Michael Gaffney is a PhD candidate in the Program in Literature at Duke University. Provisionally titled “Our Ice Age: Literature and Climate History,” his dissertation investigates scientific and literary narratives of the ice age in order to reflect on the significance of deep history for the humanistic study of climate change. By providing an interpretation of climate change and its complex impact on human life within a wider historical scope, his research aims to awaken our imagination of the Earth’s historicity and to expand our sense of human climate politics. Michael’s essay, “The Ice Age and Us: Imagining Geohistory in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Shaman,” appears in a special issue of Science Fiction Studies on the climate crisis (November 2018) and previews some of this work.
In addition to his dissertation project, Michael is co-editing, along with Claire Ravenscroft and Casey Williams, a special issue of Polygraph on Marxism and climate change. His other interests include literary theory, science fiction, and twentieth-century U.S. literature, all of which inform his research in the environmental humanities.
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