Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Rhee


Chapter one, “Narrating Entanglement: Posthuman Agency and Subjectivity in Shane Carruth’s Filmography,” considers the resonances of independent filmmaker Shane Carruth’s two SF films, Primer (2004) and Upstream Color (2013) with the ethos of quantum entanglement through close-readings of Primer’s anti-individualistic portrayal of scientific invention and Upstream Color’s metaphorically entangled human-pig character system. Chapter two, “Race and Schrödingers’s Legacy: History is Both Alive and Dead in Hari Kunzru’s White Tears” analyzes the 2017 novel White Tears as a narrative figuration of of the political, racial, and cultural entanglements set in motion by the economic structure of slavery, ultimately arguing that Kunzru’s entangled plotlines and histories critique the entanglement of contemporary U.S. capitalism with its past and present exploitation of black bodies. The third and final chapter, “Problem Child: Untangling the Reproduction Narrative in Lai and Phang’s SF Bildungsromans” uses close readings of two SF bildungsromans, Larissa Lai’s 2002 novel Salt Fish Girl and Jennifer Phang’s 2015 film Advantageous, both of which follow women of color protagonists not permitted to grow up in the ‘right’ ways, to shed light on the instability of a social order simultaneously grounded in the exploitation of marginalized bodies and the illusion of a reproducible, homogenous nation. Ultimately, “Entangled Bodies” uses a literary exploration of quantum entanglement to reveal both the limits of seemingly-totalizing power structures, narrative or otherwise, and the collective possibilities for re-definition that can, in part, be kindled by a favored tool of Western science: the human imagination.


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VCU University Archives

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VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Available for download on Wednesday, March 18, 2218