Publication Date

April 2015

Advisor(s)

Matthew Garrett

Major

English

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

This thesis applies the Situationist International’s practice of psychogeography to readings of four books set in London from 1722 to 2011. In Chapter One, I explore three geographical fields in Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders: place, road and street. I consider how Moll Flanders’ path within the city and across the nation constructs and maps subversive psychogeographies for the eponymous protagonist’s mobility and self-advancement. In Chapter Two, I examine Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, considering how the criminal world embedded in early Victorian London’s labyrinthine slums, read through Situationist theory, challenges the novel’s bourgeois morality. In the final chapter, I turn to Iain Sinclair’s London Orbital: Walking the M25 and author-artist Laura Oldfield Ford’s collection of self-published zines Savage Messiah in order to locate psychogeographical resistance to the advancing spectacle of late-capitalist London. The chapters represent three moments in London’s time and space where class struggles are set against the city’s geographical order and disciplinary mechanisms.

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