Date

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Department

English

First Adviser

Foltz, Mary

Abstract

In her protest novel, Solar Storms, Linda Hogan explores how an environmental justice movement can emerge from dispossessed populations whose lands and culture has experienced centuries of colonialist violence and exploitation. Hogan’s vision of environmental justice, this thesis project argues, responds to the challenge of history and present ruination through a turn to the indigenous lifeways of the past and a dedication to future-oriented political action. In my thesis I call this double movement imaginative futurity, looking to the cultural wellspring of the past to constructively respond to present ruination through imaging a different kind of future and working toward it. In this way, environmental justice in Solar Storms works to heal damaged lands and people by resuscitating the reciprocal, ethical relationship between humanity and the natural world that colonialism disrupted. Hogan uses this ideal to imagine a future beyond colonialist hegemony, which gives the environmental justice movement in the novel an ethos on which to resist BEEVCO, a massive hydroelectric project that threatens to flood the region.

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