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1st Student's Major

Other Institution Department

Students' Professional Biography

Steven received his bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from UNC Chapel Hill in May 2012, also completing minors in Spanish and business journalism. He served as editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel, the school’s independent daily newspaper. His research interests include the intersection of literature and journalism in the age of globalization. During college he worked as a reporter with The Charlotte Observer and led a group of documentarians across Tanzania to tell stories of global clean water initiatives. A native of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, he now lives in New York and is finishing up an internship as a reporter with Bloomberg News.

Mentor's Name

Inger Brodey

Mentor's Email Address

brodey@email.unc.edu

Mentor's Department

Other Institution Department

Abstract

As scholars continue to explore the territories created by burgeoning interdisciplinarity and ever-growing global networks, the concept of borders become a topic of increased theoretical and pedagogical discussion. Cormac McCarthy’s novel No Country for Old Men, set at the Texas-Mexico border, provides an opportunity to explore the liminal nature of borders and their role in identity formation. The novel allows us to embrace the fluidity of borders and see, as Gayatri Spivak argues, that “we are made by the forces moving about the world” (3), rather than divided by them. Throughout No Country for Old Men, McCarthy posits that borders are not only movable, but that they change as rapidly as individuals make decisions. In this case, border creation is tied to the progress of a life, a series of decisions made in time. These borders serve as paths that are constantly altered and that intersect with other borders being created and destroyed around them. While these paths may shift in relation to the time in which they are being crossed or the character moving across them, the novel encourages us to examine the way in which borders create possibilities for characters to defy preconceived cultural stereotypes and embark on an individual journey. As readers, the novel asks us to consider the unlimited possibility for transformation at the border and acknowledge that the complexity of identity formation in border regions (and beyond, for borders are everywhere) is more nuanced than may once have been assumed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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