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Title: Climate change discourse in contemporary women's speculative fiction
Author: Rowland, Lucy Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 9847
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2019
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Over the last few decades, increasing critical attention has been paid to fiction that depicts futures of the Earth under conditions of anthropogenic climate change. In particular, scholars working in the environmental humanities are increasingly investigating what literature can offer to conversations around our changing planet. However, what still remains to be fully scrutinised is how discourses of climate change can operate in ways that can exacerbate environmental damage, condone human exceptionality, or further entrench existing global and societal inequalities. This thesis analyses six novels by contemporary women authors (Maggie Gee, Octavia Butler, Alexis Wright and Clare Vaye Watkins) who approach the subject of climate change from various cultural perspectives. It seeks to answer the following questions: how do contemporary women authors engage with oppressive contemporary discourses on climate change? What do these novels bring to scholarly work on climate change and literature, and the environmental humanities more broadly? Over the course of three chapters on temporality, spatiality and migration, this thesis investigates how these authors engage with, critique, and construct contemporary discourses about climate change. Via a feminist ecocritical approach, I contend that these novels work against hegemonic discursive constructions of climate change, and diverge from popular culture depictions of environmental disaster and climate changing scenarios. Articulating the fallacies of colonial, patriarchal and neoliberal discourses, each text exposes fundamental logical instabilities embedded within many Western narratives of climate change, and disrupts the meta-narrative of climate change as an unprecedented disturbance to a global equilibrium.
Supervisor: Barker, Clare ; Higgins, David Sponsor: White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available