Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

Abstract

Like any good public relations campaign, this dissertation aims to offer a persuasive interpretation of certain key facts. The facts, as I see them, are as follows: first, a great number of contemporary novels and poems explore the personal and social consequences of diasporic migration. Second, these texts, along with their print and electronic paratexts, share a pervasive interest in media. And third, these works are rarely read in conversation with one another, despite their mutual concern for migration and media. Owing to this last point in particular, scholarship has failed to fully address the broader media theories developed in and across these works, and failed to fully pursue how these media theories respond to, and critically comment on, the prospects for deliberative democracy in an age of globalization.

In response, my project argues that diasporic media practices advance a transnational critique of public sphere theories. And yet, I claim this critique seeks to recover the resources of such theories and redeploy them in a global context. The four chapters of this dissertation are arranged in a communications circuit that treats (in order) media production, circulation, reception, and survival. Together, these chapters observe how diasporic populations shift from invisible anomalies to visible publics through their highly stylized and politicized use of media technologies. Ultimately, I emphasize that contemporary American literature cannot be understood without engaging reading and writing publics from the Dominican Republic, Canada, Nigeria, Korea, and more.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.