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Special Issue Introduction

Vol. 5 No. 2 (2024): Narrative, Environment, Social Justice

Introduction: Notes on the Relation of Narrative, Environment, and Social Justice

June 12, 2024


The idea for this JAAAS special issue comes from the 49th Annual Conference of the Austrian Association for American Studies, which took place at the University of Salzburg in Fall 2022. Presentations covered stories we tell about our environment, and about pressing social issues of the past or present. As varied as the presentations were, the common thread was inquiring into how we – as individuals and collectives – frame our experiences in these areas through narratives, to whom we tell them, and when, where, and why. The contributions here range in their treatment of subject matter from speculative prose to theater, from film to poetry, to a history of the advertising industry. They illustrate how issues of social justice, climate change, and storytelling are intimately linked, and explore various manifestations of this nexus in fresh and surprising ways.


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