Margaret Cox

Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Lingyan Yang, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Mike Sell, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Susan Comfort, Ph.D.


This dissertation applies my coined concept, “the ocularity of the self,” which refers to how individuals constantly reconfigure their “lens” to the extent that the restructuring of their image results in acceptance of societal ocular dominance. Hence, the privileging of society’s metaphorical eye over the individual’s metaphorical eye, skews the acuity and validity of his or her self-image. I examine how the fiction and non-fiction prose narratives of Caribbean women authors Michelle Cliff, Oonya Kempadoo, Patricia Powell, and Kerry Young address sociolinguistics and creolity, the causes and effects of self-commodification, and the unmasking and unsexing of gender and sexuality. I show how these issues are influenced by constructed Caribbean “islands of the mind” that need to be replaced with self-determined mindsets as there is an effort to reshape the “ocularity of the self.”