Date of Award

May 2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

English

First Advisor

Andrew Kincaid

Committee Members

Kumkum Sangari, Jane Gallop, Arijit H Sen, John L Hall

Keywords

displacement, Hurricane Katrina, Katrina, landscapes, recovery, subject formation

Abstract

In Landscapes of Recovery: Belonging and Place in Post-Katrina Literatures, I analyze narratives of physical and social change following the events of Hurricane Katrina while providing a critical reading of the representations of New Orleans’s and the Gulf Coast’s urban landscapes in works of urban planning, nonfiction literature, and activist writing. A general line of inquiry informs this project: how do narratives about the disaster landscape following Katrina make visible or invisible certain political subjects? I assert that, by telling stories about the post- and pre-disaster landscape and its urban development history, these narratives carry out the process of displacement. Through a discursive analysis and close reading of a range of texts, including recovery plans, government reports, creative nonfiction, and public art projects, I explore how the writings about New Orleans’s disaster landscapes maintain and remake social differences within the urban population that make displacement possible. Overall, in Landscapes of Recovery, I argue that it is through these narratives about the urban space affected by disaster that notions of property, community, and belonging are contested.

Available for download on Thursday, May 21, 2020

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