Thesis / Dissertation

Catching Feelings: Affect, Life Writing and the Sociality of Women’s Illness

Chloe Rebecca Green, Sarah Balkin (ed.)

Published : 2020

Abstract

In “On Being Ill,” Virginia Woolf declared that illness is “the great confessional”; however, she believed this confessional impulse to be isolating, limiting the sufferer to their individual plight. Instead, this thesis argues that the contemporary scene of women’s illnesses is undeniably social. By foregrounding elements of contagion in this thesis, I examine both the infectious capacity of illness, particularly mental, psychosomatic and contested illnesses, and the contagious quality of personal experience in order to consider how movement and sensation become gendered and pathologised. Works in the contemporary genre of infectious autobiography (or autobiographical illness narrative), wh..

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University of Melbourne Researchers