A State of Want: Advertising and Toxicity in Environmental Justice Literature


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




“A State of Want” examines the short stories and well-known contemporary Chicanx, Native American, and Asian American novels of Helena María Viramontes, Thomas King, and Ruth Ozeki as they are a part of, and represent in their literature, communities who are at a high risk of being harmed by environmental injustices and toxic discourses. It explores representations of advertising in these literary texts set against the backdrop of the advertising climate when they were written to expose the entangled nature of discursive and material toxins. This provides an analysis of the articulation between ideology and economics and the pathways this articulation creates for the movement of material toxins, especially to marginalized communities, through persistent racist capitalist systems.