Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users, please click the view more button below to purchase a copy of this dissertation from Proquest.

(Some titles may also be available free of charge in our Open Access Dissertation Collection, so please check there first.)

Raiding the inarticulate: Postmodernisms, feminist theory and black female creativity

C. Margot Hennessy, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This is an investigation into the ways that postmodern theories and feminist theories have both failed to learn from each other and yet also reveal the blindness' implicit in each other. Postmodern theory has consistently failed to engage gender in any significant way and feminist theory has consisted failed to find the usefulness of the methods and questions posed by postmodern theorists. Both approaches have failed to address the very real and important perspectives of the post colonial others who have been addressing the questions of race, gender, history, and agency for hundred of years. The second half of this investigation looks specifically at the work of three African American women writers, Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor and Gayle Jones, in their most recent work. All three novels, Beloved, Mama Day and Corregidora are historical novels concerned with the legacy of slavery, and these narratives themselves exceed all the expectation for postmodern theory and feminist theory in inviting us to understand the relationship between history, memory and the now. In effect the work of these writers succeeds in "theorizing the present" in ways that both feminism and postmodernism fail.

Subject Area

African American Studies|Black studies|Womens studies|American literature|Ethnic studies

Recommended Citation

Hennessy, C. Margot, "Raiding the inarticulate: Postmodernisms, feminist theory and black female creativity" (2010). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3409587.