Project: Transmediating the anthropocene

Project members: Jørgen Bruhn (coordinator), Liviu Lutas, Corina Löwe, Anna Sofia Rossholm, Niklas Salmose, Emma Tornborg and Anette Almgreen White

About the project

The world faces an immense challenge and threat which has been given different names - climate change, global warming, the Anthropocene - but are essentially the same problem: the condition of planet earth is radically deteriorating because of human influences. In this project we investigate the ways that aesthetic media offer productive ways of representing and thus understanding this threat, and therefore this project intends to investigate the ways in which aesthetic media (novels, poetry, documentary film, feature film and children's books) represent the Anthropocene (which is our common denominator for the epochal definition). Aesthetic media can help humanity better understand, and hopefully even act upon, the current predicament.

The project offers both a comprehensive registration of aesthetic material and a comparative discussion of this material which forms a significant part of what we call the transmediation of the Anthropocene. We define, following well-established terminology and methodology of intermedial studies and multimodal studies, transmediation as the transformation of content and form between different media. intermedial research in general and in transformation of form and content between media in particular.

What is specific and innovative (as compared to the field of eco-criticism in general) about our research project is first of all that we apply methodological frameworks developed in the humanities on questions (how scientific material into transformed into aesthetic products) that are not normally investigated from this point of view. We establish a textual corpus well defined in terms of subject and time (scientific material explicitly discussing the Anthropocene beginning with Crutzen (2000 and 2002 and specified in Waters et al 2016)). When understanding aesthetic transmediations of the Anthropocene in an intermedial and multimodal framework, we will, among other disciplines, learn from the field of adaptation studies, which we will redirect from the study of novel/literature to film to the study of scientific content and form onto aesthetic media.