The energy transition, literature and the arts

Please get in touch with Helen Gavin if you are interested in joining the meeting.

The guest presentation starts at 11:30am. Prof David Aberbach, who is based at the ECI and McGill University, will be talking about the energy transition, literature and the arts.

David will talk about literary responses to the damage caused by industry in the past two centuries. He will explore some ways in which literature talks to scientists who are concerned with the same things, with destructive effects of energy and the moral dilemmas they bring about.

He will make some general observations, on the kind of environmental issues raised in literature, then look briefly at a handful of works of a few authors.

He will highlight four types of moral dilemmas in specific literary works: deforestation in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya; water pollution in Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People; mining in novels of Emile Zola and D.H. Lawrence; and war in J.M. Coetzee’s novel, The Life and Times of Michael K.