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Chapter 2 - Ghosts and Reparations

Thinking through Enslavement and Climate Futures with Octavia Butler

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 April 2021

Janet Fiskio
Affiliation:
Oberlin College, Ohio
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Summary

This chapter argues that climate justice must be understood in the context of reparations for enslavement and requires a speculative recentering of history. Climate ethics often employs the lenses of corrective justice, the payment of debt, and distributive justice, the equitable sharing of benefits and burdens of greenhouse gas production. Placing climate disruption in the history of diaspora and enslavement allows for a theorization of reparative justice. In making this argument, I dialogue with the work of Octavia Butler, whose novels Kindred, Parable of the Sower, and Parable of the Talents imagine climate futures without seeking to escape responsibilities to the past. Furthermore, Butler’s alternative history and speculative fiction place African American resistance, and especially African American women’s creation of freedom, at the center of history and the construction of more just and sustainable futures.

Type
Chapter
Information
Climate Change, Literature, and Environmental Justice
Poetics of Dissent and Repair
, pp. 52 - 79
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Ghosts and Reparations
  • Janet Fiskio, Oberlin College, Ohio
  • Book: Climate Change, Literature, and Environmental Justice
  • Online publication: 13 April 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108886819.003
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  • Ghosts and Reparations
  • Janet Fiskio, Oberlin College, Ohio
  • Book: Climate Change, Literature, and Environmental Justice
  • Online publication: 13 April 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108886819.003
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Ghosts and Reparations
  • Janet Fiskio, Oberlin College, Ohio
  • Book: Climate Change, Literature, and Environmental Justice
  • Online publication: 13 April 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108886819.003
Available formats
×