In May 2014, I was awarded a grant by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to work on the ‘cultural politics of climate change’. This is a large, 5-year project, involving collaborators from various universities, specifically Caroline Andrew, Harriet Bulkeley, Simon Dalby, Shane Gunster, Matthew Hoffmann, Paul Saurette, and Johannes Stripple.
The project has four sub-projects.
The first looks at explicit attempts at “carbon governmentality”: campaigns or governing initiatives that seek to shape individual subjects. A useful example is the notion of “carbon dieting”.
The second explores the politics of attempting to manage greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the level of a single city – Ottawa – where many of the key conflicts over transport, housing, and energy arise in daily life.
The third explores the campaigns to undermine climate change science, attempting to go beyond an exploration in terms of corporate interests and conservative thinktanks (the focus of existing literature) to explore the underlying cultural values at stake.
The fourth explores how climate change subjectivities, and the conflicts around them, are constructed and reflected in popular culture – film, novels, cartoons, and so on. These are deliberately designed to be diverse, and thus to explore the breadth of the sites in which the general phenomena arise.
You can find more details of the project here: Cultural politics of climate change description