Yuan Yuan


Since the beginning of the new millennium, there has been a blossoming of research on literary representations of climate change in Western scholarship. Critics have analyzed the narrative innovations and thematic strategies of climate fiction and climate poetry in four aspects, namely, philosophy, history, affect, and politics. They have established six major theoretical routes: climate deconstructionism, climate historicism, holistic climate criticism, climate cognition and affect criticism, climate justice criticism, and empirical climate criticism. Critics generally situate humans and nonhumans in a shared process of planetary development. Their major purpose is to observe the interrelationship between climate (change) and the production/transmission of literature in order to explore the role of literature in climate change mitigation and sustainable development, and thus to initiate a new critical paradigm in the Anthropocene. This article surveys Western theories and practices regarding literary representations of climate change and the latest research findings in the field of Chinese eco-criticism. The article argues that the globality of climate change affords the possibility of transcending the national and regional boundaries in traditional literary history. Climatic events with global significance provide the basis to construct a new theoretical framework for the writing and transmitting of world literary history.


Anthropocene, climate change, world literature, ecocriticism, interdisciplinary research

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