Literary Testimonies of War and Conflict of Twentieth-Century British and Pakistani Women Writers

Citation:

Ashraf, Ana. 2020. "Literary Testimonies of War and Conflict of Twentieth-Century British and Pakistani Women Writers." PhD diss., KU Leuven.

Author: Ana Ashraf

Annotation:

Summary:
In this research project, I propose to focus on the literary representation of War in the fiction of modern and contemporary women writers referring mostly to three historic conflicts (WWI, WWII & War on Terror) with the help of textual analysis of their works under the theoretical frameworks of feminist criticism and testimony. This dissertation, through close textual study of selected primary texts, aims a thorough examination of literary responses of women writers writing about three different historic conflicts, namely; WWI, WWII, and War on Terror. At one level, the objective is to show how women writers as diverse as Virginia Woolf, Vera Brittain, Rebbeca West, Olivia Manning, Stevie Smith, Elizabeth Taylor, Doris Lessing, Fatima Bhutto, and Sara Suleri have their own individual take on war. At another level, this dissertation aims to trace the common patterns underlying these diverse responses to war; to investigate whether a female tradition of war testimonies can be discovered. It intends to emphasize the significance of developing a feminist approach to war literature. It attempts to understand what Barbara Bellow Watson while analyzing the complex response of Elizabeth Bowen's War novel The Heat of the Day refers to as 'literature of Silence' and to locate in that silence a testimonial quality of an actively observant female artist rather than a helplessly passive woman who lacks authentic experience to talk about war. My claim is that no comprehensive attempt has been made previously to connect, combine and unify the female artistic testimony in fiction to war especially with reference to their current relevance under the discourse of feminism and testimony. (Summary from KU Leuven Lirias)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Terrorism Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Northern Europe Countries: Pakistan, United Kingdom

Year: 2019

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