In this lecture, Dr Caroline Edwards will discuss the utopian and apocalyptic implications of a growing number of 21st century fictions that imagine extreme flood events. These narratives respond to our growing public awareness of climate change, rising sea levels and possible ecocatastrophe. However, their radically transformed maps reveal new islands as sites of utopian change that hint at different social worlds beyond neoliberal capitalism.
Dr Caroline Edwards is Senior Lecturer in Modern & Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck, University of London. She is author of Utopia and the Contemporary British Novel (Cambridge University Press, 2019), co-editor of China Miéville: Critical Essays (Gylphi, 2015) and Maggie Gee: Critical Essays (Gylphi, 2015), and a Founding Director of the Open Library of Humanities. She is currently working on a book about science fiction and extreme environments. After the lecture, Caroline will be joined in conversation by Professor Abi Curtis (York St John University), whose novel Water & Glass depicts a world flooded by rising sea levels.