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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Rereading the city : race, space, and mobility in post 9/11 New York Dinat, Deena


This thesis examines the way in which the racialized immigrant engages with the modern global city in two recent novels: Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland (2008) and Teju Cole’s Open City (2011). Both texts take post-9/11 New York City as a landscape that focalizes concerns of mobility, race, and the city. I argue that these novels suggest that the ways in which the racialized immigrant interact with the city are shaped by different forms of mobility, and that these reveal different possibilities for a critique of the city as a site of modernity. It is argued that while Netherland ultimately affirms a conservative understanding of race in the post-9/11 city, Open City focuses on a moral ambiguity that allows for a radical critique of the metropole through its engagement with race, history, and the flaneur.

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