Monash University
THESIS_MASTERDOC_with amendments_22.12.20.pdf (1.56 MB)

Unsettling the Anthropocene: Cosmological Readings of Contemporary Australian Literature

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Version 2 2023-02-23, 05:49
Version 1 2021-10-11, 05:23
posted on 2023-02-23, 05:49 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.


Principal supervisor

Susan Rachelle Kossew

Additional supervisor 1

Frank Schulze-Engler

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

School of Language, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics

Additional Institution or Organisation

Goethe University Frankfurt


Doctor of Philosophy (Joint award with Goethe University)

Degree Type



Faculty of Arts