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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Overgrow the system: Dysphagia of plastic food and ecological fiction as environmental action in Karen Tei Yamashita's Through the Arc of the Rain Forest
by Giang, Nancy, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2015, 155; 1596973
Abstract (Summary)

Writing about food and eating food are both environmental acts. The ways in which humans conceive of edible material—by speaking about it and growing it in the ground—are reflections of their view of the natural world.

Ecological fiction like Karen Tei Yamashita’s Through the Arc of the Rain Forest connects imagined visions of food with the current reality of our agricultural system in the United States. In both the fictitious narratives and lived experience, synthetic polymers overtake almost every aspect of life, including edible matter. The ubiquitous plasticization of food is one of the main causes of the current global environmental crisis.

Ultimately, the treatment of food in ecological fiction and in practice reveals our mistreatment of the environment and of our own bodies. Employing a systems-based way of thinking ecologically make visible the yet invisible lines of interconnection among the natural world, edible matter, and living beings.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hart, George
Commitee: Blumstein, Daniel T., Mizelle, Brett
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: English
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 55/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian American Studies, American literature
Keywords: Ecological fiction, Environment, Food, Plastic, Yamashita, karen tei
Publication Number: 1596973
ISBN: 978-1-321-99163-5
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