In this episode of Exploring Global Problems, Lecturer in Contemporary Writing and Digital Cultures Dr Chris Pak, Associate Professor in Modern Languages Dr Lloyd Davies, and Professor in Creativity Owen Sheers discuss how literature represents environmental issues, and the part writers play in engaging the public imagination around alternative ways of being.
They examine how science fiction explores the relationships between science, societies and their environments; consider how climate change is represented in the literatures of Spain and Latin America; and look at the role of good art in shaping the reflections of audiences.
Dr Pak specialises in the study of Science Fiction, including how science fiction explores and communicates to non-specialist audiences the ethical and practical dimensions of a range of adaptations to the environment. He was an Arthur C. Clarke award judge from 2018-2020.
Dr Davies has published widely on Latin American literature of the 20th and 21st centuries. He is particularly interested in postcolonial works by such writers as Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru, 1936 - ) and Laura Retrepo (Colombia, 1950 - ) where the environment constitutes a major theme. He is the lead for the research group, the Centre for the Comparative Study of Portugal, Spain and the Americas (CEPSAM) whose current focus is environmental issues in the Hispanic World.
Professor Sheers is an award-winning poet, dramatist and novelist whose works include a BBC Proms climate change oratorio for children in 2007. His interests include hybrid works of a socially-engaged tenor. He is currently working across a range of projects that engage with communities to create new stories through which the current crisis and possible futures might be imagined and felt, including the upcoming Everything Change a series of online events on creativity and the climate crisis curated with Taliesin Arts Centre (June 10th - 19th).