First Advisor

Sarah L. Lincoln

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in English and University Honors




J. M. Coetzee (1940- ). Life and times of Michael K., Biopolitics -- South Africa, Queer theory, Heterosexism -- South Africa, Postcolonialism -- South Africa




In J.M Coetzee's Life and Times of Michael K., Michael interacts with political apparatuses and individuals invested in what Lee Edelman terms "reproductive futurism." As both queer sexually, and queer in that he elicits a persistent opposition to the political bias towards reproductive futurism, Michael figures the possibility of a queer resistance to the political ideologies that underwrite state power in the postcolony. He figures what Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri dub the "biopolitical event." As he interacts with bureaucrats and others, his incomprehensibility to those characters conjures the biopolitical event via his incomprehensibility to the logic of biopolitics in the postcolony. This arises from his sexual and social queerness. The function of political violence in Life and Times is refigured upon lines that call into question their foundational principles and posit Michael as an alternative to harmful modes of communal action.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier