Unsettling the Anthropocene: Cosmological Readings of Contemporary Australian Literature
thesisposted on 2020-12-22, 05:45 authored by KATHRIN BARTHA
My thesis attempts two things: firstly, it tests how useful the Anthropocene concept is for considering literature, by reading it as an umbrella term for different socio-eco-political issues in the specific context of Australia (in terms of broad themes including colonisation, farming, mining, bioethics, technology, and environmental justice) and by applying this to readings of selected contemporary Australian literary texts. Secondly, it challenges the Anthropocene’s decline-narrative (as in ‘humans have destroyed nature’) by proposing an alternative concept of ‘cosmological readings’ that foregrounds radical interconnectedness, wholeness, and reciprocity between humans and the environment. From a wider perspective, my project seeks to contribute to the new field of the Environmental Humanities in Australia and beyond by exploring the crucial role of literature in times of unprecedented ecological crisis.