Date of Award

1-1-2009

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Sub-Department

German

First Advisor

Agnes C. Mueller

Abstract

This thesis looks at acts of surveillance and the resistance to them in contemporary German fiction, specifically in two of Juli Zeh's novels, Spieltrieb and Corpus Delicti. Using Foucault's theories of discipline and punish and of biopower networks, the focus of this thesis is on the mechanisms of surveillance and regulation that govern everyday life in contemporary German society. In both texts, control is exerted over individuals who have also internalized the systems of observation and regulation. The main characters in the two novels are presented as outsiders who do not conform to society and its set rules. Ada and Alev in Spieltrieb and Mia and Moritz in Corpus Delicti resist against the systems that try to keep them under control. Even though the systems ultimately prevail, the characters' actions represent hope because they call for resistance in a post-9/11 world where almost every aspect of daily life is observed, recorded, and controlled.

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