Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Jose Lanters

Committee Members

Andrew Kincaid, Mark Netzloff, Jason Puskar, Peter Paik


Androgyneity, Authorial Performance, Gender Doubleness, Queer Theory, Space and Spatiality, Temporality


“Granite and Rainbow” argues that queerness is an essential condition for normative creativity to properly function in literary Modernism. Specifically, for the three modernist authors I explore in this project, queerness is at the heart of their literary performances: the private, bawdy, scintillatingly homoerotic Eliot feigning an impersonal, cerebral voice in public; the wounded, traumatized, feminine Yeats desiring for a compelling, masculine mask; and the scared and unsatisfiable Woolf whose strong desire for the maternal and a female tradition of writing is almost always cut short by her simultaneously antithetical craving for a male tradition of writing. This dissertation approaches this issue by attending to how queerness is figured and operative in their individual texts along the temporal or (and) spatial axis.

Two chapters are allotted to each author in the order of Eliot, Yeats, and Woolf. The chapters on Eliot explain the private and public Eliot respectively. The Yeats chapters deal respectively with the poet’s early and later poems in terms of the plethora of ways his changing gender performances relate to the questions of queer temporality. The chapters on Woolf each focus on Mrs. Dalloway and Orlando, novels written around the same time, to trace how the novelist’s vacillation along the gender continuum comes across as issues with gender space and queer spatiality. Ultimately, this dissertation aims to show the similarities between what I see as queer in these modernist writers’ authority and authorship and the textual manifestations of queerness or queer time and space.