PhD EH Course: Environmental Storytelling and Narrative

June 15–19, 2020

NTNU Trondheim, Norway

5 ECTS credits

Language of instruction: English

Okside rïhpesieh, Sissel M. Bergh (2018). Photo: Tor Egil Rasmussen. NTNU Instructors:Heli Aaltonen (Theater),Alexandra Angeletaki (Archives), Sophia Efstathiou (Philosophy), Anne Gjelsvik (Film), Julia Leyda (Film), Hanna Musiol (Literature), Nina Lager Vestberg (Visual Culture) Guest Instructors:Joni Adamson (Arizona State U), Jørgen Bruhn (Linnæus U), Stefanie Hessler (Kunsthall Trondheim), Sabine Feisst (Arizona State U), Ahmet Gürata (U Agder), Garth Paine (Arizona State U), Sara Spurgeon (U Bergen / Texas Tech U)This semester’s course offering in the Norwegian Researcher School for Environmental Humanities (NoRS-EH) will be held in Trondheim, hosted by the NTNU Environmental Humanities Research Group and supported by NTNU ARTEC. The course will focus on environmental storytelling across media—in literature, film, theater, sound, and transmedia projects. While environmental crises often demand that we turn to the sciences, this course will be explicitly devoted to the role that aesthetics and fiction play in environmental storytelling, beginning the premise that environmental crises are also narrative crises. Narrative practices are often instrumentalized as tools of communication that promote understanding of complex environmental processes, but, in this course, we will explore how stories and storytelling serve as catalysts to emotion that can transform ecological imagination, foster speculation, and open pathways to civic engagement and community building. During the five-day intensive course, we will discuss several topics in environmental humanities through diverse theoretical prisms —for instance, resource extraction, petrocultures, blue humanities, colonialism—in literary, cinematic, and mixmedia pieces, theater and performance. We will also impart practical, hands-on training in how to engage with aesthetic objects: how to analyze them, make them, play with them, and harness their power to affect local and global communities of interpretation. Reading, watching films and videographic essays, and sharing immersive experiences, as well as theater and sound performances, will lead us to explore the affordances of different narrative and storytelling practices.This multilayered course format will promote public engagement and allow students to develop andpractice new narrative and analytical skills, with a nuanced understanding of several central areas of inquiry within EH research. We will be working closely with NTNU collaborators (Department of Art and Media Studies, Department of Languages and Literature, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Environmental Humanities Research Group, Gunnerus Library, NTNU ARTEC, NTNU Oceans) and local partners (Kunsthall Trondheim, Cinemateket, and the Science Center Planetarium); we have also enlisted a diverse international roster of environmental humanities practitioners to facilitate workshops, lectures, field trips, sound walks, deep listening, and hands-on media training sessions. Keywords:haunting; solastalgia; climate grief; irony; affect; sensorium; apocalypse; “storied matter”; inter-/transmediality; sound and space; climate artivism; aesthetic literacy; public engagementApplication process:PhD candidates from anycountry and anydiscipline are welcome to apply. Admission guidelines are as follows.Application deadline: February 41) NoRS-EH members:The course is offered as part of the Norwegian Researcher School in Environmental Humanities (NoRS-EH), and priority will be given to members. Students based at a Norwegian university in any discipline working on any PhD project related to environmental humanities are encouraged to join the researcher school. NoRS-EH members will be fully funded for travel and accommodation for this course. If you are eligible to join and are not yet a member of NoRS-EH, please complete the process detailed on the school’s main page: Persons who are based in Norway but are not NoRS-EH members will be treated the same as applicants outside of Norway (#2 below). 2) Non-NoRS-EH members, including applicants based outside Norway: PhD students based in any country who are not members of NoRS-EH are also encouraged to apply for this course. Any places not filled by NoRS-EH members will be offered to students from outside the school. There is no course fee, but students outside NoRS-EH must cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. Advanced MA students may be considered in exceptional cases. To apply for this course, submit your application as a single PDF file to before 12 noon on February 4. It should consist of 1) a 1-page description of your research project and explanation of your motivation for participating in the course, and 2) a 1-page CV.    


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