Occupying Space in American Literature and Culture inscribes itself within the spatial turn that permeates the ways we look at literary and cultural productions. The volume seeks to clarify the connections between race, space, class, and identity as it concentrates on different occupations and disoccupations, enclosures and boundaries. Space is scaled up and down, from the body, the ground zero of spatiality, to the texturology of Manhattan; from the striated place of the office in Melville’s "Bartleby, the Scrivener" on Wall Street, to the striated spaces of internment camps and reservations; from the lowest of the low, the (human) clutter that lined the streets of Albany, NY, during the Depression, to the new Towers of Babel that punctuate the contemporary architecture of transparencies. As it strings together these spatial narratives, the volume reveals how, beyond the boundaries that characterize each space, every location has loose ends that are impossible to contain.
Introduction: Spatial and Ideological Occupations 1. Emptying Out the Premises: Static Heroes Reclaiming Space 2. Places of Eviction and Places of Self-Exemption: The Homeless in William Kennedy’s Ironweed and Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis 3. Circling the Alien: Camp Logic in Austerlitz, Citizen 13660, and Lunar Braceros 2125-2148 4. IV - Between Border and Dwelling: The Divisibility of the Line in Frozen River and Welcome 5. From Bartleby to Occupy Wall Street: The Politics of Empty Spaces