Master of Arts in English (M.A.)
Type of Paper/Work
Dr. Emily James, Dr. Alexis Easley, Dr. Victoria Young
This essay explores feminist and ecological forms in Ali Smith’s seasonal quartet—Autumn (2016), Winter (2017), Spring (2019), and Summer (forthcoming in 2020). Inherently cyclical and unapologetically timely, the novels in this series are widely praised for their response to Britain’s ever-contested borders. But beyond penning the “first Brexit novels,”Smith further reveals how ecofeminist activism can be an antidote to geopolitical strife. She recovers the work of women artists Pauline Boty, Barbara Hepworth, Tacita Dean, and Lorenza Mazzetti across her quartet to illustrate how their form-breaking style resists modern art’s limitations and, like her experimental fiction, refuses to conform to borders or, in this case, genre conventions. A practice well versed in the politics of exclusion, feminist art has the capacity to model a borderless world. I argue that Smith’s gallery of feminist art incites us to remediate marginalized subjects and restore our relationship with the wider ecosystem.
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Conway, Tove Lilith, "Feminist Forms and Borderless Landscapes in Ali Smith's Seasonal Quartet" (2020). English Master's Essays. 32.