Title

Constellations of mobility: The politics of dream-making

Author

Yara Ahmed

Abstract

This thesis is concerned with how we navigate the labyrinthine nature of our lifeworlds; as we build futures, we dream of other time-spaces. We hope; we wait; we feel stuck. More particularly, this thesis is concerned with the processes of movement that occur when precarious queer bodies dream of a somewhere else, echoing what is brewing in the body, what spills over the boundaries and categories of the possible and the impossible. I take an ethnographic approach in an attempt to trace the multiple projects of dream-making that are becoming around my interlocutors. These projects translate to a crafting of paths that navigate the tensions of moving out of a parent’s house, confessing an infatuation, getting out of bed in the morning, and imagining that life is elsewhere, can be otherwise. As bodies cultivate attachments amidst a colossal of heavy objects, they are often infested with uncertainty, fear, a constant diverging from one site to the next. They attach themselves to one object of desire and detach themselves from another. This temporary being in one world then the next, a constant searching for the somewhere else, reflects a complex relationship with hope, desire, fear, helplessness, stillness, depression, and frustration. Dream-making in my analysis is a site of temporal and spatial constructions. In this thesis, I investigate the architecture that surrounds dreaming of a better life and explore its sociopolitical implications and its incarnation in the everyday. The kind of architecture I am referring to here does not have a blueprint; however, it is endlessly shifting and changing. In taking a spatio-temporal approach to these questions, I am hoping to open up the borders of inquiry and rethink time-space through dream-making projects of the imagination for a more nuanced understanding of movement.

Department

Cynthia Nelson Institute for Gender and Women's Studies

Degree Name

MA in Gender & Women's Studies

Date of Award

2-1-2019

Online Submission Date

September 2018

First Advisor

Rieker, Martina

Committee Member 1

Sabea, Hanan

Committee Member 2

Makram-Ebeid, Dina

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

105 p.

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

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