Extraterritorial: A Political Geography of Contemporary Fiction (Columbia University Press, 2020) explores how texts—literary and visual—help us engage with the space that goes beyond the limits of visible geographical borders and legal regulations. By drawing attention to the loci that produce borderline experiences (detention camps, consulates, international waters), Matthew Hart guides his readers through experiences that ask to reconsider the ways in which geographical places and the implications they produce are perceived. The repercussions of the extraterritorial experiences may include transitional modes for constructing and re-discovering one’s identity. This opens up a broader dimension with which Extraterritorial: A Political Geography of Contemporary Fiction engages. With his book, Hart offers an acute intervention into how a text functions in a globalized community, which entails the reconsideration of how literature and art respond to the twenty-first-century transcultural shifts that are often marked with political anxieties.
Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD student in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures.