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Article

Becoming More-than-Human: Realizing Earthly Eudaimonia to (E)coflourish through an Entangled Ethos

Department of Communication Studies, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Academic Editors: Carrie P. Freeman and Núria Almiron
Journal. Media. 2022, 3(2), 238-253; https://doi.org/10.3390/journalmedia3020018
Received: 31 January 2022 / Revised: 14 March 2022 / Accepted: 22 March 2022 / Published: 25 March 2022
Organisms across the biosphere are experiencing extinction rates so dire that scientists have marked the Anthropocene as the sixth mass extinction in the planet’s history. Accordingly, plants and animals, by and large, are not flourishing on this deathly planet. Yet, perhaps it is possible for these more-than-humans to thrive––to realize eudaimonia, an ancient Greek concept meaning to flourish by living well––when humans reimagine their relationships with the natural world. In this study, I augment critical animal and media studies with creative cultural studies to arrive at creative/critical animal and media studies. Through this framework, I utilize rhetorical criticism to analyze how the documentary My Octopus Teacher reimagines interspecies relations to offer alternative pathways for earthly eudaimonia, a life approach centered on (e)coflourishing. I find the octopus, through its entangled ethos, teaches the human sensitized compassion with a significant result: the more-than-human octopus transfers her animality to the human who evolves to become more-than-human as well. I offer two arguments: first, contemplating earthly eudaimonia through an entangled ethos creates a space for ecological reflection; this space invites audiences to approach the more-than-human world with sensitized compassion and animality; second, analyzing the documentary through a creative/critical animal and media studies lens offers a unique perspective that foregrounds exploring imaginaries for peaceful, earthly coexistence while maintaining a critical focus against speciesism. View Full-Text
Keywords: creative/critical animal and media studies; rhetoric; environmental communication; eudaimonia; ethos; more-than-human; sensitized compassion; sixth mass extinction creative/critical animal and media studies; rhetoric; environmental communication; eudaimonia; ethos; more-than-human; sensitized compassion; sixth mass extinction
MDPI and ACS Style

Quartz, S. Becoming More-than-Human: Realizing Earthly Eudaimonia to (E)coflourish through an Entangled Ethos. Journal. Media. 2022, 3, 238-253. https://doi.org/10.3390/journalmedia3020018

AMA Style

Quartz S. Becoming More-than-Human: Realizing Earthly Eudaimonia to (E)coflourish through an Entangled Ethos. Journalism and Media. 2022; 3(2):238-253. https://doi.org/10.3390/journalmedia3020018

Chicago/Turabian Style

Quartz, Sean. 2022. "Becoming More-than-Human: Realizing Earthly Eudaimonia to (E)coflourish through an Entangled Ethos" Journalism and Media 3, no. 2: 238-253. https://doi.org/10.3390/journalmedia3020018

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