New Research Project on Future Food Cultures in the Wake of the Climate Crisis

Professor of English Johan Höglund at the Department of Languages and the cutting-edge research centre LNUC Concurrences at Linnaeus University, is awarded 2.8 million SEK from Formas, the government research council for sustainable development, for the project “Future Food Imaginaries in Global Climate Fiction”. This is a project about how film and literature imagine future food habits and the affect these can have on the ongoing climate emergency.

Climate research shows that the climate emergency will radically transform our food habits and that we must begin eating in more sustainable ways.

The purpose of Johan Höglund’s project is to study how the genre climate fiction imagines that human societies will react and adapt to this profound transformation.

The project analyses climate fiction from three different regions where the climate crisis is experienced very differently: the Nordic region, North America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

"I am enormously glad for this funding! To change the way we eat entails not only a profound systems change, it is also a great cultural challenge since food and eating are intimately connected to cultural heritage and identity. That is why humanities research is needed as a complement to the sciences", says Johan Höglund.

Höglund points out that it might be difficult to understand what a temperature rise of 2 or 3 degrees entails, but if you focus on what this change means for our food, the climate emergency becomes more concrete and understandable.

"Climate fiction helps us understand both how we must change our food habits in the present, and the futures that await if we don’t. Our food cultures have a long tradition, but they also change constantly. Gastronomic schools, the food market, and food journals play an important part of that development."

Höglund’s project is conducted in collaboration with researchers from Finland, South Africa and the USA, and aims to both publish academic research articles and to reach out to food markets, media and schools of gastronomy at universities around the world. By conducting the project in conversation with important actors in gastronomy and the food sector, it is more likely that the project has an influence on society.