Climate fiction: A world-systems approach

Andrew John Milner, James Richard Burgmann Milner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Since the death of Pierre Bourdieu, the leading contemporary sociologist of literature has arguably been Franco Moretti. Moretti’s distinctive contribution to the field has been his attempt to apply Immanuel Wallerstein’s world-systems theory to literary studies. Although Wallerstein traces the origins of the modern world-system back to the 16th century, Moretti focuses on the much shorter period since the late 18th century. This is also the historical occasion for the initial emergence of modern science fiction (SF). Andrew Milner has previously sketched out an ambitious model of the ‘global SF field’, which identified an original Anglo-French core, supplemented by more recent American and Japanese cores; longstanding Russian, German, Polish and Czech semi-peripheries; and a periphery comprising essentially the rest of the world. This article attempts to apply that model to the analysis of contemporary climate fiction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22–36
Number of pages15
JournalCultural Sociology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • climate change
  • climate fiction
  • science fiction
  • sociology of literature
  • world-systems

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