A pioneering examination of nuclear trauma, the continuing and new nuclear peril, and the subjectivities they generate
Amid resurgent calls for widespread nuclear energy and “limited nuclear war,” the populations that must live with the consequences of these decisions are increasingly insecure. The nuclear peril combined with the looming threat of climate change means that we are seeing the formation of a new kind of subjectivity: humans who are in a position of perpetual ontological insecurity. In Radioactive Ghosts, Gabriele Schwab articulates a vision of these “nuclear subjectivities” that we all live with.
Focusing on the legacies of the Manhattan Project, Hiroshima, and nuclear energy politics, Radioactive Ghosts takes us on a tour of the little-seen sides of our nuclear world. Examining devastating uranium mining on Native lands, nuclear sacrifice zones, the catastrophic accidents at Chernobyl and Fukushima, and the formation of a new transspecies ethics, Schwab shows how individuals threatened with extinction are creating new adaptations, defenses, and communal spaces. Ranging from personal accounts of experiences with radiation to in-depth readings of literature, film, art, and scholarly works, Schwab gives us a complex, idiosyncratic, and personal analysis of one of the most overlooked issues of our time.
About the Author:
Gabriele Schwab is distinguished professor at the University of California, Irvine. She holds appointments in comparative literature, anthropology, English, and European languages and studies. Her books in English include Subjects without Selves: Transitional Texts in Modern Fiction; The Mirror and the Killer-Queen: Otherness in Literary Language; Haunting Legacies: Violent Histories and Transgenerational Trauma; and Imaginary Ethnographies: Literature, Subjectivity, Culture.