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Florida Atlantic University

1. Dilgen, Regina. Studied girlhoods: consciousness, context, and negotiation of identity in the memoirs of Dorothy Allison, Mary Karr, and Barbara Robinette Moss.

Degree: PhD, 2011, Florida Atlantic University

Summary: Dorothy Allison's Two or Three Things I Know for Sure, Mary Karr's The Liars' Club, and Barbara Robinette Moss's Change Me into Zeus's Daughter are memoirs published in the 1990s of girlhoods in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This dissertation uses and expands upon the approaches of the multi-disciplinary Girls' Studies in analyzing how these memoirists theorize their own girlhoods. Each memoirist represents her experience in a culture that attempts to marginalize, silence, and define her. An application of the foundational work on girlhood in developmental psychology provides for an analysis of each memoirist's depiction of girlhood as a time of authentic insight and developing agency. Referencing feminist literary criticism allows for an interpretation of how the girls at the center of these works develop agency through growing awareness of the circumstances of their marginalization. And a semiotic literary interpretation adds to the analysis of these works as creative autobiogra phical writing in affording a close reading of how the memoirists portray younger selves learning to read the signs and texts of a culture and becoming aware of their status as girls in working-class families. Each memoirist uses a dual vocal presentation as both the adult memoirist and a younger self give shape to the narrative. Each memoirist represents a distinct southern space intersecting with specifics of the era to form a cultural moment. Social Construction Theory makes available a basis for considering how the memoirists narrate their increasing understanding of race and gender within these specific contexts as well as their resistive voicing of these insights.

Summary: Through a Cultural Studies focus this dissertation examines how each memoirist represents a younger self's negotiations with cultural products of the era that work to construct girlhood. Adding to this unpacking of how the memoirists study their own girlhoods, the tools of Postco for an analysis of how the memoirists theorize their own girlhoods in ways that parallel these approaches. This dissertation adds to the evolving field of Girls' Studies in using contemporary theoretical frameworks to interpret how girlhood is constructed, represented, and negotiated with in these memoirs.

Electronic reproduction. Boca Raton, Fla., 2011.

Subjects/Keywords: Allison, Dorothy; Karr, Mary; Moss, Barbara Robinette; Self in literature; Popular culture – 20th century; Working class women – United States

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APA (6th Edition):

Dilgen, R. (2011). Studied girlhoods: consciousness, context, and negotiation of identity in the memoirs of Dorothy Allison, Mary Karr, and Barbara Robinette Moss. (Doctoral Dissertation). Florida Atlantic University. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/3332175

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Dilgen, Regina. “Studied girlhoods: consciousness, context, and negotiation of identity in the memoirs of Dorothy Allison, Mary Karr, and Barbara Robinette Moss.” 2011. Doctoral Dissertation, Florida Atlantic University. Accessed June 06, 2020. http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/3332175.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Dilgen, Regina. “Studied girlhoods: consciousness, context, and negotiation of identity in the memoirs of Dorothy Allison, Mary Karr, and Barbara Robinette Moss.” 2011. Web. 06 Jun 2020.

Vancouver:

Dilgen R. Studied girlhoods: consciousness, context, and negotiation of identity in the memoirs of Dorothy Allison, Mary Karr, and Barbara Robinette Moss. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Florida Atlantic University; 2011. [cited 2020 Jun 06]. Available from: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/3332175.

Council of Science Editors:

Dilgen R. Studied girlhoods: consciousness, context, and negotiation of identity in the memoirs of Dorothy Allison, Mary Karr, and Barbara Robinette Moss. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Florida Atlantic University; 2011. Available from: http://purl.flvc.org/FAU/3332175

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