Fictions and Policy


A Year Without a Winter: Fictions and Policy, EU Joint Research Center, Ispra, Italy, 17-18 November 2016.

A Year Without A Winter: Fictions and Policy Inspirational Workshop Series – organised in collaboration with Arizona State University.

“Prepare to hear of occurrences that are usually deemed marvelous. Were we among tamer scenes of nature I might fear to encounter your unbelief, perhaps your ridicule; but many things will appear possible in these wild and mysterious regions which would provoke the laughter of those unacquainted with the ever varied powers of nature…”
Mary Shelly, Frankenstein, Or: The Modern Prometheus (1818)

The cultural spaces into which policy makers intervene are saturated with images and narratives. From works of art and literature, to trends in food and fashion, aesthetic forms, practices and preferences shape the way people comprehend the world. Political theory has long recognized the aesthetic domain as a powerful political force—at once a potential ally and a dangerous antagonist. Likewise, artists must negotiate the political implications of their work, whether by seeking to engage more deeply or to distance artistic values from explicit political aims. In this workshop we engage the arts not merely as a source of entertainment or propaganda, but as a mode of world-making on par with science and politics.

The workshop interrogates narratives of climate and climate change that are emerging in the context of the arts and transdisciplinary scholarship and considers how creative interventions can unlock new ways of thinking about our relationship to the environment and our political agency within it.

More information about the project: