Matching Items (8)

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Tell Me A Story I Can Believe: A Novel Approach to the Climate Crisis

Description

Like many other works of climate fiction, such as The Sea and Summer and Here, Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140 pictures a city of the future that has transformed

Like many other works of climate fiction, such as The Sea and Summer and Here, Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140 pictures a city of the future that has transformed as a result of the rising sea levels caused by a number of dramatic events due to human activity. As a larger genre, climate fiction can offer us a way to picture ourselves in a state of crisis still forthcoming and to help us better prepare for a future where drastic climate events are the new norm if not avert that future all together. Unlike other novels that focus on the anxieties felt over these changes, Robinson focuses on the logic that allows contemporary societies to refuse to confront climate change. The novel challenges the economic ideology that has brought us to our current state of climate denial—the novel is a critique of capital as much as it is a call to action to implement change in our struggle to save our planet.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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The Vilification of Wilderness and Its Relation to the African Experience in Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness: An Ecocriticism

Description

First-wave ecocriticism, while studying the relationship between humans and the environment with the focus of emphasizing the value of nature, maintains a categorical divide between these two highly connected subjects.

First-wave ecocriticism, while studying the relationship between humans and the environment with the focus of emphasizing the value of nature, maintains a categorical divide between these two highly connected subjects. However, second-wave ecocritical studies reduce this gap between nature and humans by analyzing the environment’s ultimate self, humans as part of that environment, and comparisons between the treatment of enslaved bodies and the land. A second-wave ecocritical approach is used to examine the vilification of wilderness versus the claim of the cultivated environment despite its violent history and its impact on other captive bodies within Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1899) and Toni Morrison's Beloved (1987). It finds the perception of the wilderness is used to define other enslaved entities, characterizing them as villainous and so excusing their exploitation and mistreatment. Conrad's novel follows the story of Marlow and internally, the story of Kurtz, both of whom are members of The Company that goes on expeditions to find ivory in the Congo. The jungle, which is seen as a possession and exploitable by other colonists, differs from Kurtz’ view after living with the Natives in the Congo. Rather, Marlow finds that European colonists possessive hunt for ivory, a sought-after commodity, into territory they claimed for themselves after brandishing it wild, reflected their perceived darkness of the jungle back onto themselves. Morrison’s novel introduces Sethe, who kills her child, Beloved, to spare her from the life of a slave. In both novels, the utility of the enslaved body is regarded as more important than its selfhood, which serves to not only categorize slaves as lower than both humans and animals, but removes their ability to represent themselves through communication, further disallowing them to own themselves or speak against actions that have been taken against them.

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  • 2021-05

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Of Weasels and Words: The Contemporary Landscape of Environmental Writing and Publishing

Description

As parallel revolutions in publishing and environmental discourse are underway, literary journals are increasingly home to a new kind of nature writing. These journals and the writers they publish are

As parallel revolutions in publishing and environmental discourse are underway, literary journals are increasingly home to a new kind of nature writing. These journals and the writers they publish are reinventing our old definitions of nature and place by positioning humans in the center of a highly endangered but vibrantly alive world. Each publication is a testament to the importance of literature in the conservation of the planet and the power of words in connecting us to our Earth.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

Awaken: Young Adult Fiction as a Conduit to Conversation about Ecocriticism and Sustainability

Description

This project uses ecocriticism to analyze prevalent issues in sustainability and resource management, as depicted in Science Fiction Literature. Through the essays in which I used the Keywords for Environmental

This project uses ecocriticism to analyze prevalent issues in sustainability and resource management, as depicted in Science Fiction Literature. Through the essays in which I used the Keywords for Environmental Studies textbook by Joni Adamson et al., I analyzed how current Science Fiction novels deal with environmental issues. I then applied my findings to writing my own Science Fiction narrative, written in a Young Adult style to introduce the youth to the environmental problems we face in a creative and engaging manner.

