PhD candidate in English and Theatre Studies, School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne
Mona Rahimpour’s research focuses on a trend in the contemporary global novel which engages with the accelerative precarity of human futures. What she identifies under the new conceptual cluster of Doom Lit projects imminent planetary threats into unsettlingly near futures, where human subjects struggle to adapt to acute ontological and existential disruption. She proposes to read these works in line with the relationality between their distinct aesthetic properties—what they are—and their affective qualities—what they do to the reader. Her methodology responds to Doom Lit as a site of attachment and material possibility as she considers doom in contemporary fiction to examine the relationship between the fictional depictions of the human ‘ends’ and the lived, material experiences of the present. Significantly, the plurality of ‘ends’ acknowledges diverse temporalities that prefigure human finality. This includes Indigenous knowledge (e.g. in Wright’s The Swan Book), refugee imaginaries (e.g. in Lanchester’s The Wall) and pandemic narratives (e.g. in McKay’s Animals in That Country). In so doing, she attends to nuances of heterogeneous imaginaries of the Global South with fundamental, and often subversive, ontological differences to what the end of the world may look like. Mona’s research connects with the concerns of ERCC in its focus on worldliness, cosmopolitanism and globalization and its involvement with the genealogy of aesthetic preoccupation with doom which she traces to the “Romantic climate”, exemplified in Byron’s Darkness and Mary Shelley’s figure of The Last Man.
Mona is an Erasmus Mundus alum and has a journal article forthcoming entitled “Intertextuality and Oneiric Futurity in Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea”.