Race - femininity - representation: women, culture and the orientalized other in the work of Henriette Browne and George Eliot, 1855-1880.

Lewis, Reina (1994) Race - femininity - representation: women, culture and the orientalized other in the work of Henriette Browne and George Eliot, 1855-1880. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the paintings of Henriette Browne and George Eliot's novel Daniel Deronda in order to explore the ways in which European women contributed to imperial cultures of the second half of the nineteenth century. In contrast to many cultural histories of imperialism which analyse Orientalist images of women rather than images by women, the thesis argues, first, that women did produce imperialist images and, second, that an analysis of the production and reception of images by women will develop an understanding of the interdependence of ideologies of race and gender in the colonial discourse of the period. To this end, the representations selected for study are read largely through their reception in the British and French critical press in order to assess the ways in which the gender-specific and author-centred criticism of the time produced a range of (often contradictory) meanings for women's texts and identities for their authors. It is argued that women's differential, gendered access to the positionalities of imperial discourse produced a gaze on the orient and the Orientalized 'Other' that registered difference less pejoratively and less absolutely than is implied by Said's original formulation (Said, 1978). Thus, the thesis contributes to critical debates about imperial subjectivities; argues for a more complex understanding of women's role in imperial culture and discourse; intervenes in George Eliot scholarship; and provides the first detailed analysis of Browne's work. As an initial exploration of women's involvement in Orientalist art, the thesis also aims to indicate the existence of a larger, as yet unexplored, field of women's visual Orientalism and demonstrate the benefits of taking an interdisciplinary approach to the examination of women's interaction with and contribution to colonial and imperial cultures.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Middlesex University for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Research Areas:Masters and Doctorates > Theses
Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media > English Language and Literature
ID Code:6426
Deposited On:23 Aug 2010 11:21
Last Modified:21 Jul 2014 19:41

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