NameMalcom, Carolyn Patricia (author), Dienst, Richard (chair), McClure, John (internal member), Stephens, Michelle (internal member), Eng, David (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectLiteratures in English,
Developing countries--Literatures--Western influences
DescriptionThis dissertation traces the emergence of overlooked articulations of the megacity in contemporary postcolonial novels. Representations of non-Western cities and informal settlements or “slums” in global popular culture and Anglophone urban commentary enact a series of elisions -- making poor women and their economic and social activities invisible, allowing the volatile space of the street to stand in for all noteworthy space, and ignoring the progressive energies of slum-based social movements by equating them with religious extremism and other radicalisms. Postcolonial novelists, this dissertation argues, challenge these elisions by crafting what I term settlement fictions: narratives that foreground the unforeseen intra-community relationships, hidden spaces of work and laboring solidarities, and flexible approaches to spatial politics engendered by impoverished megacity life. Analyzing urban images of the Global South in film, journalism, visual culture, and literature, I suggest that contemporary African, Indian, and Caribbean writers, including Chris Abani, Zakes Mda, Rohinton Mistry, and Patrick Chamoiseau, loosen the bonds that have heretofore tightly associated the imagined megacity with the fate of postcolonial nations embedded in a global system of exploitative capitalism. While recognizing the importance of both neoliberalism and colonialism in shaping modern urbanization, the writers I discuss push critics to see non-Western megacities equally as incubators of original urban social practices. My work draws upon theories of everyday practice, transnational governance, the gendering of postmodern labor, and micro-politics to clarify the local, regional, and global significance of these practices.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Carolyn Patricia Malcom
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.