Finally, we have reached the end of the semester, and are able to present the culmination of our work from throughout the fall! The areas of interest that we started with at the beginning of ENVS 350 have morphed and been built upon as we grew our own knowledge and perspectives on "Environment" is a word so embedded in environmental discourse and scholarship that it has effectively disappeared. We all know what the environment is—or do we? And what do our unexamined assumptions about environment mean for how we approach environmental issues? A careful examination of the word might lead us to... More theory. Despite the steep amount of reading and reflecting that I must do during winter break, I am both proud of and surprised by how much of a base I have for my ENVS 4oo capstone. I am excited for the development that will come next.
It wasn’t truly until the night before that I felt sure of my topic. While I was remaking my concept map, the connections that I had been trying to make became clearer. Jim Proctor often reminded us that one of the best ways to think and develop ideas is by writing, and despite my reluctance to actually sit myself down and do it, I find time and time again that it really does help make things click.
Climate fiction, a subgenera of science fiction, continues to grow in popularity, and as it does so its impact on us grows. One of the ways in which we see it is in climate movements, where the often apocalyptic narratives are incorporated in campaign videos and draw people to the movements by creatively stirring up a sense of urgency.
How has science fiction contributed to climate movements?Framing Question
The framework elements that I have selected work with so far are environmental humanities, apocalypticism, climate movements and climate science. Together, they serve as a web that can help better understand the relationship between works of climate fiction and climate movements.
Apocalypticism is a point of contention in both environmentalist circles as well as in works of climate fiction. On one hand, authors like David Wallace-Wells criticize other creators for writing millenarian stories where the earth is saved last minute by some development or discovery, rather than presenting climate change as an irreversible catastrophe that we must stop before it is too late. On the other hand, a climate crisis looks a bit different depending on the background of the author. For instance, if someone has a positive view of the past, the future and its threats can be viewed with that catastrophic lens, but when the past and present are viewed in a more complicated or negative manner, climate change can seem like another hurdle in an already tough run.
In what ways do dystopian narratives of a climate apocalypse affect communication of urgency in climate movements?Focus Question
One of the components that I am still working through is the situated context. Due to the nature of my project, it has the potential to be differently grounded in place. The two possible situated contexts that I am currently looking at are apocalyptic dystopias and topos, examining the relationship between real and created places. For now, I elected to stick with the former as it was the one that I am most comfortable with.
Below is my final Framework Presentation. Please feel free to check it out for more info!