Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of English

Content Description

1 online resource (viii, 349 pages) : illustrations, color maps.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Lana Cable

Committee Members

Ineke Murakami, Jennifer Greiman


biopolitics, Cary, Cavendish, Philips, sovereignty, Wroth, Sovereignty, Women heads of state, Queens in literature, Sex role, Human body, English literature

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Philosophy


Sovereignty, a mechanism of power around which a state is organized, has emerged as a way to understand the twenty-first-century biopolitical moment. Thinkers including Michel Foucault, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, and Roberto Esposito find sovereignty essential to understanding modern regimes of bodily domination and control. These thinkers look back to early modern England as an originary moment when older theories of sovereign power became attached to emerging modern political systems. Despite the sophistication of these arguments, however, no recent biopolitical theory accounts for the situation of women in historical or current system of power, nor do they discuss the role gender has played in the development of sovereignty.