At no time before now has climate change been such a concern, or more in the public eye: over the past few years politicians, businesses and celebrities have all asserted their interest in climate change. But for all the recent attention paid to climate change and its effects, most of the academic research has been directed at a few, very narrow strands of enquiry: the varying rates of ecological shifts, heightened extremes of climactic conditions, the economic impact on states and societies, and the appropriate policy decisions to be made. But there is a conspicuous absence: with only a few exceptions, the artistic, literary and critical communities have so far been quiet on the issue. This is a sore omission: the impacts of a rapidly changing environment must be understood on all levels, not merely the scientific, economic and political-because it is precisely the localised cultures which are affected that give rise to these larger societal structures. Moreover, insofar as culture reveals and articulates our complex and mutable relationships to our environment and to the values we place on it, culture itself constitutes an indispensable form of knowledge that cannot be overlooked if the wider research community is to grapple with climate change in any robust way.
This interdisciplinary research group explores the issues surrounding climate change from an aesthetic and cultural standpoint, giving voice and platform to the growing number of artists, writers, photographers, journalists, film directors, architects and thinkers responding to this global phenomenon. It will examine the potential for, and the challenges raised by, artistic and cultural responses to climate change, complementing existing approaches and analytical templates. Meetings normally consist of a 45-minute presentation by an invited speaker, followed by discussion and informal wine reception. Alternatively, from time to time meetings consist of pre-selected readings or film screenings, sparking other forms of engagement and critique.
Forthcoming Changes to the Group
The work of the CCC group will soon be changing shape. They will be taking the work into a more freelance writing, editing, and publishing format, the first project of which will be their CCC anthology.
More information about the anthology will be sent out soon but the basic idea is that they will curate an edited collection of essays, artworks, and other contributions that reflect the work of the group since they began, roughly beginning with the IPCC report and the Stern Review and ending with Copenhagen. If you are interested in contributing a piece to the anthology which will be edited over the summer and published next year, please contact the convenors.
Benjamin Morris (Department of Archaeology)
Bradon Smith (Faculty of English)