Date of Award
English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing
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I+ is a hybrid poetry and short prose manuscript accompanied by a critical essay that explores a non-essentialist journey of self-acceptance and subversion in the face of compulsory heteronormativity and compulsory able-bodiedness. The poems follow the posthuman protagonist “i” through her engagement to her fiancé “yu,” pregnancy, death, revivification and mutation/mutilation into a posthuman cyborg—the author’s literal interpretation of Donna Haraway’s metaphorical social feminist cyborg. “iCarus,” as she is known after her regeneration, is half of the dual-entity “I+.” She shares her brain and first person narration with “max,” her mechanical counterpart. The poems highlight the female body as a site of heteronormative and able-bodied cultural inscription by imagining the page as i’s skin; the disjointed, repetitive poetics encourage the reader to re-member and rebuild iCarus and max’s body poem by poem. The prose section displays a similar narrative arc to the poems, but provides further details, so the reader can have a more full (though still partial and incomplete) understanding of I+’s journey, illustrating the feminist concept of multiple or fractured identities. The text ends with iCarus’s acceptance of max as part of her self, the two of them continuing their life as I+.
Watts, Hannah, "I+" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6026.