Intermedial eco-criticism

Project: Intermedial Ecocriticism: Transmediating the Anthropocene

This project responds from a humanities perspective to an urgent societal challenge: how can the Anthropocene ecological crisis be communicated?

Project information

Project members: Jørgen Bruhn (coordinator) (LNU), Liviu Lutas (LNU), Corina Löwe (LNU), Anna Sofia Rossholm (Stockholm University), Niklas Salmose (LNU), Emma Tornborg (IMS-associated researcher and postdoc 2015-20), Hans T. Sternudd (LNU), Åsa Nilsson-Skåve (LNU), Rebecca Duncan (LNU), Johan Höglund (LNU), and Peter Makai (IMS postdoc 2018-2020, International Fellow Universität Duisburg-Essen 2021, contact:

Funding organisation: This project has received partial funding for the time frame 2021-2024, from Formas.

About the project

Intermedial Ecocriticism is an emerging research agenda that starts with the observation that environmental humanities lack a systematic theory and methodology that understand similarities and dissimilarities between different media and art forms’ representations of the Anthropocene ecological crisis.

One of our main focuses is on how specific representation of the crisis in scientific media types undergoes changes when transformed into other media types. We will be able to do this by critically revisiting the basic ideas of ecocriticism in the light of analytical abilities provided by intermedial studies. We are thus cross-linking intermedial studies and ecocriticism; this theoretical and analytical combination of the two fields is the first of its kind.

We develop Intermedial Ecocriticism via a number of case studies and aim to construct a framework that analyses, discusses, and compares a very broad range of cultural representations across different media types and the conventional but sometimes unproductive dividing lines of, for example, aesthetic and non-aesthetic communication.

The project – initiated in 2016 – involves researchers from different disciplines, predominantly from the humanities, and the group has been instrumental in several larger publication and conference projects.

Case studies conducted by group members include novels, scientific articles, social media, poetry, documentary films, different kinds of feature and animation films, as well as science museum exhibitions and digital communication educational campaigns.

Among the thematic focal points investigated is narrative patterns, the production of truth claims, and the question of personal agency, as well as the representation of food in climate fiction and the inherent relations between nostalgia and Anthropocene grief. To sum up, the group works following broad hypotheses:

  1. The Anthropocene ecological crises can be understood as communicational question by applying intermedial and multimodal methods;
  2. Aesthetic media types have deep potentials for communicating ecological knowledge, and can successfully be compared to other media types to be properly understood;
  3. The ecological crises are both a local and global affair and communication issues interconnect with historical, social, and ideological concerns.
  4. The Humanities, as a result of this, is essential in order to understand and solve the interrelated crises of the Anthropocene.