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Dr. Sarah McFarland Taylor, MA Media Studies ’19, Publishes Book, Ecopiety: Green Media and the Dilemma of Environmental Virtue

Dr. Sarah McFarland Taylor (M.A. ’19) has a new book out with NYU Press. It is called Ecopiety: Green Media and the Dilemma of Environmental Virtue. The book has been nominated for a total of six book awards, including the Rachel Carson Environmental Book Award and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Book Award. Sarah is a professor at Northwestern University where she teach courses on media, climate change, and public moral engagement.


“This book could not come at a more urgent time; as the costs of human life and consumerism become clearer in the environmental crises of the planet, Taylor offers us a brilliant, compelling analysis of how discourses of virtue are used to re-direct the global climate crisis from a collective politics to the choices of individual consumers. The book explores green consumer marketing in the frame of ecopiety by examining a variety of practices, from cars to reality television to mediated popular cultural narratives about vampires to green burials, and in the process offers not only a trenchant critique but also possible alternatives to individualist consumption as a way to virtuously ‘save the planet.’”

― Sarah Banet-Weiser, Head of Media and Communications, London School of Economics, on the release of Ecopiety


Taylor is now focused on a new book project, Selling Planet B: Marketing Mars Migration and Manifest Destiny. This book explores and analyzes mediations of futuristic extraterrestrial earth escape fantasies in the contemporary media marketplace. In particular, the project examines billionaire technocrats who have tapped into both historically embedded narratives of “manifest destiny” and contemporary otherworldly popular apocalyptic narratives that currently thrive in the consumer culture of “doomsday preppers” and “survivalists.”


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