Remembering What We Lost: Ecomemory, Visual Ecomedia, and the Discourse of Environmental Concern
Woodson, Mary Beth
University of Kansas
Film & Media Studies
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In this study I examine the evolving discourse of environmental concerns within visual ecological media that utilizes what I define as ecological memory—ecomemory. As part of this examination, I analyze the forms ecological memories take, how those memories are presented, and the role they play. Employing a combination of ecocriticism and memory and nostalgia studies, I conduct a discourse analysis of a variety of visual ecological media (ecomedia) examples from each of three time periods: 1970-1980, 1980-2004, and 2005-present. Additionally, I contextualize my examples by discussing the concerns of the times in which the media appeared. As an exploratory study, my ecomedia sampling is small: it includes: feature films (Silent Running, The Lord of the Rings, and Interstellar), television programs (Cosmos: A Personal Journey and Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey), a picture book (The Lorax, as well as a short form-TV version and the feature film), and both corporate and environmental group advertisements and PSAs. This study not only examines the evolving discourse of environmental concerns during specific time periods, but also illustrates the connections and changes between differing periods. It illustrates the place of visual ecomedia within the larger environmental discourse over the last forty-plus years. Ultimately, it shows the consistency over time of collectively-held ecomemories and of the nostalgia for and longing to return to the lost edenic utopia of those memories.
- Dissertations 
- School of the Arts Dissertations and Theses 
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