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      From Global Risk to Private Catastrophe: The Domestic and the Planetary in Daniel Kramb’s From Here and Susannah Waters’ Cold Comfort

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          Abstract

          Climate change is at the heart of recent critical debates about the role of the global and the local in the critical practice of the environmental humanities. While critics like Ursula K. Heise and Timothy Clark have argued for putting the global at the conceptual centre of inquiry, others have warned that such a wide focus obscures the localized effects of climate change and their connection to histories of colonial and capitalist exploitation. Rather than privileging one side of this argument over the other, this paper seeks to put both perspectives into a productive dialogue that focusses on how literature can connect the local histories and global environmental risks. The paper draws on two relatively unknown novels, Susannah Waters’ Cold Comfort (2007) and Daniel Kramb’s From Here ( 2012), in order to show how the threat of climate change disrupts understandings of scale that structure our social lives by linking global forces to moments of domestic and intimate crisis. From Here’s protagonist is a cosmopolitan culture worker, whose perpetual uprootedness becomes the vantage point for her political engagement with the threat of climate change. Cold Comfort’s Alaska Native protagonist finds her house literally tilting due to the melting permafrost ground, while domestic violence and sexual abuse make her home uninhabitable. Despite the huge disjuncture in the contexts they portray, the texts share an interest in the disjuncture between awareness and agency, in the impact of climate change on domestic and intimate relationships, and in links between the private, the political and the planetary.

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          Climate change in literature and literary criticism

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            Climate Change, Environmental Aesthetics, and Global Environmental Justice Cultural Studies

             M. Ziser,  J. Sze (2007)
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              Whose environment?: the end of nature, climate change and the process of post-politicization

              The paper explores how the elevation of the environmental question, in particular the problem of climate change, to a global and consensually established public concern is both a marker of and constituent force in the production of de-politicization. The paper has four parts. First, I problematize the question of Nature and the environment. Second, the case of climate change policy is presented as cause célèbre of de-politicization. The third part relates this argument to the views of political theorists who argue that the political constitution of western democracies is increasingly marked by the consolidation of post-political and post-democratic arrangements. Fourth, I discuss the climate change consensus in light of the post-political thesis. I conclude that the matter of the environment and climate change in particular, needs to be displaced onto the terrain of the properly political.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2056-6700
                Open Library of Humanities
                Open Library of Humanities
                2056-6700
                07 December 2018
                2018
                : 4
                : 2
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, DE
                Article
                10.16995/olh.378
                Copyright: © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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                Self URI (journal-page): https://olh.openlibhums.org/
                Categories
                Representing climate: local to global

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