Issue Details: First known date: 2015 2015
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In this article, I reread Andrew Bovell’s When the Rain Stops Falling, an Australian theatre work from 2008, from a fourth-wave ecocritical perspective within the context of climate change. Since the foundation of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) in 1992, ecocriticism has undergone critical shifts leading to new methodologies and perspectives. In the meantime, we have observed three waves of ecocriticism, and more recently, in the Autumn 2012 issue of ISLE, Scott Slovic heralded a ‘fourth-wave material trend in ecocriticism’. ‘Material ecocriticism’ has emerged around ‘the fundamental materiality (the physicality, the consequentiality) of environmental things, places, processes, forces, and experiences’. This new paradigm of ecocriticism asks for not only the way the agency of nonhuman forces is represented in a text but also the way an agentic force itself narrates the story of its materiality MOHEBAT AHMADI @1 Australasian Drama Studies 66 (April 2015) through interconnection with other human and nonhuman agents. To read Bovell’s play from this perspective, I draw on the work of Timothy Morton and apply the key concept of ‘hyperobjects’; a crucial shift in ‘ecological thought’, which along with the key term of ‘dark ecology’ are the main contributions to the fourth phase of ecocritical theory. It is Morton’s emphasis on the object-oriented ontological feature of ‘hyperobjects’ or their engagement with the agency of things and an interconnected assemblage of objects that shape my material ecocritical reading in the field of Drama Studies.' (Author's introduction)

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Last amended 16 Oct 2015 10:45:26