Towards a Postnatural Environmental Politics: Distributed Agency and Political Subjectivity in U.S. Literature and Culture

Rose, Andrew M. Towards a Postnatural Environmental Politics: Distributed Agency and Political Subjectivity in U.S. Literature and Culture. 2013. University of Washington, PhD dissertation.
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This dissertation employs theories of literature and environment (ecocriticism) and posthumanism in order to explore the relationship between concepts of agency and political subjectivity. While I will argue that the concept of distributed agency productively unsettles liberal humanist constructions of the relation between self, culture and nature; this project will also investigate the ways in which a distributed, fragmented concept of agency (one that does not allow for the re-inscription of holistic human subject-actor at convenient moments) also raises a series of problematics for thinking human political subjectivity and best practices for social movement organizing. While the following chapters certainly do attempt to both embrace and promote the transformative potential of posthuman and postnatural theories, I also deem it necessary to explore the flip side of the coin - that is, what we might term the crisis of the decentered human subject in regard to human agency and futurity. To put it as a question: what might an effective environmental politics look like in a posthuman and postnatural moment of increasing climate instability?

Status of Research or Work: 
Completed/published
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