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To the ends of the earth: Post-Anthropocene cosmopolitanism in the novels of Kazuo Ishiguro, Margaret Atwood, and David Mitchell

Ang, Yit Ho Joshua (2022) To the ends of the earth: Post-Anthropocene cosmopolitanism in the novels of Kazuo Ishiguro, Margaret Atwood, and David Mitchell. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the ethics and politics of cosmopolitanism beyond the Anthropocene by interrogating the presentation of the human in relation to other-than-humans in the novels of Kazuo Ishiguro, Margaret Atwood, and David Mitchell. The mounting global uncertainty and environmental crises have heightened fears that humanity may not survive beyond the third millennium, but these apocalyptic predictions reveal an anthropocentric concern with the planet’s ability to sustain human life in capitalist societies rather than the wellbeing of the planet. I argue that ensuring the survival of humanity and the planet demands a new vision of cosmopolitanism that recognises the planetary interconnectedness and interdependence of all present and future beings who share the biosphere. This proposition calls for a redefinition of the human and an expansion of the communities that humans belong to and coheres with the aim of eco-cosmopolitanism to connect the human, nonhuman, and the ecological. Using the lenses of posthumanism, ecocriticism, and cosmopolitanism, I examine how, despite their speculative content, the three authors’ novels convincingly portray the experience of ‘dislocation’ brought about by globalisation and provoke fundamental questions about what constitutes the human and how this human subject might relate to nonhuman and posthuman others ethically and equitably. Through the interrogation of these issues, this thesis also shows how these works transcend the confines of fiction to inspire and challenge our current practices of cosmopolitanism.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Post-Anthropocene; Anthropocene; posthuman; nonhuman; posthumanism; intra- and inter-species cosmopolitanism; eco-cosmopolitanism; ecocriticism; environmentalism; ecological crisis; interspecies collaboration; apocalypse; cosmopolitan hospitality; genetic engineering; cloning; transtemporality; speculative fiction; science fiction; cosmopolitan novel; Margaret Atwood; Kazuo Ishiguro; David Mitchell
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Yit Ang
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2022 09:27
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2022 09:27
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/32765

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