Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Amy Elias

Committee Members

Daniel Magilow Lisa King Urmila Seshagiri


Speculative ecofiction creates situations that demand ethical relation to nonhumans in order to complicate definitions of “the human” and promote a neohumanist ethic based on human stewardship. Compassion is at the core of my understanding of stewardship, and I believe that certain literary works model ethical relationality based on care for all life. The novels that I examine pit nonhuman agency against human exceptionalism, bringing to light the ways in which “the other” is stripped of its agency. Reallocating agency impacts subgenres of speculative fiction including postcolonial, posthuman, and Afrofuturist literatures, because as beings are stripped of agency they are also stripped of their rights.

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