Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Narrative Transformed: The Fragments around Franz Kafka’s “A Report to an Academy”
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Animal Poetry and Empathy
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Humanities 2017, 6(2), 17; doi:10.3390/h6020017

Toward the Eco-Narrative: Rethinking the Role of Conflict in Storytelling

Department of English, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, 11210 NY, USA
Academic Editor: Joela Jacobs
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 21 March 2017 / Accepted: 3 April 2017 / Published: 10 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Narratology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [262 KB, uploaded 10 April 2017]

Abstract

Offered as a response to the increasingly popular call within the eco-humanities for stories that will help humankind adapt to catastrophic planetary conditions, this article proposes “the eco-narrative”—an approach to storytelling that strives to compose with, not for, its nonhuman characters. An extension of eco-critical projects that analyze stories for their depictions of nonhumanity, the theoretical research herein brings ecological analysis of narrative to the level of structure. In particular, it problematizes the dominant plot model of conflict/climax/resolution, suggesting that stories motivated by conflict reinforce dualistic and anthropocentric habits for approaching the animal other. Evaluating two narratives concerning the human practice of killing animals—the Pew Commission’s report on Industrial Farm Animal Production and Annette Watson and Orville H. Huntington’s “They’re here—I can feel them”—the article observes how the former’s efforts at animal rights advocacy are undermined by its very storytelling framework. Celebrating the latter story’s more playful approach to narrative instead, the article ultimately suggests that a theory of “infinite play,” as developed by James P. Carse, can be used to re-envision the dominant plot model. A template for cooperation in the absence of known outcome, infinite play thus becomes the basis for the eco-narrative—a storytelling framework flexible enough to cocreate with nonhumanity, even during an environmental moment characterized by crisis. View Full-Text
Keywords: eco-humanities; eco-criticism; eco-philosophy; Industrial Farm Animal Production; narrative; plot; conflict; environmental crisis; catastrophe; play theory eco-humanities; eco-criticism; eco-philosophy; Industrial Farm Animal Production; narrative; plot; conflict; environmental crisis; catastrophe; play theory
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Donly, C. Toward the Eco-Narrative: Rethinking the Role of Conflict in Storytelling. Humanities 2017, 6, 17.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Humanities EISSN 2076-0787 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top