Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Studies

Document Type



Using memoir, material objects, archival research, and performance, this project locates important points of everyday life performances that are missed when the focus of Beat woman scholarship primarily seeks to integrate their literary writing into the male-centered narrative of the Beat Generation. This study retraces steps and experiences located in New York City and recovered from archives. The base narrative of the study is drawn from the memoirs How I Became Hettie Jones by Hettie Jones, Minor Characters by Joyce Johnson, and Recollections of My Life as a Woman by Diane di Prima, this project recovers the everyday life performances of the women who wrote them. Using the memoirs as the point of entry, this project employs several performance theories and methods to work through the lives of the women, including Kristin Langellier’s perspectives on personal narrative theory, Diana Taylor’s distinction between the archive and repertoire, and deep mapping through theatre archaeology. The project is presented as a series of spatial narratives that map the everyday life performances of Jones, Johnson, and di Prima in a way that considers their home spaces, their unique modes of employment, and their artistic practices as vital to understanding how they lived and contributed to the Beat Generation. While other scholars are reclaiming these women’s agency as writers to fit them into the traditional Beat paradigm, this project reclaims their agency as contributing members of the Beat Generation through an embodied and spatial exploration of their narratives, spaces they occupied, and objects they used.



Committee Chair

Suchy, Patricia

Available for download on Wednesday, October 23, 2024