Ideas of Landscape in the Fiction of...

DEPT/SUBJECT AREA - English Literature

SUPERVISOR(S) - Dr. Rachel Farebrother, Dr. Richard Robinson


THESIS TITLE - Ideas of Landscape in the Fiction of Marilynne Robinson, Toni Morrison, and Louise Erdrich


In contemporary American literature since the mid-eighties, there has been an increasing interest in portraying landscape and nature, especially in the light of their relation to human perception. This study explores spatial dynamics and their connection with ideas of landscape and nature in the works of three American women writers:  Toni Morrison, Marilynne Robinson, and Louise Erdrich.  All these authors are American residents who have been influenced by feminism. The interactions of their female characters with nature and landscape challenge the American nature/culture dichotomy and eventually allow for the emergence of a gender-based perception of nature. The project examines to what extent, and in what ways, these authors draw upon a longer tradition of American nature writing, focusing on their engagement with American visual culture and the Transcendentalists (as well as addressing the specific cultural traditions from which the three writers emerge).


‘Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping and the figure of the Housewife’ at ‘Marilynne Robinson Symposium’-Nottingham Trent University (10 June 2016).

‘Remapping an indigenous presence in Louise Erdrich’s The Round House’ at ‘Memory and Identity’-Swansea University (28 September 2018).