English 190

Research Seminar: Climate Change Fiction, or Cli-Fi


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
5 Spring 2021 Snyder, Katherine
TTh 11-12:30

Book List

Atwood, Margaret: The Year of the Flood; Bacigalupi, Paolo: The Wind-up Girl; Butler, Octavia: The Parable of the Sower; Watkins, Claire Vaye: Gold Fame Citrus

Description

Contemporary fiction writers have increasingly been turning their gaze, and ours, toward global climate change, an accelerating environmental crisis of our own making. In this class, we will consider the rise of the literary genre known since 2008 as Cli-Fi, with an eye to the generic and narrative forms that are used to figure forth the eco-cataclysm we now face. We will address topics including science fiction and literary realism; scales of geological time and planetary place; sudden catastrophe and slow violence; environmental injustice; capitalism, imperialism, and infrastructure; melancholy, guilt, and the potential for political agency. Among other questions, we will ask how a burgeoning awareness of the devastating impacts of the Anthropocene has shaped contemporary fiction, and how contemporary fiction might influence our ongoing role in changing the planet.

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

Novels will likely include some of those listed here 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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