The “Climate Change Literacy” project is a necessary intervention within the rapidly expanding field of research in the Environmental Humanities on climate change and environmental literacy. In contrast to the dominant, science-centred literacy debates, which largely ignore the unique resources of the humanities, it asks: How do novels contribute to climate change communication? How does this contribution relate to recent demands for environmental and related literacies? Rather than reducing the function of literature to a more pleasurable form of information transfer or its affective dimension of evoking sympathy, climate change literacy thoroughly reassesses the cognitive, affective, and pedagogic potentials of literary writing by analysing a selection of popular climate novels and demonstrating the role of fiction in fostering an adequate understanding of, and response to, climate change.

The project is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation as part of the Originalitätsverdacht funding line (Az.: 9A794). The project group consists of three scholars with expertise in interdisciplinary literary studies, cultural literacies, and education for sustainability.

about the logo

The logo employs Ed Hawkins’s famous visualisation of climate anomalies based on annual average temperatures from 1850 to 2018 using data from the UK Met Office. Used under CC-BY 4.0 licence (Climate Change Stripes: CC-BY 4.0 Ed Hawkins).