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The Dystopian Cityscape in Postmodern Literature and Film


By focusing on what I call the urban dystopia, this dissertation uses cultural, social, and economic histories of urban development to identify the ways in which authors and filmmakers have helped to create our understanding of urban space. In particular, I examine how postmodern literature and film have responded to the forces of late capitalism, especially the explosion of urban populations and the geographic expansion of urban areas, and in the process consider not only those who stand to benefit from this ongoing growth but also those who have suffered the effects of poverty and spatial segregation. My research suggests that dystopian authors and filmmakers used their visions of the city in crisis to challenge our conception of urban space and our place within it. "The Dystopian Cityscape in Postmodern Literature and Film" brings together urban, literary, and film theory to assay the dystopian critique found at the heart of many of the postmodern textual and filmic conceptions of the city.

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