Imagining Climate Change: The Representation of Plants in Three Nordic Climate Fictions for Young Adults

See Lykke Guanio-Uluru’s latest article



This article analyses the role of plants in three well publicised Nordic climate fictions for young adults: Memories of Water by Emmi Itäranta, originally published in 2012, The World According to Anna (2013) by Jostein Gaarder, and Bouvetøya 2052 (2015) by Lars Mæhle. Departing from the wider scholarly field of ecocritical theory, the study draws on the developing field of cultural plant studies to examine the role allocated to plants in these fictional depictions of climate change. The analysis is based on a quantitative counting and sorting of all references to plants in the analysed fictions. The aim of this exercise is to contribute to theoretical reflections on climate fiction (cli-fi) as a literary form and to say something about the kind of literary thinking with, and about, plants that currently informs (Nordic) climate fiction for young adults, given that plants are highly important to the global climate. While broadening the discussion of climate change fiction to include a consideration of plants, the article further contributes to theoretical reflection on cli-fi through its Nordic perspective. In dialogue with Adam Trexler’s work on Anglo-American climate change fiction, the Nordic fictions examined here display both similar and diverging patterns of engagement with climate change, something that highlights the importance of reflecting on the genre with reference to a wide spectrum of local literatures.

New article by Sæle, Hallås, Aadland: Et retroperspektiv på lærerstudenters friluftsliv og naturopphold i skole og fritid – et antroposentrisk fremfor et økosentrisk natursyn

The article discusses which view of nature five students express, according to their stay in nature in early childhood, leisure time and schooling. The discussion is based on a survey conducted as a part of a master’s degree at a Norwegian university college. The findings are discussed in light of the matrix The Nature in Culture Matrix, a coordinate system with the extremes anthropocentric, ecocentric, celebrating and problematic nature vision. The article also refers to René Descartes and Arne Næss, example of philosophers with an anthropocentric and ecocentric view of nature, respectively. An anthropocentric and celebrating natural vision seems to be a clear pattern among the students in our material, both in various outdoor activities in the adolescence and in their education at school.

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New article by Bjørg Oddrun Hallås, Eli Kristin Aadland and Tom Lund: Oppfatninger av natur i planverkene for kroppsøving og mat og helse i femårige grunnskolelærerutdanninger

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Artikkelen tar utgangspunkt i at bærekraftig utvikling er vedtatt som tverrfaglig tema i norsk skole (grunnopplæringen) og i de femårige grunnskolelærerutdanningene. Som lærerutdannere og skoleforskere tilknyttet forskergruppen Nature in Children’s Literature and Culture, ved Høgskulen på Vestlandet (HVL), er vi opptatt av miljødebatten og oppfatninger av natur i planverkene for de femårige grunnskolelærerutdanningene i fagene kroppsøving og mat og helse. De nasjonale studieplanene for 2017–18 og emneplaner fra fem UH-institusjoner utgjør vårt empiriske materiale. Vi har identifisert ord og begrep om miljødebatten og natur med analyseverktøyet NVivo. Funnene viser at ordene klima, menneske, naturen, ressurs og ute er lite brukt i planene, men selve meningskonteksten ordene står i kan tolkes som en noe menneskesentrert måte å forstå naturen på, et antroposentrisk syn. Ordene bærekraft og friluftsliv forekommer flere ganger i planene og representerer både et antroposentrisk syn og en mer økosentrisk, helhetlig måte å tenke liv og omverden på. Vi diskuterer våre funn opp mot The Nature in Culture Matrix. Drøftingene konkluderer med at det er behov for forskning som også studerer ulike undervisningspraksiser og lærerutdanneres, praksislæreres og studenters egne erfaringer med utdanningene sett fra et miljøperspektiv. Vårt mål er at artikkelen kan bidra i en bevisstgjøring og refleksjon omkring hvordan man kan legge opp til mer økokritisk undervisning i fagene kroppsøving og mat og helse i norsk lærerutdanning.

Translating landscapes – Maria Parr’s Tonje Glimmerdal from an Ecocritical Perspective

The article examines two sets of illustrations of the children’s novel
Tonje Glimmerdal (2009) by Norwegian author Maria Parr. The original
version in Norwegian, illustrated by Åshild Irgens, and the translation into
Spanish, illustrated by Zuzanna Celej, are examined. The aim is to show
how the concepts of nature and landscape are modified in the translated version. This analysis illuminates how illustrations have an impact on texts,
and how illustrations create new meanings. While the original novel is considered a winter pastoral as young protagonist Tonje lives in the mountains
and finds her purpose in life in her homeland valley, Irgens’ illustrations
foreground Tonje’s actions, whereas Celej’s work is more focused on the
landscape. The different ways in which these two versions of the book depict
the winter pastoral, and the image of nature, are analysed from an ecocritical perspective, especially following Carol Glotfelty’s and Greg Garrard’s

Sustainable/ecocritical literature teaching

Marianne Røskeland has published a chapter on ecocritical literature teaching. Complete reference:

Røskeland, M. (2018). Natur i litteraturen. Økokritisk litteraturundervising med døme frå diktsamlinga Eg er eg er eg er. In K. Kverndokken (Ed.), 101 litteraturdidaktiske grep (pp. 39-56). Bergen: Fagbokforlaget.







Nina Goga has published a chapter on sustainable literature teaching. Complete reference:

Goga, N, (2018). Bærekraftig litteraturundervisning. In R. S. Stokke & E .S. Tønnessen (Eds.), Møter med barnelitteratur (pp. 351-369). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.


Ecocritical Perspectives on Children’s Texts and Cultures. Nordic Dialogues

This volume presents key contributions to the study of ecocriticism in Nordic children’s and YA literary and cultural texts, in dialogue with international classics. It investigates the extent to which texts for children and young adults reflect current environmental concerns. The chapters are grouped into five thematic areas: Ethics and Aesthetics, Landscape, Vegetal, Animal, and Human, and together they explore Nordic representations and a Nordic conception, or feeling, of nature. The textual analyses are complemented with the lived experiences of outdoor learning practices in preschools and schools captured through children’s own statements. The volume highlights the growing influence of posthumanist theory and the continuing traces of anthropocentric concerns within contemporary children’s literature and culture, and a non-dualistic understanding of nature-culture interaction is reflected in the conceptual tool of the volume: The Nature in Culture Matrix.

More information at the publisher’s web page