Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Elizabeth Lewis

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Steeby

Third Advisor

Jade Hurter


The Female Gothic was coined by Ellen Moers in 1976, when literary scholars noticed that the discourse of Gothic literature skewed androcentric. The Female Gothic focused on a gynocentric lens giving breadth to notable Gothic women writer’s and stories. This paper delves within this lens and asserts a newer term, Feminist Gothic, in order to focus less on the gender binary in order to include women and queer individuals while adding Djuna Barnes and Sylvia Plath to the Gothic canon. There is no other academic sources that place Barnes’ Nightwood and Plath’s The Bell Jar in conversation with each other. In utilizing key Gothic elements such as the grotesque, the abject, and the uncanny, these authors’ characters demonstrate resistance to the constraints of normativity. Their grotesque odysseys illumine patriarchal structures of imprisonment as well as reimagine the possibilities of freedom.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

Available for download on Thursday, May 27, 2027