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Polar bears and evil scientists: Romance, comedy and climate change

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Climate change has been called the most boring subject the science world has ever had to present. Despite media stunts such as nude lie-ins to draw attention to the issue, recent polls show that the urgency of public opinion in relation to climate change has waned. This article argues that popular culture such as genre fiction can be an important communicative device in responding to climate change. It examines how a climate change theme can be developed in fiction and why romance and, in particular, romantic comedy, may be a suitable genre to make this issue relevant to the reader by connecting a global issue to its local effects. Climate change poses particular challenges to an author. My novel-in-progress, Melt (2013), is used as a case study of how these challenges may be met.
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Keywords: climate change; comedy; eco-criticism; fiction; popular fiction; romance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Queensland

Publication date: September 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the scholarly understanding of everyday cultures. It is concerned with the study of the social practices and the cultural meanings that are produced and are circulated through the processes and practices of everyday life. As a product of consumption, an intellectual object of inquiry, and as an integral component of the dynamic forces that shape societies. The journal will be receptive to articles which focus on Australasian examples, or broader comparative and theoretical questions viewed through an Australasian lens.
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