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"We Don't Wanna Be Radiated": Documentary Film and the Evolving Rhetoric of Nuclear Energy Activism

Title:

"We Don't Wanna Be Radiated": Documentary Film and the Evolving Rhetoric of Nuclear Energy Activism

Lynch, Lisa (2012) "We Don't Wanna Be Radiated": Documentary Film and the Evolving Rhetoric of Nuclear Energy Activism. American Literature, 84 (2). pp. 327-351. ISSN 0002-9831

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00029831-1587368

Abstract

Lynch’s essay explores the divergence between the symbolic imaginary of nuclear power and the imaginative terrain of environmentalism through a look at documentary film about the civilian nuclear industry. Lynch first analyzes several films about US antireactor activism produced in the 1970s and 1980s, showing how they manifest the codependence of antireactor activism and environmentalism. She then turns to recent films that look more broadly at the industrial processes involved in nuclear power creation. Drawing on disparate strands of scholarly inquiry— including ecocriticism, documentary theory, and science studies— Lynch reads these newer documentaries to illuminate how changing political, material, and economic realities have reshaped how opponents of nuclear energy imagine the relationships between body, place, and planet. She suggests that this reimagining is predicated on a complex global sensibility far more sophisticated than that embraced by past US opponents of nuclear power, as these newer films bring to mind what ecocritic Ursula Heise has described as “eco-cosmopolitanism” or “environmental world citizenship.” This latter group of films, in fact, serves as a model for cosmopolitan environmental discourse, thus broadening the applicability of Heise’s revisionary critique into a reconsideration of environmentalism as represented in documentary film.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Lynch, Lisa
Journal or Publication:American Literature
Date:2012
ID Code:974944
Deposited By:ANDREA MURRAY
Deposited On:13 Nov 2012 16:27
Last Modified:13 Nov 2012 16:27
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