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‘But the real problem is….’ : The chameleonic insidiousness of ‘overpopulation’ in the environmental humanities.

Clark, Timothy (2016) '‘But the real problem is….’ : The chameleonic insidiousness of ‘overpopulation’ in the environmental humanities.', Oxford literary review., 38 (1). pp. 7-26.


This paper offers an overview of the chameleonic nature of overpopulation as an environmental issue, and of the relative evasion of population as an issue in ecocriticism and elsewhere: the very multiplicity of environmental factors means that population pressure can always seem to be finessed as “really” something else. Overpopulation looks drastically different as an issue, depending on whether it is considered at the level of the nation state, that of individual right, or as a global phenomenon. Finally, the chameleonic nature of overpopulation poses intractable challenges to literary representation, since it resists representation at the scalar norms of realism.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Edinburgh University Press in Oxford Literary Review. The Version of Record is available online at:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:02 October 2017
Date of first online publication:31 May 2016
Date first made open access:02 October 2017

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