Purdue University Graduate School
Ortega__Dissertation.pdf (1.28 MB)

"Stories in the form of places": Modern Literary Domestic Spaces

Download (1.28 MB)
posted on 2022-04-27, 13:13 authored by Alejandra Marie OrtegaAlejandra Marie Ortega


This dissertation builds on a shift in literary studies as scholars sought to develop new approaches to examining locations in literature. These approaches help scholars address the full spatial dimensions of a narrative, such as architectural features or social constructions of space. I argue that authors use homes to not only meditate on how individuals construct a sense of self, but also to consider the ways individuals interact with their community. I examine works by twentieth and twenty-first-century authors to address four different uses of homes: how homes engage with historical memory, serve as performative spaces, shape experiences of trauma, and address the effects of colonization and diaspora. By addressing different ways homes can be affected and, in turn, affect their occupants, I unpack concerns of housing security and the often-complex relationship between a person and their sense of home. Through a discussion of domestic space, we can further understand how social and political changes affect individual identities and familial structures. This dissertation contributes to scholarship on these authors, as well as develops an interdisciplinary framework for examining space and place in literature by synthesizing spatial theory, architectural theory, and narratology.


American Association of University Women


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • English

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Maren Linett

Additional Committee Member 2

John Duvall

Additional Committee Member 3

Nancy Peterson

Additional Committee Member 4

Justus Nieland

Usage metrics



    Ref. manager