Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Allison


“Resonant Texts” draws from literary criticism, history, biography, media theory, and the history of technology to examine representations of sound and acts of listening in modern experimental fiction and drama. I argue that sound recording technology, invented in the late 19th century, equipped 20th century authors including James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Ralph Ellison, and Samuel Beckett with new resources for depicting human consciousness and experience. The works in my study feature what I call “close listening,” a technique initially made possible by the phonograph, which forced listeners to focus exclusively on what they heard without the presence of an accompanying image. My study examines the literary modernists’ acute attention to the auditory in their goal to accurately represent the reality of the subjective, perceiving self in increasingly urban, technologically advanced environments.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)