Date of Award
College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts
Creative writing, Poetry
Over, Then Over Again, Over applies aesthetics of cuteness and girly kitsch to critique the essentialist identities of patriarchal and ableist systems. The project engages, through scholarly, poetic, and asemic writings, identities as contingent, performed acts and embodied, lived experiences. In a master narrative that characterizes disordered subjects as morally impure, while insisting upon femininity as safeguarding physical purity, the most ineffable identity might be “the madwoman.” Both rejected and romanticized, her diagnosis results from an inability to be contained—she exists in excess—and her pathologization renders self-expression too illogical to be legitimate. At the same time, she lives in a perpetual state of girlhood, not as a developmental stage, but as an imposed social persona. Situated at the nexus of feminist theory and disability poetics, this project examines storytelling modes like the pathography, confessional lyric, and fairy tale as sites of ongoing identity reformation in conversation with rape culture as the violence inherent to fetishizing purity. Expanding what constitutes a text, this work includes textiles as communicative sites that redefine the sentence as a narrative vehicle. This project enacts medical, poetic, and tactilic repetitions on the surface of the text/ile to reframe disorder as encoding the body’s many languages. In this poetics, disorder, rather than a diagnostic label necessitating a linear process of recovery, functions outside of explanatory and evaluative notions of legibility, serving instead as a means of active and potentially empowering expression.
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Received from author
Comola, Jessica, "Over, Then Over Again, Over: A Poetics of Disorder" (2019). Restricted Access ETDs. 23.