Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Tanya Agathocleous

Committee Members

Peter Hitchcock

Siraj Ahmed

Subject Categories

Literature in English, Anglophone outside British Isles and North America


climate change, novel, queer, South Asia


As the world sours on the history-ending narratives of forever “growth” and unending “development” and recognizes the climate catastrophe, what stories of the future are left? The question of postcolonial space and its representation is a central concern of this dissertation. Thinking beyond the reasons for, and the histories of, the trashing of postcolonial space, examined by thinkers such as Rob Nixon and Jennifer Wenzel, allows for a consideration of the possibilities of life and thriving in unexpected and supposedly untenable contexts. I will therefore focus on what might be considered deterritorialised spaces: that is, spaces outside the structural ambits as well as surveillance of the state. Whether unregistered shanties or the graveyard, these spaces considered untenable for the making of a good life allow for new stories and possibilities of world-making to occur. Looking most closely at the novels Animal’s People (2007), Ministry of Utmost Happiness (2017), and Gun Island (2019) that have been accused of attempting a dizzying scope—of failing according to realist measures of novelistic coherence—this dissertation stresses the need for narratives and imaginations that convey a frantic and uncertain rather than calming and rational view of the spaces from which they were created. Relatedly, it stresses the value of socio-cultural networks such as Youtube, social media and encrypted chat apps to these imaginations and the ways they necessarily weave in and out of literary narratives.

This work is embargoed and will be available for download on Monday, September 30, 2024

Graduate Center users:
To read this work, log in to your GC ILL account and place a thesis request.

Non-GC Users:
See the GC’s lending policies to learn more.