'The World Is Changed': Fantasy Literature in the Anthropocene 

(Seminar)


Cultural Studies and Media Studies

Stephanie Weaver (St. John’s University)

Lisa Robinson (St. John’s University)

In light of the current discourse surrounding the Anthropocene, and the growth of its popularity in the ecological conversation, this seminar seeks to unpack the various understandings and responses to the human-dominated geological age, specifically through the lens of the fantasy genre. The Anthropocene refers to “The Age of Man” and includes all aspects of the evolution of man, including the exploitation of resources as well as technological progress. Through its very identity, the Anthropocene question exists among the ranks of the current political and cultural crisis of the 21st century. Focusing on the fantasy genre, this discourse on “The Age of Man” expands to include both human and human-like fantastic entities, providing another layer to the conversation of environmental crisis and blurring the binary of human and nature.

This seminar brings together various texts within the genre ranging from children’s to young adult and adult fantasy fiction in order to create engaging dialogue between mindscapes. Papers are sought that discuss the role of environmental crisis in various areas of fantasy literature and the multifaceted responses and solutions to preventing the destruction of worlds because of the Anthropocene. The goal of this seminar is to unpack imagined worlds through responses to the anthropocentric lens.

The Anthropocene, or "The Age of Man," focuses on the exploitation of resources and the possibilities of resiliency and sustainability in the wake of anthropocentric-induced crisis. This seminar seeks to unpack the various understandings and responses to the human-dominated geological age, specifically through the lens of the fantasy genre. Papers are sought that discuss the role of environmental crisis in various areas of fantasy literature and the multifaceted responses and solutions to preventing the destruction of worlds because of the Anthropocene.