Going out on a limb and setting a precedent for a lot of writing to follow: An abstract for my dissertation

Copyright: because these writings are planning for actual text in my dissertation, some of this will appear in my dissertation. I hold the right to the words in this post and require that interested parties ask for permission before copying the words or ideas too closely. Interested parties must cite me as the author: Dorothea Trotter. Obviously, the date of posting is the date of copyright and I reserve the right to challenge suspected plagiarism in my future dissertation submission using these blogs as proof of originality. 

Contemporary writers often create intermedial references to events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 9/11 attacks, or cheering soccer fans during the 2006 World Cup in Germany, or the results of war and genocide in former Yugoslavia, in their works. Most readers, however, pass over an intermedial reference to a television news report or photo-journalism, because they see it as a way to superficially establish context or as a device to help develop the characters. These references do help develop the characters, however, I argue that the use of intermedial references create a new narrative scenario in which the author can enunciate the individual voice of a character with migrant background. Sometimes, as in Monica Ali’s Brick Lane, the intermedial reference to the 9/11 attacks leads to an outbreak from the strong secondary discourses around the main character and to her declaration of independence. This use of intermedial reference is archetypal of most of the intermedial references I’ve noticed, and I believe that, due to the multivocal nature of the societies depicted in these literatures- this enunciation of individual voice will always be accompanied by interaction with multiple media.

In the twenty-first century, there are two main streams of intellectual discussion and inquiry: postcolonial/cultural studies and media studies. My dissertation project finds a point of intersection between these streams to help show how media can catalyze the creation of strong multicultural identity in contemporary literature.