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Exploding Empire: Post/Apocalyptic Representations 1979- 2016.

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Title:Exploding Empire: Post/Apocalyptic Representations 1979- 2016.
Authors:Holmes, Steven D.
Contributors:English (department)
Science Fiction
Date Issued:May 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:Exploding Empire: Post|Apocalyptic Discourse 1979-2016, is a cross-medial,
transnational study of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic narrative representations in the United
States, Canada, England, and Japan. In particular, this dissertation examines the antagonistic
relationship such discourse has to empires and the history of imperialism. The vertical bar in
“Post|Apocalyptic” indicates that the term refers to both apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic
discourses. I chose that character to reinforce the significant conceptual overlap among different
media forms (novels, films, video games) and sub-genres (post-apocalyptic, science fiction,
horror). This dissertation responds to the common critique of post|apocalyptic discourse, posited
by critics from Susan Sontag to Naomi Klein, that it primarily atrophies political activity and
fails to provide meaningful social criticism. This dissertation argues that while some forms of
post|apocalyptic discourse can reinforce hegemonic beliefs, post|apocalyptic narrative forms can
also contribute to rational-critical debate within the public sphere and help foster awareness of
global concerns, such as climate change. This dissertation focuses on Octavia Butler’s 1980s and
1990s prose fiction, Japanese animation during the 1990s, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and
Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy, the trans-national films of Guillermo Del Toro and
Alfonso Cuarón, and the game The Walking Dead from Telltale Studios.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2017.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - English

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