Narrative, ethics and bushfire in the Anthropocene

Rigby, K (2014) Narrative, ethics and bushfire in the Anthropocene. In: Encountering the Anthropocene: The Role of Environmental Humanities and Social Sciences, 26-28 February 2014, Dockside, Sydney, Australia.

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This paper brings a material ecocritical perspective to the phenomenon of wildfire, with specific reference to the potentially catastrophic firestorms of southeastern Australia, which are set to become more frequent and intense as the planet warms and droughts lengthen and deepen in this part of the world. The discussion will focus on Colin Thiele‘s February Dragon, first published in 1965 with thesupport of the Bushfire Research Council of South Australia. As a work of children‘s literature (8+), this story by one of Australia‘s best-known authors of children‘s literature, affords consideration of the educational potential of narratives of eco-catastrophe for young readers. In particular, the paper will address the ways in which this text discloses the complex inter- and intra-action of human and nonhuman actors and factors in the aetiology, unfolding and aftermath of bushfire disasters, as well as raising ethical questions about human relations with (other) animals in contexts of shared vulnerability.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
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Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2016 14:04
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:42
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