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“We cannot create what we cannot imagine”: Appalachian Novels as Cultural Activism

Penven, Stacy “We cannot create what we cannot imagine”: Appalachian Novels as Cultural Activism. 2017. Radford University,

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This thesis applies Bakhtin’s concepts of alterity, French feminist linguistic theory, and Marxist criticism to the study of two works of Appalachian literature to uncover the transformational power of its narratives for the region. This study proposes that regional literature has the potential to reveal a ruling class’s oppressive practices, deconstruct social contracts built on paternal discourses, and emancipate marginalized classes trapped in capitalist structures. Analyzing two modern novels written by Appalachian authors, Strange As This Weather Has Been by Ann Pancake and Trampoline by Robert Gipe, determines whether first person narrators in regional literature are accomplishing what Kristeva considered a function of literary creation: subverting the dominant languages of power to bring about a liberation both political and linguistic. Finally, the thesis concludes that Appalachian novelists, telling stories through intimate narration drenched in semiotic language, do introduce into social discourse imaginative possibilities for new ways of being within their society.

Item Type: Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: Appalachia, novel, semiotic, culture, narration
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Radford University > College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences > Department of English
Date Deposited: 31 May 2019 16:12
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2023 18:57
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/393

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