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Title: Rising seas, surprising storms : temporalities of climate and catastrophe in Vermont, New York and the Florida Keys
Author: Catarelli, Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 3456
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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The phenomenon of climate change exists in a liminal state between denial and acceptance, past and future, theory and reality, problem and catastrophe, unfolding in the spaces between apparently stable forms. This thesis considers different temporalities emerging within this transition through a creative exploration of extreme weather and climatic events that seeks to foreground the idea of change itself. Research centers around the Florida Keys, a low lying archipelago that is widely expected to become uninhabitable in the next half century due to sea level rise, but only if the islands do not suffer a similar fate much sooner with the sudden arrival of a catastrophic hurricane. While most Keys residents are unconcerned about the growing reality of sea level rise, hurricanes are a constant threat generating a palpable atmosphere of anticipation and corresponding precaution. In resonance with this regular storm activity in the Florida Keys, the project also reflects on the coincidental occurrence of Hurricanes Irene (2011) and Sandy (2012), two errant and devastating storms that visited the northeastern United States over the course of this project and personally affected the author. Thus, extreme weather provides a material entry point into the complex and far-reaching event of climate change, offering an opportunity to theorize transition and to reflect on what might be creatively recuperated from cross currents of climate and catastrophe. In conclusion, the thesis proposes an ontology inspired by the unique reproductive strategy of the mangrove plant that has thickly and extensively colonized the coastline of southern Florida and through which events are understood to possess qualities of latency, accrual and distribution and to give rise to a future that is germinal, a present that is continuously resignified and a past that remains profoundly creative.
Supervisor: McCormack, Derek Sponsor: Clarendon Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Climatic changes--United States ; Climatic changes--Forecasting ; Affect (Psychology) ; Hurricane Sandy ; 2012 ; Hurricane Irene ; 2011 ; Severe storms--Forecasting ; United States--Environmental conditions