The seminar explores contemporary climate fiction (Cli-Fi). We will discuss a variety of questions ranging from literary concerns such as narrative strategy, genre, and the relation between fact and fiction to socio-political and cultural questions: What is at stake in Cli-Fi? How does it conceive of nature-society relations and how does it represent the place of the human within given ecosystems? How to understand the relation between aesthetics and politics, literature and activism? What is the role of the author in this particular literary field? How to represent an ecological catastrophe of this scale? In an attempt to answer the last question we’ll turn to Amitav Ghosh‘s The Great Derangement (2016).
Although this seminar focuses on fictional representations of climate and the future in short stories, novels and film, we will also discuss some non-fiction works that have been extremely influential in shaping both future scenarios and the collective imaginary; for instance, Nathaniel Rich’s ‚Losing Earth‘ (New York Times Magazine, 2018), and David Wallace-Wells‘ ‚The Uninhabitable Earth‘ (New York Magazine, 2017).