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Expecting the Unprecedented: Speculative Fiction and the Climate Events of the Future

When Jan 22, 2021
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where webinar
Contact Name

Speculative fiction has recently marked a turn in American literature to imagine not just the past of "unprecedented" climate crises, but also their future. It has been well-established that speculative fiction can assist societies in imaging the future of climate crises. However, it remains to be discussed what the limits of these imaginative possibilities are. Further, what is gained and lost by referring to major climate events as "unprecedented"? Mindful of the limits of speculative fiction's potential to imagine the futures of climate change, this webinar focuses on how speculative fiction might nonetheless help make the "unprecedented" feel apprehensible for readers.

Panelists include:

  • Heather Houser, Associate Professor of English, University of Texas at Austin. Houser is the author of Ecosickness in Contemporary U. S. Fiction: Environment and Affect (Columbia UP, 2014) and Infowhelm: Environmental Art and Literature in an Age of Data (Columbia UP, 2020).
  • Stephanie LeMenager, Moore Endowed Professor of English, University of Oregon.  LeMenager is the author of Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century (Oxford UP, 2014) and co-editor, with Shane Hall and Stephen Siperstein, of Teaching Climate Change in the Humanities (Routledge, 2016).
  • Claire Colebrook, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English, Philosophy, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Penn State.  Colebrook serves as co-editor, with Tom Cohen, of the book series Critical Climate Change for Open Humanities Press and has authored two volumes in the series, including The Death of the Posthuman (2014) and Sex After Life (2014).

Please register in advance for the symposium here:

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