Environmental Justice in Contemporary US Narratives

1st Edition

Yanoula Athanassakis

Routledge
Published February 14, 2017
Reference - 168 Pages - 2 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138890398 - CAT# Y180946
Series: Routledge Environmental Humanities

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Summary

Environmental Justice in Contemporary US Narratives examines post-1929 US artistic interrogations of environmental disruption. Tracing themes of pollution, marine life, and agricultural production in the work of a number of historically significant writers including John Steinbeck, Ruth Ozeki, and Cherríe Moraga, this book outlines a series of incisive dialogues on transnational flows of capital and environmental justice. Texts ranging from The Grapes of Wrath (1939) to Body Toxic (2001) represent the body as vulnerable to a host of environmental risks. They identify "natural disasters" not just as environmental hazards and catastrophes, but also as events intertwined with socioeconomic issues.

With careful textual analysis, Athanassakis shows how twentieth- and twenty-first-century US writers have sought to rethink traditional understandings of how the human being relates to ecological phenomena. Their work, and this study, offer new modes of creative engagement with environmental degradation – engagement that is proactive, ambivalent, and even playful.

This book contributes to vital discussions about the importance of literature for social justice movements, food studies, ecocriticism, and the environmental humanities. The core argument of the book is that artistically imaginative narratives of environmental disturbance can help humans contend with ostensibly uncontrollable, drastic planetary changes.

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