Guest Lecture

Environmental Risk Narratives: Climate Change and the American Novel

Event Information

  • Thursday, December 14, 2017
  • 2:15 pm - 3:45 pm
  • Ludwig Wucherer Str. 2
  • Halle/Saale

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Environmental Risk Narratives: Climate Change and the American Novel

Prof. Dr. Sylvia Mayer

On December 14 (2.15 pm), as part of the seminar “Literature Between Art and Activism: T.C. Boyle’s A Friend of the Earth” led by Prof. Dr. Holger Kersten, Prof. Dr. Sylvia Mayer (University of Bayreuth) will talk about one of the major global risks that we are confronted with today – the risk of climate change. Exploring the fictional contribution to the risk discourse of climate change, Prof.  Mayer will focus on the U.S. American climate change novel. Her talk will address the relationship of fact, fiction, and narrative in order to demonstrate in how far fictional risk narratives participate in this specific discourse.

Sylvia Mayer is Chair of American Studies and Anglophone Literatures and Cultures at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Heidelberg, and has taught at the universities of Heidelberg, Münster, Bamberg, and Bayreuth. Her major fields of research are Ecocriticism, ecologically oriented literary and cultural studies, and African American Studies. She was a founding member of the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture, and Environment and served as its president from 2006 to 2008. Her publications include monographs on Toni Morrison’s novels and on the environmental ethical dimension of New England Regionalist Writing, 1865 –1918. She has edited and co-edited several volumes, among them The Anticipation of Catastrophe. Environmental Risk in North American Literature and Culture (2014), Beyond Uncle Tom’s Cabin: The Writings of Harriet Beecher Stowe (2011), and Restoring the Connection to the Natural World: Essays on the African American Environmental Imagination (2003).  More recently, her work has emerged from a larger project, “Contemporary North American Risk Fiction”, funded by the German Research Foundation. It has focused on the study of environmental risk narratives and the American climate change novel.

You can download the event’s poster from the left-hand side bar.