Novel and New Media: Challenging Liberal Systems in the New Century

Fall 2015 Grant Recipient

Graduate Student

Jap-Nanak Makkar (English) My dissertation studies global novels in relation to digital media, arguing that the former use the innovative techniques of the latter to imagine alternatives to liberal society and neo-liberalizing world markets. In one chapter, the centerpiece of the dissertation, I argue that Kazuo Ishiguro's novelNever Let Me Goshows us how media can inculcate modes of passivity and non-autonomy in mass society; I contextualize this text alongside a discussion of London's city-wide surveillance media, which secure the global city by targeting masses and exceptions (using "control" or algorithmic techniques) instead of targeting individuals. While non-autonomy and mass surveillance seem like negative developments begotten by digital media, their emergence also marks the disintegration of protections offered to the liberal individual.