Term of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Literature

Committee Chair

Hapsatou Wane

Committee Member 1

Jane Rago

Committee Member 2

Hans-Georg Erney


This thesis applies Donna Haraway’s concept of “situated knowledges” to postcolonial feminist novels such as Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and Balli K. Jaswal’s Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows in order to illustrate why there needs to be a new framework for analyzing literary postcolonial women. Despite the applicability of Donna Haraway’s “situated knowledges” to postcolonial feminist literary studies, there has been little research published that analyzes not just the intersection of “situated knowledges” and postcolonial feminist literature, but also the problems that occur when Western scholars approach postcolonial texts without completely acknowledging their own worldview. I argue that because women within postcolonial feminist texts are at risk of what Chandra T. Mohanty calls “discursive colonization”, that there needs to be a new theoretical framework that embraces specificity. I call this new framework (un)Situated Knowledge and the female characters I focus on in my thesis analysis, (un)Situated Women. Through analyzing Ammu from Roy’s The God of Small Things and Nikki from Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, women who are alienated within their respective cultures, I demonstrate why (un)Situated Knowledge is an useful framework for postcolonial feminist literary analysis.

Research Data and Supplementary Material