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Ecofiction: An Introduction

Class at Faculty of Arts |



(An updated version of the syllabus, including the final selection of required texts will be available from the Moodle course site.)

Please note that the course begins on 22 February.


Week 2 George Rippey Stewart: Storm (1941)

Week 3 & 4 Walter M. Miller: A Canticle for Horowitz (1959)

Week 5 & 6 Ursula Le Guin: The Word for World Is Forest (1972) & Avatar

Week 7 Sara Baume: A Line Made By Walking (2017) – the seminar will be led by Dr. Jessica Bundschuh from University of Stuttgart

Week 8 & 9 Edward Abbey: The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975) & screening of Kelly Reichardt’s Nigh Moves (2013)

Week 10 Jeanette Winterson: The Stone Gods (2007)

Week 11 & 12 Amitav Ghosh: Gun Island (2019)



We will explore how the growing awareness of environmental threats and, more recently, the climate crisis has influenced anglophone narrative fiction in the 20th and 21st century. If climate change has become the new reality, how has this new “normal” been embraced by the so-called “serious” novel, mostly written along the lines of realistic and psychological fiction? We’ll study prose texts that have been classified as novels with environmental spin, science fiction, fantasy, dystopia, or climate fiction. Our main focus will thus be on genre and narrative structures and how these categories have been constantly blurred and updated in order to correspond with the changing concepts of nature, place and time, and our sense of the global and the local, the speculative and the real. Starting from a brief excursion into the Little Ice Age and the establishing works of environmentally-conscious fiction (including Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein), we will proceed to read works that take human interaction with the natural world as a theme and combine it with other concerns. These include questions of social and racial inequality, gender identity, the use of violence in social and environmental activism and many others.

This course has been designed for BA students at the department of Anglophone Literatures and Cultures who will be prioritized when enrolling for the course.