Climate Change Fiction: From Ian McEwan to Margaret Atwood

Course Dates: 04/07/21 - 11/07/21
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
Location: Online
What is the role of fiction in an age of climate change? Join us over two Sunday morning classes to explore this question through writers including Ian McEwan, Barbara Kingsolver, Octavia Butler, Margaret Atwood and more.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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SKU
183990
Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00

Course Code: HLT230

Sun, day, 04 Jul - 11 Jul '21

Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This online literature course explores how fiction writers have responded to the increasingly prominent issue of climate change. Some writers have used fiction to examine the ethical and political dilemmas that we face in an age of ‘climate emergency.’ Others have used fiction to create imaginary visions of a future shaped by climate change. Reading extracts from a range of writers, we will ask: how can fiction help us come to terms with the reality of climate change? And can storytelling play a role in changing our attitudes to the environment?

Tutor biography:
Laurie McRae Andrew has previously taught at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he also completed his PhD. He is currently at work on a book about geography in David Foster Wallace’s novels. He specialises in contemporary fiction, and is especially interested in the relationships between literature, human geography, and the natural world.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

In the first of these two sessions, we will look at fiction that has explored the impact of climate change here and now. Who is affected by climate change and in what different ways? How can we tell stories that connect the huge scale of climate change with our everyday lives? I this session we will read extracts from Ian McEwan’s ‘Solar,’ Barbara Kingsolver’s ‘Flight Behaviour,’ and Jesmyn Ward’s ‘Salvage the Bones.’

second session will turn to writers who have created (often apocalyptic) visions of the future impact of climate change. What do these visions tell us about how we understand climate change and its consequences? Is there room for hope as well as despair in our imagination of the future? In this session we will read extracts from Margaret Atwood’s ‘MaddAddam’ trilogy, James Bradley’s ‘Clade,’ and Octavia E. Butler’s ‘Parable of the Sower.’.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Understand some of the different approaches that fiction writers have taken to the issue of climate change.
• Discuss the cultural and political roles that fiction can play in relation to major issues like climate change.
• Read passages of fiction closely, in an imaginative and exploratory way.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

You don’t need any previous experience or particular skills — just an enthusiasm for reading and thinking about fiction, and for discussing your ideas with a group.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course will involve a combination of brief tutor presentations and interactive discussion in large and small groups. Extracts and further reading suggestions will be provided to read in advance of each session.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Extracts from the texts will be provided by the tutor. Please bring paper and pen or a tablet for notetaking.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Laurie McRae Andrew will be teaching Maps & Mapping in Fiction, code HLT182 on 4 & 6 August. Look for other literature courses on our website at www.citylit.ac.uk/history, culture and writing/literature/fiction.

Laurie McRae Andrew

Laurie McRae Andrew has previously taught at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he also completed his PhD. He is currently at work on a book about geography in David Foster Wallace’s novels. He specialises in contemporary fiction, and is especially interested in the relationships between literature, human geography, and the natural world.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.