"Nuclear Narratives" Panel at STREAMS Environmental Humanities Conference, KTH Stockholm, August 2020

deadline for submissions: 
November 20, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
KTH Stockholm / Stockholm University, English Department


STREAMS - Transformative Environmental Humanities, Environmental Humanities Laboratory at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

5 - 8 August 2020


Nuclear Narratives

Nuclear energy production is surrounded by risks and uncertainties, which are further amplified through the imperceptibility of radioactive contamination. And while environmental threats such as ionising radiation can physically affect people as well as ecological systems, how they are perceived and negotiated is socially constructed (cf. Parkhill et al. 2010). Therefore, the nuclear is constantly negotiated in official and unofficial narratives, ranging from the talking points of the nuclear industry to personal experience of living with the risk of exposure to fictional post-apocalyptic worlds (Svyatets 2018, DeRosa 2017, Wallace 2016, Hogg 2015, Rough 2012, Parkhill et al. 2010). 

In this panel, we want to examine these nuclear narratives and ask: What are the recurring narratives and tropes that structure individual, societal, governmental and industrial perception of the nuclear? And how are these narratives used to transport a socially active imagination of the nuclear?

Our aim is twofold: First, to reflect upon the methodological affordances of narrative analysis across disciplines within the Environmental Humanities (drawing, for example, on the narrative turn in the social sciences [cf. De Fina and Georgakopoulou 2012, Czarniawska 2004] and the very recent environmental initiatives in narratology [Herman 2018, Lehtimäki 2015, James 2015]); and second, to explore how nuclear narratives negotiate risk, uncertainty and invisibility thematically and formally. 

We welcome paper proposals from all areas of nuclear narratives research. Please submit your 250 words abstract by 20th November to Hannah Klaubert hannah.klaubert@english.su.se and Alicia Gutting gutting@kth.se

As the possibility of creating a cluster of “nuclear events” remains open, we also encourage the submission of individual papers, debates, panels or experimental sessions dealing with nuclear issues more broadly (deadline 30th November). See the STREAMS call for more information.