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"Somewhere and not Anywhere": A Place-Conscious Study of Literature Set in the City of New Orleans

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With this nontraditional thesis, I am proposing the plan and outline for a secondary-level English curriculum focused on teaching the operative role of New Orleans in Kate Chopin's The Awakening, Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, and Walker Percy's The Moviegoer to students living in that same city. In addition to defying the customary format for an English thesis, my project challenges conventional methods of reading New Orleans within these three texts and offers alternatives to reductive and oversimplifying interpretations of both the city's function in fiction and also its popularized public images. Tracing the struggles of the respective protagonists to establish their places or positions relative to the overwhelming presence of New Orleans in their own narratives, my analysis finds that the city is paradoxically situated in each of these works in a liminal location that hovers always somewhere between home and exile for these characters. And through an extension of the tenets of place-conscious pedagogical theory, I provide lesson plans for activities geared towards facilitating students' critical awareness of the role of New Orleans in both the appearance and outcomes of the three texts as well as in the shaping of their own identities as residents of the city.
A Streetcar Named Desire
New Orleans
Place-conscious pedagogy
The Awakening
The Moviegoer
Thompson, Rachael Lynne (author)
Bowie, Rian (committee chair)
Moss, William (committee member)
Aull, Laura (committee member)
Brown, Alan (committee member)
2013-06-06T21:19:25Z (accessioned)
2015-06-06T08:30:09Z (available)
2013 (issued)
English (discipline)
2015-06-06 (terms)
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/38526 (uri)
en (iso)
Wake Forest University
"Somewhere and not Anywhere": A Place-Conscious Study of Literature Set in the City of New Orleans

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