• Tine Myrup Thiesson
4. term, English, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis explores narratives for new belongings in an ever-changing world, where the static seems desirable and safe, but also false. The protagonists in Exit West (2017) and The Parable Series (1993, 1998) are epitomes of transcultural identities fostered by forced or voluntary micro or macro migration. While the narratives are sites of resistance and refusal, the texts also advance possibilities of new affiliation and opportunity. The Parable Series negotiates the lives of migrants, whereas Exit West contends with the actual topic of migration. The two authors write about post-apocalyptic worlds with insurmountable problems; despite harsh realities, the changing world is where the protagonists have to make their homes. Mohsin Hamid has created a social commentary on Octavia E. Butler’s farsightedness into the twenty-first century – the novels complement each other, and both painfully resonate with what transpires in our current world.
The dynamics of placemaking in the twenty-first century and beyond is examined through the lens of intersectionality, standpoint theory, the social system of kyriarchy, and the theory of diaspora space. Diaspora space conceptualizes the realities from which Butler and Hamid write their dystopian stories in an attempt to reconfigure ‘home’ forever in the making. Brah’s (1996, 2012, 2017) theory of diaspora space spatializes the concept of intersectionality to show how individuals interconnect with space to form different identities with privileged or oppressed outcomes. By utilizing an intersectional standpoint analysis within a kyriarchy and diaspora space framework, I investigate interacting systems of oppression, privilege, and standpoints in The Parable Series and Exit West.
The analysis section of the thesis is framed as a heuristic teaching tool. It demonstrates and discusses an intersectional reading of fictional texts within the theme of migration to validate that intersectionality is not just about representing the mesh of socially and politically relevant differences, but that it is a pro-active tool used to overcome the social and political significance of existing differentiations. The method may increase recognition and appreciation of diversity –also amongst students in a classroom setting. It is my hope that this thesis will advance an awareness of the complex issues of migration, while concurrently elucidating how particular intersecting factors of gender, class, and race construct, enrich, or limit not only a fictional character but also a human being’s lived experience concerning migration and belonging.
Publication date2017
Number of pages76
ID: 266383583