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SATURNINE ECOLOGIES: ENVIRONMENTAL CATASTROPHE IN THE EARLY MODERN WORLD, 1542-1688

Abstract
Saturnine Ecologies explores the representation of environmental catastrophe through a diverse archive of early modern poetry, dramas, paintings, and historiographies. It offers historically-conscious, phenomenologically-grounded analysis of scenes where characters endure, witness, narrate, or reflect on environmental catastrophe. This shifts attention from the field of theory and ideology, to the felt experiential immediacy of environmental catastrophe. The chapters are gathered under four terms—precarity, capacity, salvage, and consolation—which throw into relief the myriad ways that the early moderns made meaning from catastrophe. Readers, as well, were invited to try out these representational practices. For instance, the blank spaces within the pages of the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega’s Royal Commentaries—the first work of history published by an indigenous author—enabled readers to revise and expand on the environmental and colonial histories compiled there. This work argues that the literature of environmental catastrophe always brings the past to bear on the now—and give us strategies to create livable lives in the aftermath of our own climate emergency.
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campusfive
article
dissertation
Date
2022-05-13
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