Author ORCID Identifier
Year of Publication
Master of Arts (MA)
Arts and Sciences
Dr. Michael Trask
Love, broadly defined, needs space to grow. For love to materialize and sustain itself (in both literature and society), it must find hospitable geosocial, institutional, and psychic terrain. This is especially true for queer intimacies beyond heteronormative relationality, for the prospect of love’s radical––or reactionary––possibilities is contingent upon the more general sociality in which it develops. Yet love is often a worldmaking and, sometimes, historic mechanism unto itself. Love and its concomitant sexualities must therefore be understood within and without normative structures of hegemony; the workings of (neo)colonialism and capitalism––as well as patriarchy, white supremacy, and heterosexism––dictate to love, and love, at its fiercest, dictates back, or, less ideally, carves out a space for itself within hegemonic social delineations.
Accordingly, this thesis examines homoerotic love’s dizzying relation to colonial, capitalist, and heteronormative worlds through the queer relationships at the heart of E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India (1924) and James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room (1956). I propose that the novels’ landscapes of queer love––A Passage to India’s Marabar Caves and Giovanni’s Room’s eponymous apartment––offer a historicizing spatiality, articulating queerness’s social exclusion and restive generativity. Such spatiality narrativizes not-yet-reachable geographies beyond the colonial, capitalist, and heteronormative regimes of twentieth-century literature and culture. In doing so, the intimate spaces at the heart of A Passage to India and Giovanni’s Room give us reason to yearn and, occasionally, reason to hope.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Aftel, Samuel James, ""No, Not There": The Literary Precarity and Profundity of Queer Spatiality" (2023). Theses and Dissertations--English. 151.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Commons, Literature in English, British Isles Commons, Literature in English, North America Commons