Composite image of a boat, buildings, sea creatures, and the ocean in a post-apocalyptic scene.

New Ecological Realisms: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction and Contemporary Theory

Monika Kaup (English)

What is the singular reality of humanistic objects of study? By pairing post-apocalyptic novels by Margaret Atwood, José Saramago, Octavia Butler and Cormac McCarthy with new realist theories, Monika Kaup shows that, just as new realist theory can illuminate post-apocalyptic literature, post-apocalyptic literature also embeds new theories of the real.

In New Ecological Realisms (Edinburgh, 2021) , Kaup showcases a context-based concept of the real, arguing that new realisms of complex and embedded wholes, actor-networks and ecologies, rather than old realisms of isolated parts and things, represent the most promising escape from the impasses of constructivism and positivism.

To achieve this, Kaup brings together contemporary theories that formulate context-based realisms:

  • Bruno Latour’s actor-network theory
  • Chilean neurophenomenologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela’s theories of autopoiesis and enactivism
  • German philosopher Markus Gabriel’s new ontology of fields of sense
  • French philosopher Jean-Luc Marion’s phenomenology of givenness
  • American philosopher Alphonso Lingis’s phenomenology of passionate identification

Read more on the publisher's website.