Postapocalyptic Fiction and the Social Contract: We'll Not Go Home Again

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9780739176481: Postapocalyptic Fiction and the Social Contract: We'll Not Go Home Again
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Fictional accounts of the end of the world rarely explore the end of humanity; instead they present the end of what we now know and the opportunity to start over. Postapocalyptic Fiction and the Social Contract: 'We'll Not Go Home Again' contends that postapocalyptic fiction reflects one of our most basic political motivations and uses these fictional accounts to explore the move from the state of nature to civil society through a Hobbesian, a Lockean, and a Rousseauian lens.

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Review:

This thoughtful and engaging study effectively utilizes the resources of political theory and literary criticism to illuminate both post-apocalyptic fiction and social contract theory. In the current climate of state-sponsored fear and terror that suffocates hope and silences expressions of human solidarity, it also offers refreshing insights into the elusive meanings of human security and vulnerability. In short, a fine scholarly work.--Laurence Davis, National University of Ireland Maynooth and co-editor of Anarchism and Utopianism

In the first sustained study of its kind, Claire Curtis juxtaposes postapocalyptic literature with major thinkers and themes of modern political philosophy to draw important insights into political possibilities in an age of recurrent crises. She teases out how most postapocalyptic literature follows the scripts of the social contract as laid down by Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Rawls. That perspective allows us to see anew the goals and difficulties of the social contract thinkers; Claire Curtis then looks to Octavia Butler's Parables to find novel ways of re-conceptualizing consent and community.--Peter G. Stillman, Vassar College

About the Author:

Claire P. Curtis is associate professor at the College of Charleston.

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