Author

Fathi Nasaif

Date Approved

2011

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English Language and Literature

Committee Member

Elisabeth Däumer, PhD

Committee Member

Christine Neufeld, PhD

Abstract

This thesis studies Muriel Rukeyser‟s view of the relationship between technology and the body by analyzing some of her poetry in her Collected Poems and her philosophy of poetry in her book The Life of Poetry. The thesis also deals with the relationship between science and art; Rukeyser thought of science and art as supplementing and complementing each other through her idea of dynamism in nature and in artistic thought. In addition, my thesis discusses some critical responses to Rukeyser‟s poetry and philosophy of art. The theories that form the basis of my study are Rukeyser‟s idea of relational form and Julia Kristeva‟s theory of the chora stage. My study reveals how Rukeyser conceived of both technology and the body as sustained by one process of vitality and creativity, which is relational form. I will argue that Rukeyser‟s idea of a dynamic human inner self, in which the body is brought into realistic and responsible contact with its physical surroundings, including technology, relates to more recent thinking about the relationship between art and science, as seen in Kristeva‟s idea of the chora stage, which represents a source of dynamic creativity and connectivity that is apparent in the different aspects of life, including the body and technology. I will also study how Rukeyser‟s idea of the body as a source of dynamism and creativity anticipated Hélène Cixous‟s ideas of feminist writing.

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