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Janette Leaf

Locating the Sympathetic Insect: Shared Spaces and Places of the Ethical and Entomological from the Fin de Siècle towards the ‘Chthulucene’.

The insect is frequently positioned as the epitome of sentient otherness, a trope which may be subverted or inverted either with authorial intent or through critical interpretation.  My research goes beneath the exoskeleton to investigate how entomological subjects, no matter how variable in their degree of taxonomic specificity, might be positioned as worthy of fellow feeling.  Concentrating primarily on prose fiction, the project begins with Richard Marsh’s Gothic horror novel, The Beetle and Lafcadio Hearn’s Kwaidan. It subsequently analyses more recent SF texts, moving towards the epoch named by Donna Haraway as the Chthulucene.

Supervisor: Professor Roger Luckhurst.