Conference paper: the Ethics of the Anthropocene

A year or so ago I became interested in flood novels. One of the things I find so interesting about them, is that they provide very contained but apt spaces in which to think about climate crisis and its effects. Because of the floods, characters live in much closer proximity to each other than usual, and global issues of scarcity and privilege suddenly become very local and immediate.

In this paper (delivered at the ASLE-UKI 2017 conference), I discussed three 21st-century British novels that depict floods: Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From, Antonia Honeywell’s The Ship and Clare Morrall’s When the Floods Came. All three of these novels use characterization and first-person narrative perspective as a way of highlighting the ethical dilemmas of climate crisis. The novels present an essentially privileged perspective, narrating through the survivors. In the paper I develop how this neglects other perspectives on climate crisis, and even may provide the sense of a way out of climate crisis for the reader.

Read the full paper, including the list of sources, here

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