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Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period

11-8-2020

Degree Program

English

Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded

2020

Month Degree Awarded

May

Abstract

This work sets out to analyze stylistic changes in Anthropocene fiction over the past 60 years. The starting point for the analysis has been Rachel Carson, and the presumed beginning of the Anthropocene in the 1960s. The primary insight gained reveals the connections within these novel and relations of similar writing about climate change thereby contributing to the field of Environmental Humanities in a fundamental way, as so far, climate change fiction has only been investigated through a topic centered focus.

The corpus compiled for scrutiny here extends to over 84 novels from these years. These novels have been selected based on a dual approach, looking at the secondary literature as well as a crowdsourced approach in looking at Good Reads’ cli-fi lists. The resulting texts are then analyzed with stylo, an R package that has been specifically created for stylometric analysis by humanists. The results are visualized in a network that allows easier interpretation and leads to an understanding of more detailed questions about the nature of the connection between works, the inspiration and representation of a specific genre of writing. Moreover, the thesis looks diachronically at clustering based on time and topic. Understanding the ways in which authors address and have addressed climate change is one indicator of how climate change is and has been comprehended.

In terms of the digital approach applied here, the basis is a distant reading approach covering a larger number of novels and rather than close reading them, the task is to find patterns that extend throughout. However, for a thorough analysis, scalable reading is applied to contextualize and investigate the results in more depth. Overall, the results are meant to establish a baseline for discussing climate change fiction in the Anthropocene which although gaining more scholarly attention still is understudied. The hope is to not only gain insight but to generate visualizations that will provide a helpful resource for fellow scholars.

First Advisor

Malcolm Sen

Second Advisor

TreaAndrea Russworm

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Available for download on Sunday, November 08, 2020

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