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Title page for ETD etd-03212012-142522


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Morrell, John J.
URN etd-03212012-142522
Title The Dialectic of Climate Change: Apocalypse, Utopia, and the Environmental Imagination
Degree PhD
Department English
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Cecelia Tichi Committee Chair
David Wood Committee Member
Robert Barsky Committee Member
Vera Kutzinski Committee Member
Keywords
  • American Literature
  • Environmental Literature
  • Ecocriticism
  • Climate Change
  • Apocalypse
  • Utopia
Date of Defense 2011-11-09
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The science of climate change is largely a narrative endeavor, and it is the shape of this narrative that is contested in debates about the politics of global warming. The most significant variables in models of possible future climates involve humans and how we choose to respond to our situation. Scenario-thinking, of increasing complexity and realism, is the goal for ecological management, policy making, and corporate planning with regard to climate change and other risk-filled possibilities, and science fiction acts as a source and supplement to these scenarios. I argue that climate change scenarios, in fiction, science, and policy, tend to be articulated within apocalyptic or utopian frames and that environmentalists have largely neglected utopian thinking in favor of eschatological catastrophe. I argue for the enduring value of utopia as a methodology, above any particular literary text or political platform.
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