Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

English

First Advisor

Adele Davidson

Second Advisor

Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky

Third Advisor

Jesse Matz

Abstract

Comics is a male-dominated field which often explores masculine themes and defines ideal masculinities, however the hybrid form of art and literature also aligns beautifully with second wave French feminist theorist Hélène Cixous’ concept of “l’écriture féminine” or “feminine writing.” Cixous argues that feminine writing has the ability to ground writers in their bodies, represent that which is repressed, overcome hegemonic ideals of singular truth and individuality, and proliferate meaning and subjectivities. Chris Ware’s Building Stories and many of Lynda Barry’s works consider themes of female embodiment and implicate readers in the creative process of meaning-making. The following essay explores the relative success of Ware and Barry to achieve feminine writing through their experimentations with the comic form.

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