Friday, June 1, 2018

Cli-Fi -- A World-Systems Approach

    Since the death of Pierre Bourdieu, the leading contemporary sociologist of literature has arguably been Franco Moretti. Moretti’s distinctive contribution to the field has been his attempt to apply Immanuel Wallerstein’s world-systems theory to literary studies. Although Wallerstein traces the origins of the modern world-system back to the 16th century, Moretti focuses on the much shorter period since the late 18th century. This is also the historical occasion for the initial emergence of modern science fiction (SF). Andrew Milner has previously sketched out an ambitious model of the ‘global SF field’, which identified an original Anglo-French core, supplemented by more recent American and Japanese cores; longstanding Russian, German, Polish and Czech semi-peripheries; and a periphery comprising essentially the rest of the world. This article attempts to apply that model to the analysis of contemporary climate fiction.
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    Author biographies
    Andrew Milner is Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at Monash University. His recent publications include Locating Science Fiction (Liverpool University Press, 2012) andAgain, Dangerous Visions (E.J. Brill, 2017).
    JR Burgmann is a PhD student in Creative Writing at Monash University, where he is working on a climate change novel. He also recently edited Milner’s Again, Dangerous Visions.

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