This thesis examines social activities productive of “mallspace”—a dynamic term I employ to designate a range of retail spaces, from familiar malls to pedestrian promenades and new lifestyle centres—in a variety of fictional, poetic and filmic texts produced within the last thirty years. Engaging a somatic or bodily understanding to achieve a new perspective on the postmodern spaces of daily life, I conceptualize the moving body as a source and site of social agency. I work to identify methods of corporeal activity that embody cultural and ideological structures, physically standing up against the representational problems that entangle postmodern literary practice. Focusing on mallspaces as commercial sites where literary experimentation, cultural critique, and architectural quandaries converge, my thesis emphasizes that current economic crisis and dramatic social and political changes need to be approached as individual spatialized concerns.
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