Witches, Zombies, and Cli-Fi Mysteries

While a master’s student at SUNY Buffalo, Kristen Angierski '12 discovered her passion for eco-criticism—literary criticism that takes the natural world into account. This, paired with her love of animals and environmental politics, inspired her to pursue doctoral study in the environmental humanities. Angierski knew that a plethora of resources would be available to her at Cornell, a leading university in environmental research with a well-established English PhD program. Angierski’s research at Cornell centers on climate change fiction—cli-fi, for short. Angierski's work in chronicled in this Cornell Research story.

“It’s different from, but indebted to, traditional science fiction, which may or may not have an ecological focus. I am especially interested in novels and films that have been made in the past 20 years, including movies like The Hunger Games, Mad Max: Fury Road, and The Witch,” says Angierski.

Angierski’s work examines how the literary world is responding to environmental instability, especially climate change but eco-disasters as well. More specifically, she works on the Gothic aesthetics of cli-fi, identifying patterns in the fiction and thinking about why they might matter ecologically, politically, and culturally.

To continue reading, visit the Cornell Research website.


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