1st Edition

Surreal Entanglements
Essays on Jeff VanderMeer’s Fiction



  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after May 18, 2021
ISBN 9780367360849
May 18, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
248 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This edited collection approaches the most pressing discourses of the Anthropocene and posthumanist culture through the surreal, yet instructive lens of Jeff VanderMeer’s fiction. In contrast to universalist and essentializing ways of responding to new material realities, VanderMeer’s work invites us to re-imagine human subjectivity and other collectivities in the light of historically unique entanglements we face today: the ecological, technological, aesthetic, epistemological and political challenges of life in the Anthropocene era. Situating these messy, multi-scalar, material complexities of life in close relation to their ecological, material, and colonialist histories, his fiction renders them at once troublingly familiar and strangely generative of other potentialities and insight. The collection measures VanderMeer’s work as a new kind of speculative surrealism, his texts capturing the strangeness of navigating a world in which "nature" has become radically uncanny due to global climate change and powerful bio-technologies. The first collection to survey academic engagements with VanderMeer, this book brings together scholars in the fields of environmental literature, science fiction, genre studies, American literary history, anthropology, philosophy of technology, and digital cultures to reflect on the environmentally, culturally, aesthetically, and politically central questions his fiction poses to predominant understandings of the Anthropocene.

Table of Contents

Introduction:

Weird Ecology: VanderMeer’s Anthropocene Fiction

Louise Economides and Laura Shackelford

 

Node 1: More-than-Human Traces and Symbiotic Monsters – A Posthumanist Politics for the Anthropocene Era?

 

Chapter 1:

Home on the Strange: The Queering of Place in VanderMeer’s Borne Books

Louise Economides

 

Chapter 2:

Acceptance and Continuation: Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy and Hope in the Anthropocene

Arwen Spicer

 

Chapter 3:

Entangled Care and the Trouble with Making Family in Borne

Samuel Gormley

 

Chapter 4:

‘Love Your Monsters:’ Anthropocene Discourse and Green" Psychoanalysis in Jeff VanderMeer’s Borne and The Strange Bird: A Borne Story

Sydney Lane

 

Node 2: Materialist Speculation after Quantum Physics

 

Chapter 5:

Microbiology and Microcosms: Ecosystem and the Body in Shriek: An Afterword

Octavia Cade

 

Chapter 6:

Strange Matters: More-than-Human Entanglements and Topological Spacetimes

Laura Shackelford

 

Chapter 7:

Street Smarts for Smart Streets

Rob Coley

 

Chapter 8:

Tentacular Narrative Webs: Unthinking Humans in Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy

Dunja M. Mohr

 

Node 3: Aesthetics of Perception and Genre Sense; or Politics Made Perceptible

 

Chapter 9:

Genre Tentacular: Area X and the Southern Neogothic

Lee Rozelle

 

Chapter 10:

‘Another World, another life:’ Humans, Monsters, and Politics in Predator: South China Sea

Benjamin J. Robertson

 

Chapter 11:

Can You Describe Its Form? Annihilation and Cinematic Adaptation

Cameron Kunzelman

 

Chapter 12:

Love in the Time of the Anthropocene: A Conversation Between Alison Sperling and Jeff VanderMeer

Alison Sperling

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Editor(s)

Biography

Louise Economides is a Professor of English and Director of the Literature and the Environment program at the University of Montana, Missoula.

Laura Shackelford is Associate Professor of English and founding Director of the Center for Engaged Storycraft at the Rochester Institute of Technology.