Climate Change in Literature, Television and Film from Norway

  • Sissel Furuseth University of Oslo
  • Anne Gjelsvik NTNU
  • Ahmet Gürata University of Agder
  • Reinhard Hennig University of Agder
  • Julia Leyda NTNU
  • Katie Ritson Rachel Carson Center, LMU Munich
Keywords: climate change, Norway, literature, film, television

Abstract

      Environmental and climatic change has become a frequent motif in contemporary Norwegian literature, television and film, and Norway has the worldwide first organization of writers committed to climate action (The Norwegian Writers’ Climate Campaign, founded in 2013). In this article, we argue that Norwegian climate change fiction and related works draw on elements that relate to specific national and/or Nordic cultural, societal and historical aspects, and that these elements give these works their distinct identity. We focus on four such aspects: (1) references to Norwegian petroculture (since the Norwegian economy is largely based on the export of fossil fuels); (2) an (imagined) intimate connection between Norwegianness and nature, and thus of what often is seen as a typical element of Norwegian national identity; (3) notions of “Nordicity”, and (4) an atmosphere of gloom and melancholia in many of the works (which often has been ascribed to Nordic landscapes, and usually is characteristic for the genre of Nordic noir).

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Author Biographies

Sissel Furuseth, University of Oslo

Sissel Furuseth is a professor at Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Oslo. She has published widely on Norwegian literary criticism and magazines, eco-poetry, and climate fiction, and is a member of the Oslo School of Environmental Humanities' working group.

Anne Gjelsvik, NTNU

Anne Gjelsvik, Professor of film studies at the Department of Art and Media Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, where she is a member of the Environmental Humanities research group. She has published a large number of books and articles on different topics within film studies, and is currently working on media and terrorism and cinematic representations of the Anthropocene.

Reinhard Hennig, University of Agder

Reinhard Hennig is an associate professor of Nordic literature at the University of Agder, Norway. He holds a PhD in Scandinavian studies from the University of Bonn, Germany, and is co-founder and coordinator of the Ecocritical Network for Scandinavian Studies (ENSCAN). His research and publications focus on environmental change in history and literature, the Anthropocene, education for sustainable development, contemporary literature from Northern Europe, and Old Norse literature and culture.

Julia Leyda, NTNU

Julia Leyda holds a Professorship in Film Studies in the Department of Art and Media Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, where she teaches and conducts research in and across the disciplines including the environmental humanities, intersectional feminism, and film/television/media studies. Julia’s current research project focuses on Norwegian screen petrocultures and the climate unconscious in popular television and film.

Katie Ritson, Rachel Carson Center, LMU Munich

Katie Ritson is a scholar of German, Nordic and Comparative Literature based at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment & Society at LMU Munich. From 2016 to 2020 she served on the advisory board of European Association for the Study of Literature,  Culture, and the Environment (EASLCE) and she has been coordinator for the Ecocritical Network in Scandinavian Studies (ENSCAN) since 2019. She is the author of The Shifting Sands of the North Sea Lowlands: Literary and Historical Imaginaries (Routledge 2019). 

Published
2020-10-07
Section
Articles: Literature, Landscape and Identity in Nations and Regions