From the Rebecca riots to the Manic Street Preachers: Welsh cross-dressing as an act of political defiance
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 12:52 authored by Jessica McIntyre
This thesis aims to explore representations of political cross-dressing in Welsh literature, with a focus on the Rebecca Riots of the 1830s. This research draw mainly upon primary texts by Amy Dillwyn, Dylan Thomas and Manic Street Preachers to explore themes of nationality, class, rebellion and gender in Welsh culture. These diverse texts and the thematic connections between them are, thus far, largely unexplored areas of literary studies. The goal is to show that there is evidence to support a complex critical reading of these textual constructions which goes beyond regarding them simply as literary curiosities. In particular, this thesis will demonstrate that literary representations of the male cross-dressing Rebecca Rioters provide insight into a unique, and largely unacknowledged, aspect of Welsh culture that questions, destabilizes and subverts gender identity. I intend to show that these themes continue to be represented and explored in Welsh literature, and that this is indicative of a different cultural attitude to gender and political protest than is found through the rest of Britain. by demonstrating that the influence of the Riots is ongoing in Welsh literature, this research highlights the importance of the Rebeccaites in shaping modern Welsh culture.