Abstract: This dissertation focuses on the work of Portuguese poet Ana Luísa Amaral (1956- ), who has played a fundamental role in contemporary Portuguese literature and criticism, developing her work as a poet in parallel with her activity as a critic and academic essayist, mainly in the area of feminist and queer studies. My analysis focuses on textual strategies adopted by Amaral to revise the Western literary canon and negotiate poetic authority. Through a queering approach to the canonical politics of literary discourse and the vocabulary of authorship, Amaral emphasizes the potential of inverting and redefining this problematic legacy by redeploying and resignifying it in a dynamic network of intertextual relations.
My analysis considers also the poetic subject’s relationship with the nonhuman environment and the ethical and aesthetic consequences of such a relationship as articulated by Amaral. This approach, based on Catherine Rigby’s concept of the “ecopoetics of negativity,” which expresses an untranslatable experience of reality, allows me to analyze the relevance of the nonhuman world to Amaral’s strategies of questioning the poetic expression of gendered experience. Finally, I argue that Amaral’s ecopoetics of negativity is intrinsically linked with Jack Halberstam’s concept of queer failure, in particular with its reliance on counterintuitive forms of knowledge and its refusal of triumphalist views of identity and success. My reading demonstrates how Amaral’s multilayered construction of meaning draws both on Western literary traditions and on the nonhuman domain to generate complex aesthetic and political implications that lie in the interplay between nature and culture.
- Prof. Anna M. Klobucka (adviser)
- Prof. Christopher Larkosh
- Prof. Victor K. Mendes
The defense will be conducted in Portuguese. All are welcome. For more information, please contact Anna Klobucka, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Refreshments provided by the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture