Date of Award

Winter 12-10-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Program

Nature-Culture-Sustainability Studies

First Advisor

Damien White

Second Advisor

Thomas Doran

Third Advisor

Winifred Lambrecht

Abstract

The contradictions inherent in European Enlightenment-based “logics” that externalize humans from “nature” were a concern for the Romantic Naturalists, Dadaists, and Surrealists. More recently, some in the environmental humanities and socio-ecologically-concerned arts and sciences have also posed challenges to anthropocentric, hierarchical, positivist modes of thought. I suggest that by engaging the ludic, imaginative, and collaborative while bearing the empirical in mind, dualisms (such as objective and subjective, individual and collective) dissipate, and existence as a dialectical state of intricate ensemble can be revealed. In light of catastrophic disruption to Earth’s life-sustaining processes by exploitative forms of human activity, I argue an “ecological imaginary” is urgently needed, and everyone is capable of contributing to its prefiguring.

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