Thesis Title: Adventures on the Isle of Adolescence: Forms of Contemporary American Girlhood
Supervisor: Merve Emre
Research Interests: American Literature, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature
Doctoral Research: My thesis examines how expansive new representations of American girlhood have emerged in contemporary novels, in response to the social and cultural transformations that have been catalysed by the girl-centric agendas of third wave feminism. Rather than presenting girlhood as a time when restrictive gender norms are established, my thesis argues that contemporary novels offer feminist transformations of the traditional characterisations of American girlhood through formal, thematic, and ideological departures from the gendered conventions of adolescence. Through its exploration of this narrative shift, my research illuminates how the American girl has been transformed from a one-dimensional object in earlier literary traditions, to a dynamic socio-political subject whose narrative centres upon the promotion of a range of feminist agendas in the contemporary novel.