"Capitalism as a Hegemonic Narrative: Strategies of Contestation in Writings of Contemporary London"
In my thesis, I argue that many contemporary British fiction writers, essayists and filmmakers - including Peter Ackroyd, Iain Sinclair, Zadie Smith, Michael Moorcock, Monica Ali, Salman Rushdie, Hanif Kueishi and Stephen Frears - contest capitalist politics through focusing their work on the physical spaces of London. For these writers, a neoliberal myth of capitalist progress has been instantiated in the architecture and landscape of the city, and the development of urban space by central planners is usurping city residents' right to participate in defining and designing the spaces they inhabit. Though diverse in many ways, all of these writers describe methods of contesting capitalist ideologies through disrupting patterns of production and consumption as they have been built into the spaces of London.
Writing the honors thesis was one of the best decisions I made as an English student at Wheaton. The honors program gave me the chance to receive direct and detailed feedback from a handful of professors, to read with great depth and focus about a subject that particularly interests me, and to begin a research project that I have continued to work on as a graduate student in English literature. My thesis has proven an invaluable springboard for my current work, and it is one of the most fun and rewarding papers I have written yet!
Read Nicole's thesis here.