Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Emily Raboteau

Second Advisor

Vaclav Paris


tragedy, comedy, poetry, ecocriticism, the Caribbean, disaster


In this paper, I explore ideas of dominion and how Western canon has helped propagate ideas of human domination of the natural world. Using Joseph W. Meeker’s The Comedy of Survival, I trace a line from the advent of the literary tragedy to the climate crisis. To contrast, I use his idea of comedy as the antidote to domination — a way of thinking that might inspire collaboration with the natural world. I will explore the comic with, predominately, Olive Senior’s Gardening in the Tropics, alongside Jamaica Kincaid’s gardening studies and Mona Lisa Saloy’s essay on environmental destruction. To conclude, I consider how the comic style might help mitigate the worst effects of the climate crisis, if humanity — specifically the small percentage of folks who do the bulk of the consuming — should choose to adopt this mindset.



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