be outside the boundaries of the modernist movement through an engagement with concepts of the fashionable, and the remaking of the self it allows. Building on the history of scholarship on modernist aesthetics, and on recent work on the role fashion played in the production and growth of the spirit of modernity, I show how, at the fringes of the American aesthetic, the frictions that brought literature in contact with the fashion system allow us to rethink the history of the early twentieth century.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Fashion; Modernism
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
English; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Dryden, Edgar A.
Committee Chair:
Dryden, Edgar A.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titlePassing Figures: Fashion and the Formation of Modernist Identity in the American Novelen_US
dc.creatorGradisek, Amanda R.en_US
dc.contributor.authorGradisek, Amanda R.en_US
dc.date.issued2009en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation considers the way in which the figure of fashion expands and complicates the field of literary modernism. My project treats "fashion" as more than just clothing and other bodily adornment, broadening it to include certain spaces, locations, and objects organized by social hierarchies of performance and display. I focus on the way in which characters--often in the texts of authors on the margins of mainstream modernism--use fashionable dress and the manipulation of social spaces to defy constraining social positions. I argue that fashionable expression allows characters to revise personal history and represent a self in opposition to externally imposed perceptions of identity.The readings of fashionable "moments" I consider show how fashion, like the modernist aesthetic itself, allows authors to fragment and remake conceptions of self and persona, meaning and value, and past and present, all categories scholars now argue were at the heart of the aesthetics of modernism. In chapters on Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, Nella Larsen, and William Faulkner, I explore the production of womanhood as anti-modern, the generation of personhood through new relations to things, the relations of the signs of race to the more general fashion system, and the relation between the domestic, modernity, and the American South. Examining texts through the lens of fashion reveals the ways in which modernist moments are produced by characters, subjects and authors often considered to be outside the boundaries of the modernist movement through an engagement with concepts of the fashionable, and the remaking of the self it allows. Building on the history of scholarship on modernist aesthetics, and on recent work on the role fashion played in the production and growth of the spirit of modernity, I show how, at the fringes of the American aesthetic, the frictions that brought literature in contact with the fashion system allow us to rethink the history of the early twentieth century.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectFashionen_US
dc.subjectModernismen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorDryden, Edgar A.en_US
dc.contributor.chairDryden, Edgar A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWhite, Susanen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGallego, Carlosen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHayot, Ericen_US
dc.identifier.proquest10534en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659752265en_US
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.