Friday, January 29, 2016

Jennifer Wickes to teach a cli-fi course this summer at Breadloaf School of English at Middlebury College: June 2016 start date

Thanks to Robin Bates at St Mary's College of Maryland, an English professor there, for his two "climate fiction" (CF) posts there at TeleRead's popular site this week, [reprinted from his blog.] Not only has the climate fiction term caught on -- all you have to do is Google it now to see how big it has become since the NPR story in 2013 -- there are now over 50 colleges teaching climate fiction classes this Spring 2016 semester nationwide. From Vanderbilt to Tufts to Brooklyn College to Holyoke Community College, more and more English departments, sometimes in cooperation with science teachers in biology or chemistry departmnts, too,  are teaching and team-teaching climate fiction novel classes, with CF feature movies included as well.

One professor, Jennifer Wicke, will be teaching a cli-fi  class this summer in June at the Breadloaf School of English at Middlebury College, where Bill McKibben is also involved with CF work, and when Dr Wicke read the two pieces by Dr Bates at TeleRead, I asked her why she thought, in her POV, why CF classes were catching on now around the country, both in classrooms and in many academiic papers being published. She told me:

"The Cli-Fi class I’m teaching takes place this summer 2016 during the Bread Loaf School of English/Middlebury College session that runs from June 22nd to August 12th or so.

''Thanks so much for all you do, Cli-Fi.Net blogger. Your “24/7” commitment to climate change activism is so inspiring, fearless, and in my view, the way we all should live. I send my warmest thoughts and wishes to you in this ongoing meaningful struggle we call our lives!

''You had asked me why Cli-Fi courses might be proliferating so much now nationwide on college campuses last fall and this spring and whether I think this is a trend that will continue. My answer is yes, without question — among other things, students are very clear-eyed about what is occurring in the world, and they want to be involved academically with courses and perspectives that intertwine with that reality and offer modes of agency.

''Increasingly, literary studies will be bound up with other fields including science studies and social science disciplines as well as policy and service learning, since the ability to pinpoint narratives that literature offers, to give imaginative and critical scope to possibilities as well as to detect patterns of response that literature affords, makes an expanded idea of “cli-fi” (or climate fiction, CF, whatever)  the necessary grounding for our actions, responses, and even hopes going forward."

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