In the story, Awaken, humans contest over territory with the avians — a sentient bid species. Years ago, the humans moved to underground dwellings in order to protect themselves from aerial assaults and developed sophisticated technology to keep the avians away from their crops. Over time, the avains became a legend humans tell their children to get them to behave, but a segment of the government remembers the real threat avians pose and are determined to vanquish their avian enemies. Kial Damian Johnson was created by his mother and father, who are involved in that segment of the government, with avian and human DNA. He finds himself drawn into the continuous battle between avians and humans. He learns that Yellowstone is going to erupt soon and neither avians nor humans can survive without sharing their resources, and he attempts to bring about peace between the two sides.

The narrative deals with issues prevalent in Animal Studies through giving the bird population a voice and a visible culture, and also reflects on current world issues as we strive to work together globally in the Anthropocene. Through researching and conducting interviews, I crafted this story to contribute to the environmental discourse. I wrote this story in a Young Adult style in order to invite the youth to engage in the conversation about issues of cross-cultural environmental sustainability.

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Date Created
  • 2018-12

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The “New Human Condition” in Literature: Climate, Migration, and the Future

Description

This thesis examines perceptions of climate change in literature through the lens of the environmental humanities, an interdisciplinary field that brings history, ecocriticism, and anthropology together to consider the environmental

This thesis examines perceptions of climate change in literature through the lens of the environmental humanities, an interdisciplinary field that brings history, ecocriticism, and anthropology together to consider the environmental past, present and future. The project began in Iceland, during the Svartárkot Culture-Nature Program called “Human Ecology and Culture at Lake Mývatn 1700-2000: Dimensions of Environmental and Cultural Change”. Over the course of 10 days, director of the program, Viðar Hreinsson, an acclaimed literary and Icelandic Saga scholar, brought in researchers from different fields of study in Iceland to give students a holistically academic approach to their own environmental research. In this thesis, texts under consideration include the Icelandic Sagas, My Antonia by Willa Cather, Tropic of Orange by Karen Tei Yamashita, and The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. The thesis is supported by secondary works written by environmental humanists, including Andrew Ross, Steve Hartman, Ignacio Sanchez Cohen, and Joni Adamson, who specialize in archeological research on heritage sites in Iceland and/or study global weather patterns, prairie ecologies in the American Midwest, the history of water in the Southwest, and climate fiction. Chapter One, focusing on the Icelandic Sagas and My Antonia, argues that literature from different centuries, different cultures, and different parts of the world offers evidence that humans have been driving environmental degradation at the regional and planetary scales since at least the 1500s, especially as they have engaged in aggressive forms of settlement and colonization. Chapter Two, focused on Tropic of Orange, this argues that global environmental change leads to extreme weather and drought that is increasing climate migration from the Global South to the Global North. Chapter Three, focused on The Water Knife, argues that climate fiction gives readers the opportunity to think about and better prepare for a viable and sustainable future rather than wait for inevitable apocalypse. By exploring literature that depicts and represents climate change through time, environmental humanists have innovated new methods of analysis for teaching and thinking about what humans must understand about their impacts on ecosystems so that we can better prepare for the future.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Gardens of discovery: actors, activists and Spain in crisis

Description

This dissertation is both creative and scholarly, engaging in the technique of "narrative scholarship," an increasingly accepted technique within the field of ecocriticism. The project is framed by my experiences

This dissertation is both creative and scholarly, engaging in the technique of "narrative scholarship," an increasingly accepted technique within the field of ecocriticism. The project is framed by my experiences with Spanish and Latino actors as well as activists involved with the 15-M movement in and around Madrid. It takes a "material ecocritical" approach, which is to say that it treats minds, spirits and language as necessarily "bodied" entities, and creates an absolute union between beings and the matter that constructs them as well as their habitat. I apply the lens of Jesper Hoffmeyer's Biosemiotics, which claims that life is at its most essential levels a communicative process. In other words, I will explore how "all matter is 'storied' matter," as well as how the "semiosphere," which is an important concept in biosmiotics, signaling a semiotic environment that predicts and defines all biological bodies/life, the human, the plant and the animal as beings who are made of and involved in semiotic activity, can serve as a basis for union amongst all bodies and provide a model of cooperation rooted in "storytelling." My project aims to embody what Wendy Wheeler describes as ecocriticism's, "syntheses between the sciences and the humanities" It is my strong opinion that creative writing has the power to offer the general public insight into the reasons why new research in biosemiotics is so important to the work that activists are doing to raise awareness of how humans can live responsibly on the only planet that is our home. This will help readers of creative writing and cultural studies scholars understand why they ought to embrace science, especially in literary and cultural studies, as a path to better understanding of the role of the humanities in an increasingly scientifically oriented world.

