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Title: Defenders and offenders of nature : an exploration of leading female characters in contemporary environmental film
Authors: Irwin, Jessica
Keywords: Environmentalism in motion pictures
Environmental films -- History and criticism
Okja (Motion picture)
The East (Motion picture)
Women in motion pictures
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Irwin, J. (2018). Defenders and offenders of nature : an exploration of leading female characters in contemporary environmental film (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: Since the first wave of environmentalism began in the 1970s, an increasing global awareness of environmental issues has made the topic increasingly culturally significant. By the turn of the 21st century, a growing cinematic field developed in response to the ecological crisis, with the portrayal of many such issues linked to human-induced effects caused by dominance over nature. According to theorists such as Greta Gaard, Karen J. Warren, and Vandana Shiva it is this domination, stemming from a patriarchal society, that allows parallels to be drawn between the oppression of nature and of women in a critical school of thought called ecofeminism. This study explores these parallels within contemporary environmental film using an ecofeminst approach to uncover if the mutuality between females and nature is present or changing in this prominent field of popular culture. Using films produced post-2010, this enabled an insight into the depiction of the most recent and culturally-relevant environmental issues including pollution, bioengineering, and agriculture. The selected time period also provided the opportunity to understand whether the influences of an era of globalisation and corporate expansion affect the female relationship with the natural world. The chosen case studies, Okja and The East provide the foundations for an in-depth analysis featuring females as the protagonists and leading roles, with the ability to compare and contrast with supporting characters, both male and female. The research conducted a close reading of the films using linguistic, visual and semiotic discourse analysis to explore the attitudes of the lead female and supporting male characters towards environmental issues, how they respond to and are affected by them, as well as their relationship with non-human characters. More specifically, this work seeks to uncover the ways in which cinematic representations can sustain of influence cultural values. Finally, this study worked to explore the existence of patriarchal oppression as the root cause of bonding women with nature in a role of mutual oppression. This dissertation has been developed to expand the scope of ecofeminism and ecocriticism into the field of film as a reflection of cultural attitudes within society as well as contribute to the foundations ecocinema as an expanding theory.
Description: M.A.ENGLISH
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2018
Dissertations - FacArtEng - 2018

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