Recent scholarship has introduced the idea of the Anthropocene, a geologic epoch characterized by human intervention on a planetary scale. The Anthropocene draws our attention to three issues that have historically led societies to made environmentally poor choices: (1) an inability to foresee how human actions affect other life, (2) ideas of nature that create artificial binaries, partitioning the world into “wilderness” and “civilization,” and (3) excessive distance in time, space, or scale, which obscures violence and causality. This project argues that surviving the Anthropocene will not simply be about techno-scientific fixes or public policy. Instead, it will require that we address all three issues by fundamentally shifting how we see ourselves and our world. Drawing on three cases of contemporary discourse—online mapping of the Dakota Access Pipeline conflict, digital photography of the retreating Mýrdalsjökull and Vatnajökull glaciers in Iceland, and interactive mapping along the Great Lakes shoreline—I outline a set of strategies for visualizing environment that promotes more realistic ways of understanding human-nonhuman relationality. Ultimately, I argue that the key to resiliency in the Anthropocene will be our ability to develop new technical and scientific communication rooted in our belonging and emplacement in the world.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation.May 2019. Major: Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication. Advisor: Daniel Philippon. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 171 pages.
Imaging Environmental Belonging in a Wounded World: Toward a Visual Rhetoric for the Anthropocene.
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