Climate Change Perpetrators: Ecocriticism, Implicated Subjects, and Anthropocene Fiction

Crownshaw, Richard. 2020. Climate Change Perpetrators: Ecocriticism, Implicated Subjects, and Anthropocene Fiction. In: Susanne C. Knittel and Zachary J. Goldberg, eds. The Routledge International Handbook of Perpetrator Studies. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9781138103245 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Of late, perpetrator studies in the humanities has started to demonstrate eco-critical tendencies and potentialities, exploring the ways in which the environment has been co-opted in acts of perpetration and how it might figure in the representation and remembrance of atrocity. Conversely, eco-criticism has gestured towards perpetrator studies, for example in the attention paid to the ‘slow violence’ of anthropogenic environmental disasters in terms of their devastating aftereffects and afterlives (Nixon). This chapter capitalises on this convergence of eco-criticism and perpetrator studies, formalising a distinct and innovative field of literary-critical enquiry in which the perpetrator and perpetration can be radically rethought. To be more precise, this chapter reads North American literary realism–in particular, the work of Richard Ford–and its suburban geography to map the infrastructures of fossil-fuelled American modernity, to trace the trajectories of energized neoliberal subjects “living oil” (LeMenager), and so to identify banal, quotidian, and overlooked acts of violence perpetrated in the form of routinized participation in a fossil-fuelled economy. Ecocritically contextualised, the violence enacted by these “implicated” subjects (Rothberg) becomes apparent when considered in relation to its cumulative, belated environmental consequences – consequences manifest in the climatic backdrops against which human drama unfolds.

Item Type:

Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature



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Date Deposited:

02 Aug 2019 12:33

Last Modified:

12 Mar 2024 15:37


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