My work explores the interrelated themes of gender, nature, and spirituality in contemporary women's literature of the Chinese Diaspora. Drawing from three texts by diasporic Chinese women writers of "the wounded generation" and a piece of my own short fiction, my dissertation problematizes the alienating ideologies and practices in the process of China's modernization and urbanization. More importantly, my work examines the ways in which the bond of nature-woman-spirituality functions as a resistance to androcentric and anthropocentric beliefs and practices in the Mao and post-Mao eras in China, and as a catalyst for alternative ways of knowing and knowledge production. I argue that this bond can be better understood within the frameworks of the decolonial imaginary and ecowomanism. It is important to re-member this bond and to refocus it in order to move toward a more just world. My short fiction adds new threads to the fabric these three writers have woven, bringing rural women and folk knowledge to the forefront. Using womanist literary criticism and production, my work sheds light on the possibilities opened up by forgotten and subjugated ways of knowing and knowledge production to imagine a global healing praxis that helps bridge the gap between the East and the West. Thus it broadens our understanding of the links between interdisciplinary and diverse feminist theories such as the decolonial imaginary and ecowomanism by revealing an Asian dimension to these largely Western discourses.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2013. Major: Feminist Studies. Advisor: Eden Torres. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 376 pages.
Imaging the decolonial spirit: Ecowomanist literature and criticism in the Chinese Diaspora.
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