ACLA 2019 Seminar: Cli Fi and Beyond

deadline for submissions: 
September 20, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Brooke Stanley and Martin Premoli

Cli Fi and BeyondSeminar at the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) Annual Meeting, March 7-10, 2019, at Georgetown University in Washington DC Contact the Seminar Organizers

Are novels good at representing climate change? What about other literary genres? What about subgenres within the novel? Amitav Ghosh made a splash in 2016 with The Great Derangement, in which he argues that the mainstream “modern novel” does not engage with climate change because the topic is too big for a genre that specializes in depth psychology. But others have long suggested that novels excel at thinking across scales, individuating characters but also mapping groups and social systems. What about natural systems, or the intersection of the natural and the social in anthropogenic climate change?

In this seminar, we are interested in engagements with climate change that both do and don’t fit Ghosh’s category of the “modern novel,” including from genre fictions such as “cli fi” or from beyond fiction entirely. We also welcome papers that soften such boundaries, asking whether genre fictions, mainstream novels, poetry, non-fiction, and film are really so separable. What affordances for engaging climate change does each bring?  Where are their overlaps and divergences?

Climate change also compels us to rethink geopolitics. How does the Anthropocene complicate questions of postcoloniality? And how are authors and artists from the global South responding to environmental shifts? In what ways does the Anthropocene as an era trouble conventional literary periodization? Or shift relations between realist, modernist, and other modes? How can cultural productions help us conceptualize environmental degradation across scales?

Paper proposals can be submitted through the ACLA's online portal ( starting August 30, 2018. The deadline is September 20, 2018.

Interested parties are encourage to contact the organizers, Brooke Stanley ( and Martin Premoli (