Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Wayne Koestenbaum

Committee Members

Joan Richardson

Alexander Schlutz

Subject Categories

American Literature | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Literature in English, North America | Other American Studies | Other Arts and Humanities | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Anthropocene, Extinction, Poetry, Mourning, Invasive Species, Environmental Humanities


This dissertation is an exploration of mourning and resilient joy in the midst of ecocide. Resisting the pervasive classification of the human as inherently destructive, I look to appetite as an aesthetic procedure that includes a material desire for intimacy with the more-than-human. My study considers the intersections of aesthetic production (primarily twentieth-century poetry and visual art), climate science, geology, cultural studies, theory within the contemporary nonhuman turn, and Alfred North Whitehead’s philosophy of organism. I employ an interdisciplinary approach, which helps me explore the various ways that literal and figurative appetite can be a way of sensing and exploring alternatives to the crisis of simultaneous capitalist accumulation and environmental degradation.

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