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Thermodynamic Politics for Surviving Pandemics -Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood-

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2020, (79), pp.5-39
  • DOI : 10.31310/HUM.079.01
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : October 16, 2020
  • Accepted : October 30, 2020
  • Published : November 30, 2020

Joo, Kee Wha 1

1건국대학교 몸문화연구소

Accredited

ABSTRACT

With r egard to t he s truggle of the contem porary p eople to s urvive t he COVID-19 pandemic, this paper aims to look at the stories of those who survived in anticipation of and in preparation for the pandemic in The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. Previous studies on the novel have explored the ecological crisis of the Anthropocene mainly focusing on technological imperialism, feminism, human engineering, apocalypse, religion and theology, and posthumanism. However, this work specifically represents material entanglement, intra-action, circulation, and nonhuman agency in the world, s o it i s necessary to e xplore i t through t he lens of new m aterialism in the material turn. This paper explores the reassembling the assemblages of the novel through the thermodynamic politics targeting material entanglement, intra-action, circulation, and nonhuman agency. According to the analysis, the God’s Gardeners in the novel slow down and cut off the problematic material-semiotic-affective flows of the anti-life network. And by capturing and transforming these flows, it stably reproduces the network that restores life. This work pays attention to Gaia’s material world that caused the pandemic, and specifically explores and invents the thermodynamic politics to come up with the speed of escape from the pandemic.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.