English and Theatre Studies
Isabella Gullifer-Laurie is a graduate researcher in English and Theatre Studies.
Cool For You: The Female Cool of Renata Adler, Joan Didion, and Elizabeth Hardwick
Cool is a term used pervasively in both academic and everyday discourse to describe attitudes, affects, and aesthetics. Complex and somewhat elusive, cool has been broadly theorised across academic fields, yet these studies have only infrequently turned to women’s literature. My research considers cool in the work of North American women writers in the 1970s, and takes Renata Adler, Joan Didion, and Elizabeth Hardwick as case studies. Cool studies have routinely accepted cool as a corporeal figuration, and this thesis engages with the look, the sound, and the pose as strategic stylings of literary coolness. This thesis contends that cool can be considered as a style, and will examine how style is a function of character, public persona, and prose.