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Research Article

Won’t You be My Neighbor? – Corporate Discourse, Formations of Community, and Fracking Above the Marcellus Shale

Author:

Zachary Grobe

Cornell University, US
About Zachary
Zachary Grobe is a Ph.D. candidate in English Language and Literature at Cornell University where he studies 20th-century American poetry and film through the lens of Queer and Marxist theory. His primary research interests include representations of economic crisis, the rise of alternative forms of relation in response to crisis, and the overlap and tensions between modernist formations of race, gender, and sexuality.
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Abstract

This article examines Earth Justice’s short documentary film ‘Dryden – The Small Town that Changed the Fracking Game’ in order to analyze the ways in which residents deployed the figure of the neighbor as part of their successful effort to prevent natural gas drilling in their community. This figure, a common trope used by the gas industry to insinuate itself into the areas it aims to exploit, is taken up by activists for the purpose of promoting a collective sense of responsibility and fostering feelings of solidarity. Though much of the discourse around fracking currently seems stuck in irresolvable debates that reduce the issue to merely scientific or economic terms, ‘Dryden’ foregrounds the social dimensions of this particular crisis. In reconsidering fracking as a crisis of community, Earth Justice’s documentary and the activists in Dryden not only establish a groundbreaking legal precedent for imposing de facto bans on fracking, but also explore ways of breaking out of the discursive gridlock. The deployment of the figure of the neighbor sheds light on new potentialities, compelling new understandings of extrafamilial relationships and collective responsibility that provide new modes of thinking otherwise in the face of what has become a stultifying debate.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.26824/lalr.240
How to Cite: Grobe, Z., 2021. Won’t You be My Neighbor? – Corporate Discourse, Formations of Community, and Fracking Above the Marcellus Shale . Latin American Literary Review, 48(96). DOI: http://doi.org/10.26824/lalr.240
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Published on 03 Aug 2021.
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