Year of Graduation


Level of Access

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Department or Program


First Advisor

Marilyn Reizbaum


This project considers how the novels of contemporary Scottish author Ali Smith work to destabilize traditional constructions of temporal, formal, national, and gender borders. The motifs of the border and the border identity have been thematically pervasive in Scottish literary history, as reflected in the recurrence of the Scottish split identity. This thesis explores how the borders that have become essential to the construction of Scottish national literature, often relying on binaristic categorizations, have been disestablished in the contemporary era. Ali Smith’s novels, particularly the novels of her seasonal quartet, introduce forms and figures that highlight the instability of many of these borders, challenging fixed representations of the border identity. Through this focus on Scotland, Smith constructs a template for a consideration of national identity beyond the boundaries of Scotland, extending toward a more global sensibility.