Friday, October 23, 2015

''Fiction Meets Science'': a novel way of looking at the rise of cli-fi worldwide

''Fiction Meets Science'': a novel way of looking at the rise of cli-fi worldwide
This is mostly sociologists and literary scholars interested in the English language ''cli-fi'' literature in the American/UK/Australia/New Zealand cEnglish-language limate discourse, which is very different from the German one (the denier issue in Germany does not reach the political mainstream). The project is very academic. It’s part of an academic research and fellowship program in Germany called Fiction Meets Science, which looks at the larger trend of more serious attention to science in mainstream novels in the last couple of decades. Most of the novels dubbe cli-fi don’t fit in that trend, as they are 1. dystopian novels with little or no science and 2. novels  like Ray Welch’s A Change in the Weather,  Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior or McEwan’s Solar, and Susan Gaines's Carbon Dreams.   
Does the rise of cli fi literature and cinema do any good in the climate change discourse at the political and societal level?  That’s one thing the sociologists might think about.
Interestingly enough, in Germany the discourse on climate change went in the opposite direction fo what transpired in the USA and UK and Australia, with the German public and political system trying to cope and the media using so-called “alarmist” tactics to convey the dangers in the 1980s-1990s (i.e.  dystopian futures scenarios).
That latter tactic backfired and made a lot of people turn into deniers when they saw that the disaster scenarios didn’t play out (as quickly) as predicted and, in many cases, just because they were tired of being bombarded.
Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Studies (FB10)
University of Bremen
Bibliothekstraße 1
28359 Bremen GERMANY

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