English 189-1 - Spring, 2021

Seminar in Literary Studies


Class Information

Instructor: Miller, Elizabeth
CRN: 42119
Time: TR 3:10-4:30
GE Areas: Writing Experience


Fiction and Climate Futures

This class will explore the problem of how to imagine the future in the era of climate change and consider the role of speculative fiction in teaching us how to think and feel about climate change. We will read short stories and novels that envision climate futures, supplemented by non-fiction readings on the science and politics of climate change, the emotional burdens of climate change, and the communication challenges that climate change presents. The class will include a number of special events and guest speakers: youth climate activist Alexandria Villasenor, photographer Young Suh, an online performance of Rising Tide by the Crossroads Project, a guest lecture titled "Coping with Climate: A Symposium on Critical Approaches to Environmental Despair," and more. My hope is that the readings and activities in this course will model various ways to think about climate change and communicate its dangers, while also helping us envision and work toward a safe future and just transition for all.

This seminar will be taught synchronously on Zoom, and students will be expected to attend seminar meetings and participate actively in discussion.


7 reading response papers
research paper
storyboard assignment and presentation
final exam


Parable of the Sower, Octavia E. Butler
The Ministry for the Future, Kim Stanley Robinson