Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Jeffrey Gonzalez

Committee Member

Adam Rzepka

Committee Member

Emily Cheng


This thesis reads a posthuman feminist ethos, as theorized by Rosi Braidotti, within Kathy Acker’s In Memoriam to Identity. By recognizing the posthuman undercurrent of the text, my argument cuts against the conventional postmodern arguments traditionally associated with Acker’s work. I emphasize the novel’s recuperation of the French feminist theory écriture féminine, a 20th century postmodern method of thinking that sought to embody and empower the “woman” in language. However, my position gives pause to simply recognizing the implications of the text’s postmodern conventions. If left to a postmodern reading, Acker’s text runs the risk of succumbing to language’s patriarchal consciousness. Coherence, as I argue, is directly linked to a patriarchy itself. By coupling a postmodern deconstruction and a posthuman understanding—one that prioritizes the living being—I articulate an “actual way out” for the marginalized subject. As a result, Acker’s nearly incoherent rhetoric, “non-identity” characters, and understanding of sexuality as beyond gender, all constitute a text that truly salvages the “woman” in language.

File Format