Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


French Studies

Reader 1

Claire Nettleton

Reader 2

France Lemoine

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© 2015 Hannah R. Swan


In “Corpus Intactum,” I explore the possibility for the subversion of dominant orientalist narratives in Théophile Gautier’s short story “Le Pied de momie” and his later novel, “Le Roman de la momie”. I propose that Gautier’s works demonstrate the beginnings of colonialist critique, but that his capacity for subversion is ultimately hampered by the constraints of popular orientalist discourse. I argue, nevertheless, that through a figurative conflation of the feminine mummified body with the text that at once writes her and exists within her own narrative, Gautier is able to subvert the systems of domination within orientalist academic discourse. The body also becomes a site at which binaries are confronted and transcended. Finally, I explore the possibility for the creation of new marginal readings through the displacement of narrative perspective by comparing the effects of first-person narrative in “Le Pied de momie” with the impersonal, omniscient narration of “Le Roman de la momie.”