School of the Arts, English and Media


This thesis seeks to develop a new conceptual territory in literature—the “transnational-uncanny”—based on the convergence of two border-crossing realms: transnationalism and the uncanny. To contextualize the convergent space of the transnational-uncanny, I primarily draw from Jahan Ramazani’s work on elegiac transnationalism in A Transnational Poetics; Nicholas Royle’s examination of uncanny themes in The Uncanny; and Michael Jackson’s explorations of alterity in The Politics of Storytelling: Violence, Transgression, and Intersubjectivity as theoretical underpinnings. My thesis then establishes how both transnationalism and the uncanny inherently challenge the divide between the known and the unknown, and therefore lead to encounters with the “strangeness” of the “other”, particularly in narrative portrayals of death. In transnational-uncanny moments of death and mourning, the lived life and the worldview(s) of the self may be called into question, allowing for the potential to transform notions of self and other, and facilitate negotiations of alterity.