The Anticipation of Catastrophe
Environmental Risk in North American Literature and Culture
1. Edition, 2014
Since the 1980s, “risk” has been one of the most productively employed categories of analysis in the social sciences. Risk theory and risk research in these disciplines have shown that pervasive risk awareness has increasingly reconfigured societies, politics, and cultures in our period of late modernity.
The essays assembled in this volume extend risk research in the humanities to literary and cultural studies and analyze a wide range of literary and audiovisual texts that imagine human encounters with environmental risk in North America. They are grouped into three sections. The first section focuses on representations of the risk of global climate change in several climate change novels; the second section concentrates on the representation of the nuclear risk in non-fictional and fictional texts as well as in film; the third section draws particular attention to the relevance of genre in the representation of a variety of environmental risks, genres ranging from poetry to posthuman fiction to Hollywood disaster movies and video games.