Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Bruce Harvey

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Nathaniel Cadle

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Michael P. Gillespie

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Edgar Allan Poe, body studies, continental theory

Date of Defense



This thesis involves a close-reading of how Edgar Allan Poe writes the body and how bodies operate as discursive spaces to explore identity, sexuality, gender, and society and are constructed and deconstructed. Consideration is given to how Poe challenges, destabilizes, and problematizes notions of the body exacerbated by abnormal bodies absenting themselves via death, decay, or prosthetics and the meaning that is gathered around either their conjunction or disjunction.

The introduction gives an overview of relevant Poe criticism and a rationale for this project. Chapter II explores how Poe’s treatment of the body-proper and identity in “How to Write a Blackwood Article” and a “Predicament.” Chapter III looks at the body object in “Ligeia,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and “Berenice.” Chapter IV investigates how the body politic functions in “The Man of the Crowd” and “The Man that Was Used Up.”




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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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