Date of Award

5-1-2017

Degree Type

Capstone Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies (BA)

Department

Cultural Studies

First Advisor

Douglas Reichert Powell

Second Advisor

Robert E. Watkins

Third Advisor

Kenneth Daley

Abstract

Although post-colonial theory was developed to examine the legacy of colonial powers, this project proposes that post-colonial theory can nonetheless fruitfully be used for a literary analysis of the Fair Housing Act to account for the typically non-colonial legacy of US segregation. Even though Chicago is not a city in the colonial context, the post-colonial discourse of violence, territorialization, and citizenship are useful tools for understanding the language in legislation that shaped American systemic segregation. Through a post-colonial lens, the research shifts the individual attention away from the marginalized offender and focuses on systemic othering that has shaped spaces suffering from overwhelming violence. The project argues that post-colonial theory offers a compelling account for the systemic violence against minorities, especially towards black citizens.