Date of Award

Summer 8-12-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Christopher P. Kocela

Second Advisor

Calvin Thomas

Third Advisor

Mark Noble


Jonathan Lethem’s 2009 novel Chronic City and Colum McCann’s 2009 novel Let the Great World Spin can each be read as unique forms of the post-9/11 novel. In this study, I take up the argument that much of the established scholarship analyzing post-9/11 fiction often examines the same set of texts and frequently employs similar theoretical lenses, more often than not a specific form of trauma analysis. I argue that McCann and Lethem’s novels can each be read as unique forms of the post-9/11 novel for the way each work incorporates the Freudian processes of fetishism and disavowal into their respective narratives. In two close readings, I analyze each text to demonstrate how these processes function and what they offer both the authors and readers of the novels.