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Places of Rest in Worlds of Ruin: Havens in Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2723-9244
2021 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the inhospitable and ruined landscapes of post-apocalyptic fiction there are often found havens, places of rest that provide contrast to the desolation of the wasteland. This study explores the generic functions of such havens. As scholarly attention has mainly been towards the genre’s main themes of survival and death, paying close attention to the haven offers an important addition to previous research. Although not comprehensive as there is room for further explorations, the study claims that the haven in post-apocalyptic fiction serves at least three different and overlapping functions: as a focal point for the genre’s attempts to recover and represent a lost paradise, as a place for the exploration of tensions between mobility and immobility, and/or as a narrative endpoint for inquiries into spatiotemporal infinity and death. Supported by an eclectic mix of critical theories and a range of primary texts in English from literature, film, and computer games, the study comes to the conclusion that the haven in post-apocalyptic fiction is a rejoinder to cultural concerns about beginnings and endings, life and death, and how humans relate to nonhuman nature.

Abstract [en]

Works of post-apocalyptic fiction describing the end of the world are increasingly popular. With their portrayals of civilization’s imminent demise—be it from the effects of global warming, at the hands of zombies, or through the spread of a lethal virus—post-apocalyptic narratives have held audiences captivated ever since the early nineteenth century. This dissertation is the first book-length scholarly study to investigate one of the most fascinating tropes of the post-apocalyptic genre, the haven, a place of tenuous and temporary refuge found in remote corners, hidden vaults and secluded valleys within the dangerous and unpredictable wastelands. By drawing on a wide range of critical theories and by using examples from a number of contemporary post-apocalyptic novels, films, and computer games, this dissertation explores three main aspects of these havens.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2021. , p. 156
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2021:6
Keywords [en]
Post-Apocalypse, Apocalypse, Science Fiction, Havens, Pastoral, Paradise, Mobility, Narrative Theory
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
English
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-82698ISBN: 978-91-7867-191-5 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7867-201-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-82698DiVA, id: diva2:1525403
Public defence
2021-04-09, 1B364, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2021-03-15 Created: 2021-02-03 Last updated: 2021-05-19Bibliographically approved

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