Benjamin Bowman & Chloé Germaine Buckley
BENJAMIN BOWMAN & CHLOÉ GERMAINE
Small Group Project 2021
How do young people orient themselves towards climate change and debates on climate change responses? This interdisciplinary group project investigates how literature and politics enrich one another, leading to new understandings of the relation of young people to the climate crisis. This project brings together the co-investigators, Dr Chloé Germaine and Dr Benjamin Bowman, who have expertise in youth literature and politics, with a small group of young people as co-researchers to analyse the role of creative fiction in the development of political subjectivities and attitudinal transformation.
We investigate the use of fiction particularly as it pertains to young people, those who are its object of representation and readership but, rarely, its authors. By constructing a research group that draws on the expertise and experiences of young people we aim to further academic and popular understanding on the question of young people’s orientation towards the climate crisis and the narratives that surround it. We propose imaginative fiction written for and by young people as a resource to transform political discourse around youth and the climate crisis beyond limiting questions of participation and civic engagement.
Central to the study is the claim that imaginative fiction for young people, both the reading and writing thereof, is a resource through which young people can construct, negotiate and assert their political subjectivities. The role of the named co-investigators in expounding this claim will be to facilitate participatory reading and research groups such that young people become active participants in the production of new knowledge in this area. This project proposes an innovative and interdisciplinary methodology that explores young people’s politics and youth literature through participatory activities that includes young people themselves in the category of ‘scholar’.