Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Eco-Orientalism: Settler-Colonial Fields of Knowledge in the Contemporary Climate Imagination traces how 18th-and 19th-century colonial British and American rhetoric and representations of the natural world linger in contemporary climate literature and imagination. This text assembles an interdisciplinary archive of literature, cartography, visual artworks, and films to investigate how the Gulf Coast has been constructed as an environmental other, or, as I argue, “eco-orientalizes” through disconnecting people and places that are vulnerable to rising seas from the nation and its assumed protections. By analyzing works of natural history from 18th & 19th century, this project connects the fields of postcolonial theory, ecocriticism, and critical ethnic studies in order to deconstruct how contemporary climate discourse leverages hierarchies of place, race, and, thus, human, and non-human ecologies. The final chapter, however, looks to United Houma Nation, Chickasaw and Atakapa-Ishak artists whose work offers new modes or methodologies for thinking about coastal ecologies and temporalities for decolonial futures. My approach, then, contributes to conversations in the environmental humanities by contributing to how public discourses materially impact the ecologies and communities on the frontiers of rising seas and receding land.



Committee Chair

Rastogi, Pallavi



Available for download on Friday, March 08, 2030