Li Yang

Vice Dean
Language Department, Wuxi Institute of Technology
Appointment Dates:
(Sep 1, 2013 – Jan 31, 2014)
Research Project:
Women and Critical Regionalism: A Case Study of Annie Proulx’s Fiction as a Cultural Critique
Women and Critical Regionalism: A Case Study of Annie Proulx’s Fiction as a Cultural Critique Annie Proulx (1935- ), who is generally regarded as a significant writer in post-feminist age actively productive from 1980’s until present as well as the most ambitious writer of “the Neo-Regionalists”, seems to me embodies the cultural critique of postmodernism and its impact on the local community. Taking Proulx’s oeuvre as a case study, this research aims to probe into the relationship between woman writers and literary regionalism in postmodern era. A century after its debut in the late nineteenth century, the trend of woman regional writing revived in the 1980’s. Today, a group of woman regional writers, such as Annie Proulx, Carolyn Chute and Louis Erdrich, learn not only from their modernist predecessors but also from contemporary magical realists and minimalists when describing places. Therefore, they contribute to contemporary American literature with an expression of a critical regionalism within postmodern fiction. Taking Annie Proulx as a case study, this research aims to explore how woman critical regionalists relate region to regionalism and region to place. Meanwhile, it will take a close look at the question Proulx poses for the complex reciprocity between geography and culture. Secondly, this research aims to explore how Proulx, as a woman writer who has claimed the most male territory as her own, reconstructs in her fiction the American Westward Expansion as a history when nature was exploited, women were suppressed and the Indian people deterritorialized. Meanwhile, it considers how Proulx defines herself as an American in a decade fraught with questions of national identity. Finally, in the second decade of the 21st century, the research raises questions concerning how the meaning of region changes over time; implicates the critical study of regionalism in changing concepts of nation that involve questions of globalization; and focuses on the contemporary manipulation of regions and regional people, especially women workers in postcolonial variations of globalism 
Yang Li is a scholar of eco-criticism, postmodern culture and gender study with a particular interest in women regional writers. Dr. Yang earned her Ph.D. from Shanghai International Studies University. In 2012, Fudan University Press published her book on Annie Proulx, A Study of Annie Proulx’s Ecological Visions. She is now at work on a larger book project focusing on women critical regionalists at the turn of the 21st century.  Dr. Yang currently teaches major English language subjects at Wuxi Institute of Technology, and engages in curriculum arrangement, staff allocation and office administration work as Vice Dean of their Foreign Language Department.