English 190

Research Seminar: Cli Fi (Climate Change Fiction)


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Fall 2019 Snyder, Katherine
TTh 9:30-11 233 Dwinelle

Book List

Atwood, Margaret: The Year of the Flood; Bacigalupi, Paolo: The Windup Girl; Hamid, Mohsin: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia; Jemision, N.K.: The Fifth Season; Lerner, Ben: 10:04; Watkins, Claire Vaye: Gold Fame Citrus

Description

How do we imagine the unimaginable? When it comes to global climate change, we have for the most part avoided imagining it altogether. But contemporary fiction writers are increasingly turning their gaze, and ours, toward the impact and meanings of this accelerating environmental crisis of our own making. In this class, we will consider the rise of the genre known since 2008 as “cli fi,” exploring the generic and narrative forms that are currently being used to figure forth the eco-cataclysm we now face. We will address topics including speculative/science fiction and literary realism; scales of geological time and planetary place; sudden catastrophe and slow violence; environmental injustice in the Global South and North; capitalism, imperialism, and infrastructure; melancholy, guilt, and the potential for political agency; and non-human actors and a world without us.  

In additional to the required reading and viewing, assignments for the course will include in-class presentations, online responses, short essays and reviews, and a longer analytical essay using secondary sources.

Novels will likely include some of those listed, but the list hasn't yet been finalized, so don’t buy the books until after our first class meeting. We will also read some non-fiction essays and short stories, and watch at least one movie.

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