Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts Honours
School of Language, Literature and Media Studies
Faculty of Arts
Dr Susan Ash
In this thesis I demonstrate how a notion of decentred subjectivity better describes marginal subject positions than the concept of unified subjectivity which depends on a discriminatory binary conceptualisation. I identify the migrant position as an aporia from which to deconstruct such concepts as unified subjectivity, as the migrant refuses classification according to dichotomous structures. I use Derridean metaphors to show the falseness and unexamined essentialism inherent in binary oppositions. I use a combination of theorists, and especially Helime Cixous, to augment my primarily Derridean reading of migrant subjectivity within the texts: The Crocodile Fury by Beth Yahp and The Mule's Foal by Fotini Epanomitis. Cixous' model genders the decentred subject, and situates subjectivity as a discursive process. This theory also helps account for the notion of movement integral to migrant identity evident in the texts' characters. I examine the importance of cultural effects on migrant subjectivity and the vital role that a recognition of the past plays for migrants, both in terms of identity construction and as a stategy of resistance to the phallocentric and Eurocentric bias of the dominant culture. Lastly, I look at the way the novels transcend binary categorisation and present a more fluid, multiple way of viewing the world. This ideal of a more equitable system for marginalised people is the goal of my feminist and postcolonial project of resistance.
Cloake, S. (1996). Migrant Woman as 'Undecidable' : Migrant Subjectivity, The Crocodile Fury by Beth Yahp and The Mule's Foal by Fontini Epanomitis. https://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses_hons/706