Climate Tragedy

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2 Scopus citations


I hypothesize that tragedy is the genre best suited to represent climate catastrophe. Tragedy, I contend, is committed to diagnosing the ideological and material conditions that make for mass, undeserved suffering - conditions of colonization and racialization, for instance, in Greek and modern drama and in modern tragic fiction. Not only does tragedy reveal injurious forms of power, it stages or incites rebellious collective action against them. These features of literary tragedy, I suggest, are non-Aristotelian. Aristotle lodges the source of crisis in individuals, who inadvertently cause their own misfortunes and suffer from them. The literary tragedy that I theorize, however, locates the origins of communal suffering in external agents of death and domination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-213
Number of pages19
JournalCambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Anthropocene
  • climate change
  • colonialism
  • modernism
  • suffering
  • tragedy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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