Alexandra Gabbard, PhD
Visiting Assistant Professor
My research on English Literature focuses on the cross-cultural fields of Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Psychoanalytical and Feminist Studies. My corpus includes contemporary novels and classic Greek mythology. My dissertation was on Contemporary Politics and Literatures, and I approached my texts through perspectives on maternity, sorority and matricide under the aegis of feminist psychoanalysis and reconceptions of feminine genealogy. I am now interested in how of science fiction literature intersects with the academic fields of scientific research and ethics, literature and art, gender and body issues. My objective is to work with and expand the main theme of the last chapter of the doctoral dissertation, which analyzed cyborg mothers and alternate ways of creating life and identity. Ecocriticism and theories of the posthumanism intersect with my project, and I intend to specifically question ideas linked to scientific discourse and ethics connected to individuation and identity. Of particular interest to me is the idea of fetomaternal chimerism and pregnant embodiments, which suggest a new perspective on multiple, shifting and fragmentary identities, challenging the enclosed and isolated neo-liberal subject. I now endeavor to compare and contrast literary narratives through the rethinking of genealogy and power relationships allied with ideals of new conceptions and empowerment of mother and daughter figures within traditional Western mythology. Allied with theories on cyborg identity, critique of neoliberal identity politics and notions of the Anthropocene and the philosophical approach of material embodiment, my current research purpose is to enlighten my readers on issues of the feminine/pregnant body, parthenogenesis, body and gender identity and power relations (including the issue of placental economy and the commodification of feminine/pregnant bodies), sorority and sororal partisanship, and the subjectivity of gendered feminine identity.