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Climate Fiction

ENGL 016.302
instructor(s):
MW 2-3:30
fulfills requirements:
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

Whether you call it climatological science-fiction or #clifi, speculative fiction about anthropogenic climate change is becoming an important site for thinking, feeling, and warning about earth’s changing environments. In this class we’ll study a cluster of recent cli-fi novels that project a variety of climate scenarios—apocalyptic, utopian, and everything in between—into the future. We’ll also look at earlier fictions that explore humanity’s entanglement with non-human beings and environments, as well as at fictions that connect climate change in the present with scarce-resources, conflict, displacement, and environmental racism. Supplementary readings in the environmental humanities will introduce terms and concepts such as the Anthropocene, deep time, the great acceleration, the nonhuman turn, and climate justice. Primary texts by the likes of Octavia Butler, A. S. Byatt, Barbara Kingsolver, Ben Lerner, Nnedi Okorafor, Richard Powers, Kim Stanley Robinson, Jesmyn Ward.