CLI-FI AND CLASS Socioeconomic Justice in Contemporary American Climate Fiction

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Since its emergence in the late twentieth century, climate fiction—or cli-fi—has concerned itself as much with economic injustice and popular revolt as with rising seas and soaring temperatures. Indeed, with its insistent focus on redressing social disparities, cli-fi might reasonably be classified as a form of protest literature. As environmental crises escalate and inequality intensifies, literary writers and scholars alike have increasingly scrutinized the dual exploitations of the earth’s ecosystems and the socioeconomically disadvantaged.

Cli-Fi and Class focuses on the representation of class dynamics in climate-change narratives. With fifteen essays on the intersection of the economic and the ecological—addressing works ranging from the novels of Joseph Conrad, Cormac McCarthy, and Octavia Butler to the film Black Panther and the Broadway musical Hadestown —this collection unpacks the complex ways economic exploitation impacts planetary well-being, and the ways climatic change shapes those inequities in turn.