Potter College News
The Role of Literature in Environmental Activism
- Joseph Soulders
- Tuesday, October 27th, 2020
In the study “Environmental Literature as Persuasion: An Experimental Test of the Effects of Reading Climate Fiction,” researchers found that climate fiction affects readers’ attitudes on environmental issues. This is an effect of narrative persuasion, where a connection to a story transforms aspects of the reader. Readers of climate fiction face vivid descriptions of environmental devastation, and they start to connect those fictional scenarios to the real possible futures of Earth. Literature with this influence is important because recognizing the issue is the first step towards change.
The connection between environmental activism and literature is also discussed by Dr. Jesse Oak Taylor in the first episode of the University of Washington English Department’s dialogue series “Literature, Language, Culture.” Dr. Taylor proposes that climate fiction forecasts events such as Cyclone Amphan. Check out the episode through the link below.