Climate Change and the Future of the City in Contemporary Arabic Dystopian Fiction

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Ingraham 206
@ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

This talk analyses the representation of the climate crisis and urban imaginaries in post-2011 Arabic science-fiction (SF), focusing on examples from Egypt and Iraq.  In these literary works, urban scenarios for the future are imagined, linked to climate change, city mega-projects, and oil scarcity. Illuminating the unseen violence perpetrated by colonial forces and ruling elites, these visions prefigure the global reach of the climate catastrophe and contribute to understand Nixon’s concept of “slow violence” and Heise’s “eco-cosmopolitanism.” In addition, the lecture will show how Arabic SF, and its cross-genre of critical dystopian fiction, intersects with global climate fiction (cli-fi), while maintaining a horizon for hope.

Teresa Pepe is Associate Professor in Arabic Studies in Department of Cultural Studies and Oriental Languages at the University of Oslo. Her research interests span across modern and contemporary Arabic literature, media studies and popular culture. She has published several articles in Oriente Moderno, Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies and LEA- Lingue e Letterature d’Oriente e d’Occidente.

She is the author of the book Blogging From Egypt: Digital Literature (2005-2016 (Edinburgh University Press, 2019). The book explores blogs as new form of literature emerging in Egypt during the rise of political protest of the Arab Spring.

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