Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

English

Supervisor

Dr. Kim Solga

Abstract

Various works of psychogeographic literature explore privileged and non-privileged communities and spaces through narrative and character development. Novels of this sort—specifically those by China Miéville, Neil Gaiman, and J.G. Ballard—feature narratives where their respective protagonists undergo a liminal metamorphosis and transform from a monotonous, albeit privileged urbanite into a free-associating inhabitant of the urban periphery: the unimagined, non-privileged space of urban detritus. By engaging with these authors’ novels alongside the works of the Situationists, Walter Benjamin, Rob Nixon and others, the goal of this thesis is to explore how the dominant urban epistemologies are subverted—whether or not they should be subverted—while also analysing the representation of non-privileged communities and how they resist the dominant epistemology in an attempt to imagine the unimagined metropolis. Literature is uniquely suited to exploring this topic, with the act of comparing texts itself revealing the volatile nature of the urban environment.