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Sense of Place and Sense of PlanetThe Environmental Imagination of the Global$
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Ursula K Heise

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195335637

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335637.001.0001

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Among the Everywheres

Among the Everywheres

Global Crowds and the Networked Planet

Sense of Place and Sense of Planet

Ursula K. Heise (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Building on Ch. 1, this chapter analyzes scientific texts, novels, films and poems between the 1960s and the 1990s that explore the relationship between local, national, and global forms of identity and community through portrayals of population growth and urban spaces. Works from the 1960s and 1970s represent “overpopulation” in the form of urban crowding that forces individuals to remain confined to the local. Works from the 1990s, by contrast, such as David Brin’s science fiction novel Earth or John Cage’s poem “Overpopulation and Art,” imagine in sometimes utopian fashion how digital technologies open up virtual spaces that span the globe and enable new kinds of identity and community. The more recent texts highlight how the experience of virtual spaces has come to form part of living in local places, and thereby highlight the necessity of integrating such mediated experiences into environmentalist theories of inhabitation. They also provide innovative narrative and lyrical solutions to the formal problem of how to represent global connectedness in literary texts.

Keywords:   population growth, demographic growth, Paul Ehrlich, John Brunner, David Brin, John Cage, science fiction, media theory, utopia, urban studies

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