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How do we imagine humanity’s capacities for controlling the weather? In the context of climate change and its catastrophic consequences, fictional accounts offer visions of the future and shed light on the strategies of the present. Can climate manipulation (that is, climate engineering or geoengineering) be the solution to keep in check the environmental disaster of the Anthropocene or will this only be another turn of the screw and lead to complete disaster?
In the framework of this workshop five papers will explore literary texts from Franz Kafka to Anja Kampmann, from the early 20th century up to 2023. The focus will be on the political dimension of climate engineering: what are the questions of power inherent in these imaginings whereby humanity engineers its own climatic conditions as a reaction to the destruction of the natural environment? What is the role of literature in such promethean fantasies? What role do fiction, fact and fear play in cultural representations of a future in the Anthropocene? Will the Anthropocene 2.0 bring salvation or disaster?

Programme [PDF]

The workshop will be conducted in English; no knowledge of German is necessary.

Organiser: Marko Pajević (University of Tartu/ILCS, University of London)

All are welcome to participate. Advance online registration essential. 

Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD (USA) via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0)