Narrativizing Climate Change Through Popular Culture

Vincent, Theodore*, and Jay Hamilton. (Forthcoming.) “Narrativizing Climate Change Through Popular Culture.”  The Peace Review.

Abstract: This article attempts to explain lack of action taken to address climate change. It locates part of the problem in the difficulty of concretely grasping something as amorphous, complex and expansive as climate change. It argues that how climate change is narrativized—made tangible and relevant to each of us—plays an under-acknowledged, yet large part in effectively addressing it. The article compares how the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” (Lawrence Bender Productions and Participant Media, directed by Davis Guggenheim, 2006) and the scripted narrative feature film “Mad Max: Fury Road” (Warner Bros., directed by George Miller, 2015) narrativize climate change. It concludes by speculating on the value of a broader variety of ways and means of narrativizing climate change beyond scientific reports and conventional documentaries for making possible more substantial action regarding it.

(* First-author Vincent is an undergraduate UGA student in the Honors College and Ramsey Scholar. This article started out as a CURO research project.)

Jay Hamilton