I’ve recently begun writing an ecocritical analysis of slow environmental violence as it ravages communities, specifically those below the poverty line both in the United States and abroad. My reading in my Ecocriticism graduate seminar (where ecology and studies of nature meet literary analysis) have led me to an analysis of Flint, Michigan, informed by the political vocabularies surrounding the event composed by elected officials, and also by three novels and a memoir where similar environmental crises occur.
My primary thesis is that government officials often, in moments of accountability to the public, create terminologies that incorrectly embellish, qualify and slant the facts of an event, functioning to tool narratives into versions that suit their own rhetorical ends.
I do not mean to limit my analysis to Flint, or to the US in general. A discussion of the Bhopal disaster in India and its novelistic adaption Animal’s People by Indra Sinha accompanies the Flint material, affording a global insight and a more transparent case of government irresponsibility and corruption.
At stake is the very power to influence the composition of a fact- of facts that lead to justice.
The paper will be 15-20 pages and will be done by the end of the month. I won’t be able to post it here, but if you’re interested in Flint, Michigan or narrative tooling in general, feel free to contact me by any means necessary to discuss!