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Gregers Andersen

Portrait of the cultural researcher Gregers Andersen
Photo credit Niklas Björling

»It is precisely this uncertainty that makes climate fiction a premium source of interpretations«

Danish author and cultural researcher Gregers Andersen has worked on the topics of the climate crisis and culture for ten years. He studied at the University of Copenhagen and the interdisciplinary Rachel Carson Center in Munich. In 2016, Andersen's debate book “Grænseløshedens Kultur” (The Culture of Boundlessness) was published, a cultural critique of the neoliberal competitive state in the wake of the climate crisis. With a five-point agenda, the book calls for its own climate editorial offices across all media. Andersen is the initiator of a collective climate appeal to politicians. His study “Climate Fiction and Cultural Analysis” (2020) is one of the first monographs on climate fiction.

»It is precisely because we do not know how anthropogenic global warming will affect 'places and individuals' that climate fiction is such an exciting medium for reflection at this crucial point in human history. Indeed, it is precisely this uncertainty that makes climate fiction a premium source of interpretations – not only of which dominant imaginaries the science paradigm of anthropogenic global warming evokes in the Western mind, but also of how anthropogenic global warming may change human beings’ modes of existence.«

(From: Gregers Andersen: Climate Fiction and Cultural Analysis: A New perspective on Life in the Anthropocene, Routledge 2020)

In "Climate Fiction and Cultural Analysis", Andersen analyses more than 60 works of German- and English-language climate fiction. Among them are pieces by Andreas Guha, Ilija Trojanow, Sven Böttcher, Frank Schätzing and Kim Stanley Robinson. Andersen has discovered five types of imagination in climate fiction, among them the loss of wilderness and the idea of judgement, in which climate catastrophes are imagined as nature’s revenge. According to Andersen’s observation, cli fi authors do not surrender to a "crisis of the imagination" but counter the climate crisis with innovative approaches and narratives. Cli fi is, after all, characterised by activism. It thus becomes a "laboratory of the imagination", where new social and individual practices can be created and tested.