Climate Fiction — Min Hyoung Song, English, Boston College (2020)

Excerpt: How can reading literature help sustain attention to climate change? If you’re taking this course, you probably already know something—maybe a lot of things—about climate change. You probably understand that it’s a “wicked” problem because there are no easy solutions and its dynamics are constantly shifting. It’s also wicked because there’s so much well-financed propaganda muddying discussion. And perhaps just as important, it’s wicked because, no matter how much you understand the problem and care about its consequences, it’s just plain difficult to keep thinking about it. I know for myself I can easily get overwhelmed and sad. This last area of concern is perhaps where literature can help the most, especially if reading literature as part of a larger practice of paying attention.

Cli-Fi: Science Fiction, Climate Change, & Apocalypse — Ted Howell

Contemporary Environmental Writing — Caren Irr

Climate Futures in Fiction and Film — Amanda Hagood and Joanna Huxter

> Book Blog Assignment

> Assignment: Climate Futures Story Board 

Contemporary American Literature: Cli-Fi — Everett Hamner

Environmental Literatures and Cultures — Erin James

Introduction to Climate Fiction — Stephen Siperstein

> Creative/Analytical Joint Assignment – Part I of this assignment asks students to create a work of cli-fi in any form–podcast, game, etc.  Part II asks them to analyze their creation and compare it to an existing work (Siperstein).

Ecological Literature and Media — Jean-Thomas Tremblay

Climate Fiction — Christopher Walker


Creative/Analytical Joint Assignment

Stephen Siperstein

Part I of this assignment asks students to create a work of cli-fi in any form–podcast, game, etc.

Part II asks them to analyze their creation and compare it to an existing work.

Classroom Debate: Cli-Fi’s Effectiveness

Nicole Seymour

After I give an introductory lecture on cli-fi, I ask students in class to read through all the viewpoints and take notes on Will Fiction Influence How We React to Climate Change?, a debate hosted by the New York Times.

I then divide the class in half, with one half representing the “pro” camp and the other the “skeptical” camp. I explain that they will be expected to defend their position by drawing on the viewpoints in the article as well as their own viewpoints. They will also be expected to respond to the other side, providing counterarguments. After approximately 10 minutes prep time, we share out and I record the discussion on the board.

Module: “Thinking Through the Future of Climate Change with Fiction”

Ted Howell

The Module includes slideshows that introduce [Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway’s short book The Collapse of Western Civilization] and generate classroom discussion, links to supplementary videos and short readings, and an easily adaptable assignment sheet that asks students to consider the strengths and weaknesses of various methods of communicating information about climate change.

Writing Assignments on the novel South Pole Station (by Ashley Shelby, 2018, Picador Press)

Professor Everett Hamner, Western Illinois University

This first writing assignment asks students to craft questions that they might pose to Shelby, author of South Pole Station; the second asks students to create an archive of “recent popular cultural treatments of climate change.”

Book Blog Assignment

Amanda Hagood and Joanna Huxter, Ekerd College

EXCERPT: There are two goals for this Book Blog Assignment:

first, by giving sustained attention and thought to a longer text, you will gain deeper insight into how literary writing explains climate change phenomena and unpacks their environmental, social, and even moral implications.

Second, by reading  what your classmates have written about their chosen novels, you will gain a sense of the breadth of work that has been produced in the cli fi genre.

Climate Fiction Story Board Assignment

Amanda Hagood and Joanna Huxter, Ekerd College

Climate Fiction Story Board Assignment: Excerpt – Your final project for Climate Futures is your opportunity to create your own work of climate fiction. You will present your work as a “story pitch” with accompanying key images or frames. For this project you can work in pairs or individually. Your finished products will be displayed in poster form around the room on our final day of class as a gallery or “Cli-Fi Fair.”

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) ECOTOPIA Assignment

Stephanie LeMenager

DIY Ecotopia:  Excerpt – In 1975 Ernst Callenbach, an author and environmentalist, published Ecotopia, a now famous ecological utopia set in the Pacific Northwest. While there is much to admire in Callenbach’s book, there is also much that looks outdated. For example, Callenbach could not imagine an ethnically and racially diverse ecotopia, and he gave no consideration to questions of indigenous sovereignty. Callenbach also did not anticipate global climate change, a reality that you must consider in any definition of sustainability that you imagine… Your task in this assignment is to sketch your own Ecotopia…

WEBSITE:  Teaching Cli-Fi

Ted Howell

Visit for syllabi, reading lists, etc.