New Ecological Realisms

New Ecological Realisms: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction and Contemporary Theory (forthcoming, Edinburgh UP, 2021)

What is the singular reality of humanistic objects of study? To appreciate this, New Ecological Realisms argues, we need a new concept of the real that hinges on, instead of denying, organization and form. Advocating for a new contextual realism of complex and embedded wholes, actor-networks, and ecologies, New Ecological Realisms brings together four groups of theories/theorists that have never been considered together before, and who formulate such context-based realisms: Bruno Latour, Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, Markus Gabriel, Jean-Luc Marion, and Alphonso Lingis. This study further proposes that literature constitutes an important source of such new ontologies of organized wholes. Examining post-apocalyptic literature (by Margaret Atwood, José Saramago, Octavia Butler, and Cormac McCarthy) that depicts life after the destruction of modern civilization effected by pandemics and climate change, New Ecological Realisms argues that post-apocalyptic fiction also embeds a new contextual vision of the real, which is enacted in the narrative mode of apocalyptic endism.