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Social Darwinism on fast-forward: an investigation into cyberpunk literature and environmentalism

Grant number: 19/09865-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2019
Effective date (End): August 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology
Principal researcher:Samira Feldman Marzochi
Grantee:Nicholas Vendramin Ueda
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

In this project, we propose to analyze how environmental issues appear in the cyberpunk literature, a subgenre of science fiction. This question arose after a re-reading of the narratives Do androids dream of electric sheep? (1968) and Neuromancer (1984), written by Phillip K. Dick and William Gibson, respectively. These narratives were chosen because they are considered the precursors of cyberpunk. In them, environmental issues seem to be treated in the background, as an ambience, a scenario through which the plot unfolds. We will, therefore, investigate whether these cyberpunk narratives actually present an environmental critique. This will be done through the identification of excerpts that present to the reader scenarios that portray environmental problems and, also, through understanding the existence or non-existence of a relation between the problems portrayed in this cyberpunk scenario and the environmental movements of the 1980s.

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