In the age of a global climate and ecological crisis, how can literature in the broadest sense help us? And how can literature combine with foresight and futures studies to help us in these times of a climate emergency? In this paper, I will take a place-based, interdisciplinary literary approach to discuss how literature can contribute in addressing climate change and ecological breakdown, including biodiversity loss, in the Congo Basin in particular and in the world in general. The paper intends to highlight how literary studies can be connected to foresight and futures studies in ways that help us to anticipate, preempt and address the twin climate and ecological emergency facing the Earth today. The place at its centre is the Congo Basin in central Africa which is the second largest tropical rainforest in the world (after the Amazon in Latin America) with a significant potential for climate mitigation and biodiversity preservation. In this regard, I will suggest ways in which literature, in all genres (poetry, drama and prose), does not only contribute to narrative foresight studies, but also helps in raising ecological awareness, amplifying and inspiring youth climate activism, dismantling harmful metaphors, and imaging climate utopias and dystopias in ways that lead to more impactful climate action. The paper will draw on a range of theoretical and methodological approaches, notably postcolonial ecocriticism, environmental literary activism, foresight and futures studies, and interdisciplinary environmental humanities.
Kenneth Toah Nsah, Université de Lille, France
About the Presenter(s)
Dr Kenneth Nsah, widely known by his pen name Nsah Mala, is a Research & Teaching Fellow (ATER) at Université de Lille, France. His research interests include comparative literature, African literatures, environmental humanities, & creative writing.
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