Considering Climate Change Criticism

By Brian Shea, Journals public relations and advertising coordinator

Thirty years ago, the journal diacritics published a special issue on nuclear criticism that focused on new ways of talking about the threat of nuclear war, which pervaded all aspects of society in the mid-1980s. Now, guest editor Karen Pinkus has put together a similarly-themed issue on one of today’s touchpoint issues: climate change.

This issue on climate change criticism came out recently. It not only puts a special focus unique to diacritics on the topic, but connects climate change to the nuclear criticism issue. The new issue features an essay by Richard Kline, the editor of the journal when the nuclear criticism issue was published in 1984, and Frances Ferguson, a contributor to that same issue.

Pinkus, who graduated from Cornell University, where diacritics is housed, felt that maintaining those thematic connections lent even greater weight to the climate change discussion. She explained that scholars like Klein and Ferguson may not have necessarily seen the connection between nuclear fears and climate change worries at first, but can still provide an important perspective as they examine that critical territory.

Now a professor of Italian and comparative literature at Cornell, Pinkus joined us for a podcast to discuss the inspiration for putting together the issue and what she hopes results from this conversation.