Literature as Utopia: Spaces of Alterity in West German Postcolonial and Science-Fiction Literature after Sixty-Eight Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 22, 2019
  • Fulk, Kirkland Alexander
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • The dominant narrative surrounding West German literature of the seventies maintains that following the collapse of the student movement around 1968, the collective utopian aspirations of this generation gave way to the loss thereof in the new emphasis on private, political subjectivity in the following decade. Literature as Utopia challenges such commonplace accounts by examining spatial alterity in postcolonial and science fiction literature of the 1970s written by Nicolas Born, Hubert Fichte, Alexander Kluge, and the anonymous cult writer P.M. This study reassess the currency of utopia after 1968--both the good place and no place--by probing these authors' works using post-Adornian aesthetic theories that emerged concurrently in West Germany in the seventies, namely those of Karl Heinz Bohrer, Hans Robert Jauß, Wolfgang Iser, Dieter Wellershoff, Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge. In addition, my dissertation traffics in the larger intellectual history surrounding the 1970s by bringing my primary texts into dialogue with theorists outside of Germany such as Edward Said, Homi Bhabha, Susan Sontag, Clifford Geertz, Henri Lefebvre, and others in order to assess the ways in which the literature of this period begins to respond to theory. In this dissertation, I argue that this post-revolutionary literature was particularly adept at opening textual spaces in which the idea of utopia could regain a foothold as a socio-critical force after its demise just a few years earlier.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Langston, Richard
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2013

This work has no parents.