Undergraduate Course: Climate Change Fiction (ENLI10393)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course will introduce students to the contemporary genre of climate change fiction. Of concern will be how this emergent genre interweaves longstanding genres of science and dystopian fiction, questions the developmental logics of the bildungsroman, reimagines the temporalities of plot and character in contexts of radical instability, rethinks local and global distinctions and responsibilities, and experiments with literary form to convey the improvisational and imaginative demands of the Anthropocene. Of particular concern will be how the novels that form this course's archive conceive the disproportionately disastrous impact of climate change upon communities already disadvantaged by poverty, racism, and settler colonialism. The ethical, political, and philosophical commitments of the novels will be amplified by selected readings in contemporary critical theory, including queer and feminist theory, animality studies, and object-oriented ontology.
This course will allow students to examine the variety of ways in which contemporary fiction engages with the perils and exigencies of climate change and imagines forms of precarious survival in the Anthropocene. These literary texts will be read in the light of critical and theoretical arguments as well as selected texts from climate science, philosophy, political theory, sociology, and public policy. The ability to read literary and theoretical writing independently and with precision and confidence that students have gained from their prior study of English Literature will be essential for the successful completion of this course. Also, although not set as part of the course, students will have the opportunity to discuss other modes of climate change representation (television, film, popular music) in relation to the literature they are reading.
On the basis of students' preparatory reading, seminars will be used to discuss the literary, philosophical, psychological, social, cultural and political implications of different manners of climate change fiction. In order to fully prepare for these seminar discussions, students will be required to meet in advance in smaller 'autonomous learning groups' to produce material which will be presented to the class in a variety of forms (written reports posted to the course v.l.e., informal contributions to class discussion, or more formal verbal presentations during the seminar). Active preparation for and participation in class discussion is required, and will be assessed as a part of the student's overall performance on the course.
The structure of reading and analysis on the course is broadly comparative: students will be asked to explore the similarities and differences between the set texts, and examine the various types of analysis made possible by the critical and theoretical modes of reading to which they are introduced. The guided examination of the similarities and differences between the range of texts and approaches studied will help students to develop the analytical skills and knowledge that will be assessed in their essays.
The course is assessed by two essays, one to be completed by Week 9 of the course and one to be written during the exam period, and an assessment of students' participation in class and their autonomous learning groups. Written feedback will be provided on each element of assessment, and further oral follow-up feedback from the tutor will be available for anyone who would like it.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||A MINIMUM of 4 college/university level literature courses at grade B or above (should include no more than one introductory level literature course). Related courses such as civilisation or other interdisciplinary classes, Freshman Year Seminars or composition/creative writing classes/workshops are not considered for admission to this course. Applicants should also note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. In making admissions decisions preference will be given to students who achieve above the minimum requirement with the typical visiting student admitted to this course having 4 literature classes at grade A.
** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Construct original, clear and coherent arguments about climate change fiction¿s depictions of contemporary ideas, institutions, practices and problems
- Analyse climate change fiction using recognised literary critical and critical theoretical methodologies to substantiate and illustrate those arguments
- Extrapolate, evaluate and assess ideas from a range of non-literary sources in order to bring them to bear on their analyses of climate change fiction
- Evaluate the ways in which different form of climate change fiction make possible different modes of engagement with these
- Orally present the results of research undertaken individually and as part of a small group, respond judiciously to such research undertaken by others, and critically evaluate the importance of such material for an understanding of the chief themes of the course
Bacigalupi, Paolo. The Water Knife. Vintage, 2016.
Ballard, J.G. The Drowned World. Liveright, 2013.
Itäranta, Emmy. Memory of Water. Harper Voyager, 2014.
Kingsolver, Barbara. Flight Behavior. Harper Perennial, 2013.
Lepucki, Edan. California. Back Bay Books, 2015.
Lloyd, Saci. The Carbon Diaries 2017. Holiday House, 2011.
Hunter, Megan. The End We Start From. Grove Press, 2017.
Rich, Nathaniel. Odds Against Tomorrow. Picador, 2014.
Robinson, Kim Stanley. New York 2140. Orbit, 2017.
Alaimo, Stacey. Exposed: Environmental Politics and Pleasures in Posthuman Times. University of Minnesota Press, 2016.
Ghosh, Amitav. The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable. University of Chicago Press, 2016.
Haraway, Donna. Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Duke University Press, 2016.
Hoffman, Andrew. How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate. Stanford Briefs, 2015.
Klein, Naomi. This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. the Climate. Simon & Schuster, 2015.
McKibben, Bill. Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. St. Martin¿s Griffin, 2011.
Mehnert, Antonia. Climate Change Fictions: Representations of Global Warming in American Literature. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
Morton, Timothy. Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People. Verso, 2017.
Nixon, Rob. Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Harvard University Press, 2013.
Povinelli, Elizabeth. Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism. Duke University Press, 2016.
Puar, Jasbir. The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability. Duke University Press, 2017.
Scranton, Roy. Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization. City Lights Publishers, 2015.
Streeby, Shelley. Imagining the Future of Climate Change: World-Making through Science Fiction and Activism. University of California Press, 2018.
Tsing, Anna et al. Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene. University of Minnesota Press, 2017.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||As an outcome of having studied this course, students will benefit from having developed a range of personal and professional skills commensurate with the range of SCQF Level 10 characteristics:
Knowledge and understanding: students will have had the opportunity to demonstrate their critical understanding of a range of the principal theories and concepts of literary analysis in relation to their reading and discussion of the course material;
Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding: in their work for class discussion, presentations and formal assessment tasks, students will have been able to practice the application of these theories and concepts in their construction of arguments about the course material;
Generic Cognitive Skills: in completing assessed essays and class presentations, students will have practiced identifying, defining, conceptualising and analysing complex problems and issues germane to the discipline;
Communication: through participating in these tasks students will also have demonstrated the ability to communicate ideas and information about specialised topics in the discipline to an informed audience of their peers and subject specialists;
Autonomy and Working with Others: students will also have shown the capacity to work autonomously and in small groups on designated tasks, develop new thinking with their peers, and take responsibility for the reporting, analysis and defence of these ideas to a larger group.
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||2 hour seminar per week for 10 weeks; plus attendance at Autonomous Learning Group for one hour per week
|Keywords||Climate change fiction,theory and criticism,contemporary literature,literature and the environment
|Course organiser||Dr Benjamin Bateman
Tel: (0131) 650 4288
|Course secretary||Miss Kara McCormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030