Theorizing Eco-Dystopia: Science Fiction, the Anthropocene, and the Limits of Catastrophic Imagery


  • Marco Malvestio University of Padova



science fiction, eco-dystopia, comparative literature, apocalypse, anthropocene


This essay considers a peculiar kind of science-fictional writing with environmental concerns that pivots on the imagery of catastrophe and blends the dystopian and the post-apocalyptic traditions. This sub-genre is known as eco-dystopia, which, I argue, merges the catastrophic imagery of the post-apocalyptic tradition with the consequential mode of dystopia. Eco-dystopias rely on the imagery of catastrophe to warn the public about the dangers and the consequences of the Anthropocene. However, such imagery presents strong limitations when used to dramatize and conceptualize the Anthropocene, as it is modeled on catastrophes that have little in common with the current ecological crisis.


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How to Cite

Malvestio, M. (2022). Theorizing Eco-Dystopia: Science Fiction, the Anthropocene, and the Limits of Catastrophic Imagery. European Journal of Creative Practices in Cities and Landscapes, 5(1), 24–38.