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Ecology out of Bounds: Environmental Humanities Scholarship for Multi-Species and Transdisciplinary Contexts

Ecology out of Bounds: Environmental Humanities Scholarship for Multi-Species and Transdisciplinary Contexts

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Title: Ecology out of Bounds: Environmental Humanities Scholarship for Multi-Species and Transdisciplinary Contexts
Author: Derry, Justin Eastwood
Abstract: This dissertation argues that the critical, political and ethical resources shaping popular and scholarly forms of Anglo-North American environmentalism lack the theoretical and imaginative tools to address the challenges of the Anthropocene (that is, the notion that the human species, enabled by a globally expansive petro-industrial apparatus, has become a dominant geological force). Unsettling notions of progress, agency, nature and the individual in novel ways, the Anthropocene changes the way humanists understand what it means to be human and what environmentalists have understood nature to be. As a result, I argue that the anthropogenic landscapes of the Anthropocene challenge writers, theorists, storytellers, artists, scientists and activists to open different kinds of intellectual and imaginative space. Therefore, drawing on feminist science and technology studies, multi-species anthropology and posthumanism, this dissertation contributes to the emerging field of the Environmental Humanities by contextualizing forms of environmental mediation responsive to Anthropocene environments.

Making a mess of strict disciplinary and species divisions, my work addresses the way that different kinds of knowledge practice show up in and make a difference in the way bodies and multi-species assemblages materialize and function. Moreover, I distinguish my contribution to environmental thought by avoiding knowledge practices predicated on into the wild narratives and return to nature tropes. Problematically, these kinds of narratives are at risk of advocating masculine imaginaries of control and conquest, and moral superiority complexes about self-sufficiency that delimit boundaries between the natural and the unnatural, the pure from artificial, and thus close off knowledge making work from play, experimentation, wonder and curiosity. More than a question of accurately representing what the Anthropocene is or is not, my research amounts to a pragmatic challenge about how to craft theoretical and textual practices that foster anthropo(de)centric, multi-species and transdisciplinary media, publics and futures.
Subject: Climate change
Keywords: Environmental Humanities
Anthropocene
Feminist Science and Technology Studies
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/33525
Supervisor: Ingram, Susan
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Program: Humanities
Exam date: 2017-01-27
Publish on: 2017-07-27

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