Reading: A Climate Fiction (Cli-Fi) Syllabus

An article published by Yale Climate Connections on resources for teaching climate fiction. The article features Elizabeth Rush, a climate fiction educator at Brown University, who discusses the ways in which climate fiction can create a relationship between humans, their environment and technology. The article provides educators a list of climate fiction novels and short stories. Cli-Fi resources reviewed in the article include ‘The Tamarisk Hunter’ by Paolo Bacigalupi, ‘Gold, Fame, Citrus’ by Claire Vaye Watkins, ‘Monstro’ by Junot Díaz, ‘New York 2140’ by Kim Stanley Robinson, and ‘10:04’ by Ben Lerner.

Through the Cli-Fi books listed, students will learn about climate change and the importance of Cli-Fi. 

Use this tool and the resources listed therein to help your students find answers to: 

  1. How does climate fiction link society, climate change and technology?
  2. How can cli-fi provide solutions to mitigate climate change?

About the Tool 

Tool NameWhat’s on your climate fiction syllabus?
DisciplineHumanities
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Fiction, Cli-Fi, Literature 
Climate Topic Climate and Society
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate 
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byYale Climate Connections with Elizabeth Rush, Brown University 
Hosted atYale Climate Connections
Linkhttps://yaleclimateconnections.org/2018/04/whats-on-your-climate-fiction-syllabus/
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: Climate Change in Literary Fiction

An article by Amitav Ghosh, author of ‘The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable’ in The Guardian that discusses the lack of climate change in fictional writing. The author discusses the evolution of the narrative in novels and why fiction writers have been resistant to include the topic of climate change in their work. He further discusses why novelists tend to address the topic of climate change through non-fiction since fiction derived from climate change deviates from trends of ‘gradualism’ in contemporary narratives and yet does not belong to ‘surrealism’ and ‘magic realism’ due to its nature of being ‘real’.

Students will learn about the genre of Climate Fiction (Cli-Fi) and how it differs from science fiction (Sci-Fi) . They will also learn about the evolution of narratives surrounding environmental phenomena in contemporary works of literature. Students will understand challenges that contemporary authors face when trying to write about ‘real’ topics like climate change.   

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is Climate Fiction (Cli-Fi)?
  2. Discuss why climate change has not caught the collective imagination of writers.
  3. How do history, culture and politics influence works of literature?

About the tool

Tool NameAmitav Ghosh: where is the fiction about climate change?
DisciplineHumanities
Topic(s) in DisciplineLiterature, Fiction, Climate Fiction, Cli-Fi, Non-fiction, Writing, Literary Analysis, Narrative
Climate Topic Climate and Society
Type of tool Reading 
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byAmitav Ghosh
Hosted atThe Guardian
Linkhttps://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/oct/28/amitav-ghosh-where-is-the-fiction-about-climate-change-
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic 

Reading: Can Cli-Fi Save The Planet?

A short article by Dan Bloom in The Medium about potential ways in which climate fiction (Cli-Fi) is now helping students engage with climate change and can provide potential solutions to the crisis. In this short article, Bloom, who is thought to have coined the term ‘Cli-Fi’ discusses the increase in climate fiction in the fields of education, writing, and media across the world. 

Students will learn about Cli-Fi, and how it is helping with youth engagement in the current climate crisis. Students will further understand the importance of popular media in youth involvement for the climate movement.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. How can Cli-Fi impact the climate movement?
  2. Why is it important to include Cli-Fi in today’s classrooms?

About the Tool 

Tool NameCan “Cli-Fi” Help Keep Our Planet Livable?
DisciplineHumanities
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Fiction, Cli-Fi, Literature, Education  
Climate Topic Climate and Society
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate 
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byDan Bloom
Hosted atThe Medium
LinkGo To Link
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video/Micro Lecture: What is Cli-Fi?

A video micro lecture by Stephanie LeMenager, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, that discusses the genre of climate fiction (Cli-Fi). The video introduces this new genre of writing and includes definitions by contemporary artists, authors and filmmakers. This video further highlights new sub-genres such as ‘anthropocene fiction’ and ‘solar punk’ that have their origins in Cli-Fi.

Students will learn about the new genre of climate fiction in literature. They will also learn how authors, artists, and filmmakers portray the current global crisis and their challenges. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is climate fiction (Cli-Fi)? 
  2. How can Cli-Fi inform and provide solutions to help mitigate climate change?

About the Tool 

Tool NameWhat is Cli-Fi?
DisciplineHumanities
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Fiction, Cli-Fi, Literature, Anthropocene Fiction, Solar Punk
Climate Topic Climate and the Anthroposphere; Climate and Society
Type of tool Video/ Micro Lecture (2 mins 30 secs)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate 
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byStephanie LeMenager, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University
Hosted atYouTube
Linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9XuxHtfOxQ
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video/Micro Lecture: Amitav Ghosh on Literary Fiction

Video lectures by Amitav Ghosh, author of ‘The Great Derangement: Fiction, History, and Politics in the Age of Global Warming’ as part of a 4 part lecture series delivered at the University of Chicago’s Randy L. & Melvin R. Berlin Family Lectures. In this set of two video lectures, Ghosh discusses the impact of global warming and climate change on fiction. He discusses climate narratives in literary fiction and the lack of climate change narratives in contemporary literature. 

Students will understand the importance of climate change narratives in literary fiction. They will also understand the influence of climate change on everyday narratives. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Discuss climate narratives in literary fiction.
  2. Why has the climate crisis been underrepresented in literary fiction?

About the Tool 

Tool NameThe Great Derangement: Literature, History, and Politics in the Age of Global Warming
DisciplineHumanities
Topic(s) in DisciplineLiterature, Fiction, Climate Fiction, Cli-Fi, Contemporary Literature, Literary Analysis, 
Climate Topic Climate and Society
Type of tool Two Video Lectures (1 hr 15 min & 1 hr 17 min)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate 
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byAmitav Ghosh at the Berlin Family Lectures, The University of Chicago
Hosted atYouTube
LinkVideo Lecture 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZW8n6RAAxTg&t=2408s
Video Lecture 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvvilBabbog 
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic