MA Sen Anupam

90000 €

Humans-as-waste in contemporary dystopic fiction and film

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Kolmivuotinen

My research is aimed at exploring the role given to humans as a form of waste in contemporary dystopic fiction and film. To understand the obsessive re/production of redundant populations across the world in this age of neo-liberal globalization, I will probe into the dark nightmarish world of contemporary dystopian texts by writers such as Rodman Philbrick, Jim Crace, Omar El Akkad, Lidia Yuknavitch, and Fernando A. Flores, among others, whose works offer wide opportunities to study terrible moments of humankind in relation to disposability, otherness, ethnicity, and marginality. In addition to novels, to provide a larger understanding on the themes I also study selected films such as Joker (2019) directed by Todd Philips, The Bad Batch (2016) directed by Ana Lily Amirpour, and A Boy and His Dog (1975) directed by L. Q. Jones. The central question that I will approach is in what manner is the representation of waste, wasteland, rag pickers, diseased society, dead bodies, abandoned places, borderlands, bio-engineered people, outlaws, people living on the margins, refugees, minority groups, and so on in the dystopian texts linked with the concept of disposable populations or ‘wasted lives.’ To examine this planetary problem of ‘wasted lives’, I will combine Agamben’s theory of ‘bare life’ with Achille Mbembé’s ‘necropolitcs’ and to attend the question of humanity and its relation to waste, I will use Slavoj Žižek’s critical observations on the consumerist world contingent on the logic of usefulness and ability. Through such theoretical framework that will introduce an ecocritical cultural study of ‘waste’, my research aims to explore the ethics of the common earth and to fight the purpose of the racism that produces and manages waste in today's neoliberal globalized world.