Imaginaries of entanglement: moving climate refugees beyond the human
LE3 .A278 2023
Master of Arts
Climate change policy works within a clear binary between that of the human and the nonhuman, where the human is placed at the center of climate change policy, at the expense of the nonhuman. By having an idealized version of the human, climate refugees can only be looked as human. This thesis explores the ways that nonhuman’s are creative, and imaginative, with the purpose of illustrating how certain nonhumans should be looked at as climate refugees. The question that this thesis seeks to answer is, how can a flat ontology create new imaginaries with climate change policy, climate change itself, and in turn the climate refugee? I argue that with a flat ontology different forms of entanglements between the human and nonhumans can be imagined. Object Oriented Ontology, Actor Network Theory, and New Materialism all reimagine the nonhuman, and help to rethink the climate refugee by recognizing the agency of the nonhuman. This thesis demonstrates the importance of language to the project of the more-than-human climate refugee, as language is not solely a human experience. There are many stories and imaginaries that are told through the nonhuman, and each should be listened to. The idea of kinship is important to this thesis, along with the apocalypse. They each illustrate, different imaginaries that exist through the entanglement of the human and nonhuman. The world is never just one world it is not just a human story. This thesis explores the many stories that could and do exist, starting with the more-than-human climate refugee.
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