Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in English



First Advisor

Jaime Harker

Second Advisor

Ian Whittington

Third Advisor

Monika Bhagat-Kennedy

Relational Format



This thesis attempts to understand the evolution of the stream-of-consciousness genre as it applies to, is written by, or centers queer people. Through generous Marxist-feminist readings of the works of Virginia Woolf and Ali Smith—used in this project as exemplars of the genre—it attempts to understand the differences within both the formal and philosophical/political outlook of the two authors. Specifically looking at Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse and Smith’s Hotel World, The Accidental, and Girl Meets Boy, this project posits that Smith, intentionally or not, has effectively re-written the basic narratives and re-visited the same themes as Woolf, but with different philosophical/political outlooks and forms. Additionally, it posits that within the stream-of-consciousness genre form and philosophy/politic inform one another in counterintuitive ways and, furthermore, that the genre is uniquely capable of speaking to how members of the queer proletariat might understand themselves both as people and as political agents.



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