Embodying Identity
: Representations of the Body in Welsh Writing in English

  • Harri Roberts

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Since the time of Freud, some of the most radical innovators within critical theory have repeatedly stressed the importance of the body and its representation to the constitution of subjectivity. This thesis explores some of the theoretical debates surrounding the body, and assesses the value of 'the body' as a critical concept, through an analysis of the body's representation in both Welsh writing in English and discourse about Wales more generally.

    Through combining psychoanalytic with more culturally orientated approaches to the body, I produce in this study an historically informed account of the body in Welsh writing in English, analysing its role in the construction and contestation of identity at a cultural as well as individual level. In the process, I interrogate the ideological concepts underpinning psychoanalytic discourse, positioning its postulates (and accordingly modifying them) within the context of more culturally and historically aware accounts of Welsh literary practice.

    Most importantly, however, this thesis offers a new and radical contribution to the rapidly expanding critical literature on Wales concerned with exploring the construction of identity in a Welsh cultural context. While the need for such work in multicultural, post-devolutionary Wales has been widely recognised, the role
    of the body in the formation and contestation of identity has yet to be examined with any degree of adequacy or theoretical rigour within a Welsh context. It is a primary intention of this study to begin to rectify this area of critical neglect and provide the groundwork for subsequent investigations.
    Date of AwardJan 2005
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJane Aaron (Supervisor)


    • Welsh Writing in English

    Cite this