The Humanities' Role in Addressing Climate Change Through Fictional Narratives


  • Nasreddine EL Guezar Mohammed I University, Oujda, Morocco


Tackling environmental challenges has required the expertise of fields outside of science, namely the humanities. Literature, in particular, has largely contributed to global environmental protection. More specifically, this paper suggests that fiction stories have actively participated in helping scientists and nonscientists alike to shape better environmental sense for their readers. To illustrate, the texts of many influential environmental writers, such as John Muir and Rachel Carson, incorporate stories in scientific writing to successfully impact readers and develop planetary awareness and responsibility. In highlighting the role of literature and stories in making the environmental discourse effective for environmental scientists, this paper also turns attention toward the literary genre of speculative fiction. The environmentally-abundant writings of speculative fiction can actively challenge and expand our assumptions on many human and nonhuman issues. Additionally, since these narratives call for critical approaches that interpret their environmental meanings, ecocriticism can be a reliable interdisciplinary lens in this regard. The ecological literary approach facilitates both reading environmentally-focused fiction as well as connecting scholars and practitioners from different fields to collaborate under the encompassing field of the environmental humanities. 

Keywords: science and the humanities, climate change, speculative fiction, ecocriticism, the environmental humanities

Author Biography

Nasreddine EL Guezar, Mohammed I University, Oujda, Morocco

Nasreddine EL Guezar is a doctoral candidate at Mohammed I University's Faculty of the Humanities in Oujda, Morocco. He is also a CELTA-certified and part-time EFL instructor at the American Language Center Oujda. Nasreddine has contributed to numerous journals and national and international academic conferences. At Mohammed I University, he has also taught academic courses and received extensive pedagogical training. Nasreddine has been researching the relationship between literature and the environment with a particular interest in Michael Crichton's work of science fiction. 

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