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Concrete Diamonds: Exegesis in Pursuit of Radical Praxis / GEMMA HOWELL

Swansea University Author: GEMMA HOWELL

DOI (Published version): 10.23889/SUthesis.62926

Abstract

As a contribution to feminist epistemology, Concrete Diamonds is an emancipatory undertaking, seeking to unearth discrepancies between social ontology and the historical realism of working-class people’s lives. Concrete Diamonds is an experimental, hybrid novel encompassing two distinct literary gen...

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Published: Swansea 2023
Institution: Swansea University
Degree level: Doctoral
Degree name: Ph.D
Supervisor: Gower, Jon
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa62926
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Abstract: As a contribution to feminist epistemology, Concrete Diamonds is an emancipatory undertaking, seeking to unearth discrepancies between social ontology and the historical realism of working-class people’s lives. Concrete Diamonds is an experimental, hybrid novel encompassing two distinct literary genres which interlink technically, introspectively, and thematically. The dominant (or principal narrative) is a polyphonic homage to working-class people of different ages, genders, races, and sexual orientations, living in the margins of post-industrial neoliberal Britain. The principal narrative is then bookended with phallic concrete poetry. This experimental structure not only allows for a deeper, more nuanced exploration of hidden narratives but seeks to draw experiential links concerning economic poverty, stigmatisation and marginalisation developed during crucial periods of social change in the contemporary history of Britain. Inspired by the principles of fusion fiction,1 my novel has multiple starting points in a variety of narrative voices and literary styles, and it encompasses the poetic to polemic; social realism to magical realism; melodramatic and comedic –- all of which not only bolsters character and plot development but also fortifies the novel’s non-conformist message. While tracing the creative becoming of the central character, Girlo Wolf, the story brings to life five generations of familial relationships, with adjoining friendships and acquaintances and is an exploration of the rich and diverse lived experiences, illuminating the past origins and present conditions of discrimination, marginalisation and subjugation.
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Keywords: Feminist epistemology; outsider-within; epistemic hermeneutical injustice; lived experience; proletarian standpoint theory; feminist standpoint theory; Marxist feminism; intersectional feminism; phenomenological hermeneutics; critical theory; emancipatory project; Künstlerroman; Bildungsroman; feminist revisionist theory; feminist literary theory; phenomenology; eco-feminism; modernism; post-modernism; colonialism; industrialism; criminology; social sciences; transcendence
College: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences