Ecopolitical transformations and the development of environmental philosophical awareness in science fictional narratives of terraforming



Pak, Christopher
Ecopolitical transformations and the development of environmental philosophical awareness in science fictional narratives of terraforming. [Unspecified]

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Abstract

This thesis examines the motif of terraforming from Wells’ War of the Worlds (1898) to James Cameron’s film Avatar (2009) in order to assess the dialogical development of ecological themes and its imbrication with politics in science fictional narratives of terraforming. It tracks the growth of the theme in four distinct phases that are contextualised by a short history of terraforming in the introductory first chapter. Chapter two examines the appearance of proto-terraforming and proto-Gaian themes in British scientific romance and American pulp sf prior to Jack Williamson’s coining of the term “terraform” in 1942. Environmental philosophical concepts of nature’s otherness, Lee’s Asymmetry, Autonomy and No-Teleology Theses and notions of identification with nature are examined in this connection to illustrate the character of these texts’ engagement with environmental philosophy and ecopolitics. Chapter three examines the development of the terraforming theme in primarily American 1950s terraforming stories and explores how the use of elements of the American Pastoral are deployed within the discourse of sf to consider the various ways in which the political import of terraforming is imagined. Chapter four explores the impact of the environmental movement of the 1960s in terraforming stories of the 1960s-1970s. Beginning with a consideration of the use of Gaian images in characterisations of alien ecologies, this chapter then progresses to consider a parallel strand of terraforming stories that transform the themes of the 1950s texts in the light of the impact of the 1960s environmental movement. Chapter five concludes this analysis by considering two major trilogies of terraforming written in the 1980s-1990s, Pamela Sargent’s Venus and Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogies. These works inherit the discourse of terraforming established by earlier works and re-configure them in ways that address contemporary environmental and geopolitical concerns.

Item Type: Unspecified
Additional Information: alt_title: Terraforming, Ecopolitics and Environmental Philosophy in Science Fiction Date: 2012-09 (completed)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: Fac of Science & Engineering > School of Engineering
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2013 08:25
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2021 08:56
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/9193