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  • 2016

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Desiring animals: biopolitics in South African literature

Description

This dissertation considers the potential of desire to protect humans, animals, and the environment in the biopolitical times of late capitalism. Through readings of recent South African Literature in English

This dissertation considers the potential of desire to protect humans, animals, and the environment in the biopolitical times of late capitalism. Through readings of recent South African Literature in English from a postcolonial ecocritical perspective, this project theorizes desire as a mode of resistance to the neocolonial and capitalist instrumentalization of communities of humans and nonhumans, where they are often seen as mere "resources" awaiting consumption and transformation into profit. Deleuze and Guattari posit this overconsumption as stemming in part from capitalism's deployment of the psychoanalytic definition of desire as lack, where all desires are defined according to the same tragedy and brought into a money economy. By defining desire, capitalism seeks to limit the productive unconscious and attempts to create manageable subjects who perform the work of the capitalist machine--subjects that facilitate the extraction of surplus value and pleasure for themselves and the dominant classes. Thinking desire differently as positive and as potentially revolutionary, after Deleuze and Guattari, offers possible resistances to this biopolitical management. This different, positive desire can also change views of others and the world as existing solely for human consumption: views which so often risk bodies towards death and render communities unsustainable. The representations of human and animal desires (and often their cross-species desires) in this literature imagine relationships to the world otherwise, outside of a colonial legacy, where ethical response obtains instead of the consumption of others and the environment by the dominant subjects of capitalism. This project also considers other attempts to protect communities such as animal rights, arguing that rethinking desire is a necessary corollary in the effort to protect communities and lives that are made available for a "non-criminal putting to death" since positive desire precedes the passing of any such laws and must exist for their proper administration. These texts often demonstrate the law's failures to protect communities through portraying corrupt officials who risk the communities they are charged with protecting when their protection competes with government officials' personal capitalist ambitions. Desire offers opportunities for imagining other creative options towards protecting communities, outside of legal discourse.

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  • 2014

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From Frankenstein to District 9: ecocritical readings of classic and contemporary fiction and film in the anthropocene

Description

From Frankenstein to District 9: Ecocritical Readings of Classic and Contemporary Fiction and Film demonstrates how American studies methodologies, ecological literary criticism, and environmental justice theory provide both time-tested and

From Frankenstein to District 9: Ecocritical Readings of Classic and Contemporary Fiction and Film demonstrates how American studies methodologies, ecological literary criticism, and environmental justice theory provide both time-tested and new analytical tools for reading texts from transnational perspectives. Recently, American literary scholars have been responding to calls for collective interdisciplinary response to widening social disparities and species collapses caused by climate change in the new epoch recently being termed "the anthropocene." In response, I analyze canonical texts, such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World in juxtaposition with Neill Blomkamp's South African science fiction thriller District 9 and contemporary US American novels such as Toni Morrison's Sula, William Faulkner's "The Bear" in Go Down, Moses and Richard Power's Generosity and The Echo Maker, to show how writers, filmmakers, and academics have been calling attention to dramatic climate events that consequently challenge the public to rethink the relationships among human beings to other species, and to ecological systems of low predictability, high variability, and frequent extremes. Rather than focusing solely on the "human," I examine how the relationships and livelihoods of multi-species communities shape and are shaped by political, economic, and cultural forces. As a whole, this dissertation seeks to make abstract, often intangible global patterns and concepts accessible by providing models for what I call "readings in the anthropocene" or re-readings of classic and contemporary texts and film that offer insights into changing human behavior and suggesting alternative management practices of local and global commons as well as opportunities to imagine how to live in and beyond the anthropocene.

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Date Created
  • 2015