Scale, Climate Change, and the Pedagogic Potential of Literature: Scaling (in) the Work of Barbara Kingsolver and T.C. Boyle

Open Library of Humanities. 2018;4(2) DOI 10.16995/olh.337


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Open Library of Humanities

ISSN: 2056-6700 (Online)

Publisher: Open Library of Humanities

LCC Subject Category: General Works: History of scholarship and learning. The humanities

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML



Roman Bartosch (University of Cologne)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 15 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This article discusses recent work in the environmental humanities on the role of scale and what Timothy Clark describes as ‘scale disorder’ when encountering imaginative engagements with the Anthropocene. With readings of Barbara Kingsolver’s 'Flight Behaviour' (2012) and T.C. Boyle’s 'The Terranauts' (2016), it suggests that the ‘scaling of perspectives’ is a viable and productive way of dealing with the representational and interpretive challenges of climate change (and) fiction. Drawing on the notion that literature can be seen as a specific form of cultural ecology, as developed by Hubert Zapf, it presents a concept of transcultural ecology that thrives on the tensions inherent in scale disorder and climate change imaginaries. These findings will be described with regard to the pedagogic potential of reading fiction as an attempt to come to terms with climate change.