Jeff VanderMeer’s Climate Fiction: Global Warming and the Southern Reach Trilogy Rita Bullwinkel and Jesse Montgomery
One of the great challenges to discussing and representing climate change is how to make an essentially non-visual catastrophe emotionally resonant. One response to this question has come in the recently formulated genre of climate fiction, or cli-fi which includes literary works that take up the subject of global climate change and the various questions it produces. What unites the various works that populate the genre is an attempt to make something as immense, dangerous, diffuse, and – oftentimes – insensible as climate change narratively and viscerally felt. In keeping with the Eos Project’s commitment to meeting the climate change conversation at its cutting edge, we will lead an undergraduate reading group devoted to an exciting set of recently released cli-fi novels: Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. In tandem with the reading group we will bring Jeff VanderMeer to campus to discuss his work, its relation to environmental issues – particularly those of the southern United States – and fiction’s role in furthering our understanding of a warming world.