My new project is on what I call “flood fictions”, novels that use floods as a literal consequence of climate crisis, but also as a symbolic image for life in the Anthropocene: unpredictable, overwhelming and quite literally engulfing. Floods become synecdoches for climate crisis as a whole, bringing the large scale developments leading to and effects of climate change into relatively small-scaled and contained environments.
My focus is on twenty-first-century British flood fictions, a growing list that includes novels such as Sarah Hall’s The Carhullan Army, Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From, Clare Morrall’s When the Floods Came, Antonia Honeywell’s The Ship and Natasha Carthew’s All Rivers Run Free.
I blogged about the project here.
I received a fellowship from the Rachel Carson Center in Munich to spend three months on the project full-time in the spring of 2019. The application and project description can be found here.
Eventually, the project will lead to a monograph about flood fictions, as well as a series of articles and papers. So far, I’ve presented on flood fictions at the International Society for the Study of Narrative Conference in 2016 (paper here), the ASLE-UKI conference in 2017 (paper here) the Sarah Hall symposium in 2018 (paper here), and the Marine Transgressions conference in 2017.