Video/Micro Lecture: ‘The Great Derangement’: A conversation

A short discussion led by Dr. Maya Dodd, FLAME University, India on Amitav Ghosh’s book, ‘The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable’, that summarizes key points of Ghosh’s work.This video includes discussions on topics such as

  1. Why is climate change ‘unimaginable’ or ‘unthinkable’?
  2. Why does the missing narrative of climate change require the unmasking of ‘unbelievable choices’ we have made in the past?
  3. How did the rift in narrative between the human and the non-human come about? 
  4. How has the association of nature and culture evolved historically?
  5. How does Western individualism as opposed to non-Western collective values affect climate action?
  6. Why is there a need for a more philosophical approach with the contextualization of history to deal with global climate change?

Students will learn about the complex narrative of climate change and the challenges it poses to fiction. They will also learn about how non-fiction caters to a specific demographic and, therefore, the need to include climate change in fictional works to reach a wider audience. Students will also learn about the importance of using ‘realism’ as opposed to ‘surrealism’ as a way of communicating this global crisis. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Why have climate change topics been underrepresented in fiction writing?
  2. What does Amitav Ghosh mean by ‘The Great Derangement’?
  3. How does the evolution of historical narratives influence contemporary narratives on climate change?

About the Tool 

Tool NameA Conversation on Amitav Ghosh’s ‘The Great Derangement’
Topic(s) in DisciplineLiterature, Fiction, History, Contemporary Literature, Literary Analysis 
Climate Topic Climate and Society
Type of tool Video/ Micro Lecture (19 min 30 sec)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate 
Developed byDr Maya Dodd with Paloma Chandrachud, FLAME University, India. Produced for TROP ICSU by Science Media Centre, IISER Pune
Hosted atTROP ICSU platform
Computer SkillsBasic
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