851-0438-00L  Environment in Transition. Literature between Ecological Crisis and Utopia

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersI. Barner
Periodicitynon-recurring course
Language of instructionGerman


851-0438-00 SUmwelt im Umbruch. Literatur zwischen Ökokrise und Utopie2 hrs
Thu16:15-18:00IFW B 42 »
I. Barner

Catalogue data

AbstractSomething is wrong with the planet, and it has to do with us humans. This insight challenges the sciences, the arts, politics: How can the crises be thought and represented, how can futures be imagined? With a focus on literature (cli-fi, science fiction, nature writing), the course develops a historical-critical perspective on the present and history of the ecological crisis.
ObjectiveParticipants will develop an understanding of the history and present of literature in the Anthropocene and its relationship to science, politics, technology, economics, and society. To this end, we combine textual analyses with perspectives from the history of knowledge. Students apply this knowledge by learning to develop their own points of view and to contribute them to discussions, papers, and essays.
ContentThe guiding question is: What do the transitions mean for the production of literature and knowledge? And how does our conception of an environment in transition affect our readings? Another thread leading through the seminar is the question of the possibilities and limits of (popular) scientific and artistic methods. How are futures imagined, in science, in literature?
We read and discuss selected research literature (literary and science studies) together with fiction and non-fiction from the 20th and 21st century (e.g. Dorothee Elmiger, Amitav Gosh, Frank Herbert, Franz Hohler, Max Frisch, Ursula K. LeGuin, Octavia E. Butler, Kim Stanley Robinson, Anna Tsing).
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesfostered
Techniques and Technologiesfostered
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesfostered
Social CompetenciesCooperation and Teamworkfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence fostered
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingfostered
Critical Thinkingfostered
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection fostered
Self-direction and Self-management fostered

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersI. Barner
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationGerman
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


Places15 at the most
Waiting listuntil 07.10.2023

Offered in

Doctorate Humanities, Social and Political SciencesSubject SpecialisationWInformation
History and Philosophy of Knowledge MasterSeminarsWInformation
Science in PerspectiveHistoryWInformation
Science in PerspectiveLiteratureWInformation
Science in PerspectiveScience ResearchWInformation