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dc.contributor.advisorBrickell, Chris
dc.contributor.advisorSeymour, Mark
dc.contributor.authorBurke, Christopher
dc.date.available2012-06-25T20:56:17Z
dc.date.copyright2012
dc.identifier.citationBurke, C. (2012). Speak to me, Stranger: Subjectivity, Homosexuality and the Preliberation Narratives of James Courage (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/2321en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/2321
dc.description.abstractThis thesis surveys the life of expatriate writer James Courage (1903-63). More than a literary biography, Speak To Me, Stranger exhibits the ‘strangeness’ and unique historicity of past lives. It uses one man’s experience to elucidate the complexities, ambivalences and potentialities of ‘pre-liberation’ New Zealand and Britain. Drawing on journals, personal correspondence, photography and literature, this thesis exposes the multifarious, divergent and sometimes incoherent ways that one individual’s identity was produced, experienced and transformed through time, space and text. It appraises stories – cultural, personal and fictive – as a means to unveil the complexity of past lives. In particular, Speak To Me, Stranger follows recent assertions made about modernity and its role in producing individuation. Modernity is best understood as a localized and partial process that has specific and diverging effects on individuals. These divergences speak very carefully to various categories of identity and experience – class, nationality, and gender, in particular – that, together, help shape modern subjectivities. Courage’s story is in turns dramatic and mundane, triumphant and tragic. Courage resided in London from 1923, making only one return trip to New Zealand in 1933. But his story bridges multiple worlds – both centre and periphery. Engaging the problematic category of ‘pre-liberation’, this thesis seeks to challenge the assumptions and timescale common to a number of assessments of the pre-Stonewall era. Liberationist articulations of the past have tended to paper over the complexities of past lives. Such impulses have grouped people together without differentiation and sometimes undercut questions of agency. Perhaps for the first time, this thesis traces the unfolding of history through emphatically queer and New Zealand eyes. Alike or alien, familiar or foreign, Courage’s personal and literary stories speak to modernity, subjectivity and narrative in powerful ways. They show the unique variegation, complexity and dynamism that is evident across a single lifespan, and forces a reconceptualisation of what it meant to be a queer New Zealander in the years before liberation.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectHomosexuality
dc.subjectJames Courage
dc.subjectSubjectivity
dc.subjectQueer theory
dc.subjectNew Zealand
dc.subjectGay liberation
dc.subjectLiterature
dc.subjectCanterbury
dc.subjectLondon
dc.subjectMasculinity
dc.titleSpeak to me, Stranger: Subjectivity, Homosexuality and the Preliberation Narratives of James Courage
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2012-06-25T06:02:51Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplineGender Studies; History
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
otago.openaccessOpen
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