Narrating the Anthropocene. Threading Contemporary Feminist Theory and Fiction in a Human-Dominated World.
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The main research question this thesis investigates is: "how is the notion of the Anthropocene challenged, refined and reimagined in contemporary feminist theory and fiction and in what ways does an approach via narratives negate a binary and teleological reading of the Anthropocene?" A multiple and threaded approach of theory and fiction is explored in this thesis. How the story is told is always at least as important as what that story consists of. So, the questions this thesis is asking and after are: "what kinds of narratives, what kinds of metaphors in narratives are being deployed to talk about the Anthropocene?". In order to come to an understanding of what it might mean to live in the Anthropocene attention is drawn to storytelling and the notion of narrative. It is clear that Earth is in constant change. The idea of the Anthropocene frames this change into a narrative of human responsibility and consequences for the human inhabitants of Earth. Only through particular narratives and metaphors does a changing Earth become socially and culturally meaningful. The work of feminist theorists and fiction writers that is analysed (i.e. the work of Braidotti, Haraway, Zylinska, Colebrook, Atwood and Winterson) reflects this practice of knowledge production. In both the theoretical and literary approaches to the Anthropocene that are considered here, a meaningful engagement with a changing planet is key. Whether through coming up with alternatives, pushing the boundaries of what the Anthropocene has come to stand for, or engaging with it through a particular lens, contemporary feminist theory and fiction have taken the challenges the Anthropocene represents and faced them head on.