Just Powers Podcast

S2E6 – Materializing Climate Change

In this episode we will be reading Dr. Nicole Shukin’s 2015 article “Materializing Climate Change: Image of Exposure, States of Exception”.

This text is included in the edited collection Material Cultures in Canada, edited by Thomas Allen and Jennifier Blair, and published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press in 2015. Material Cultures in Canada presents the vibrant and diverse field of material culture studies in Canadian literary, artistic, and political contexts today. This collection features sixteen essays by leading scholars in Canada, each of whom examines a different object of study, including the beaver, geraniums, comics, water, a musical playlist, and the human body. In Dr. Shukin’s contribution, she draws attention to photographic and filmic productions, or what she terms “cultural barometers”, that are designed to produce moving, material images of the historical crisis of climate change.

“The different images of climate change materialized by these two collaborative projects is a biopolitical matter of considerable significance when one considers that the signs of melting ice in the Arctic are actively being read not only as a crisis justifying eco-cultural incursions into the North to witness its effects first-hand, but as an opportunity for Canada and other nation-states to capitalize upon warming Arctic waters. As melting ice formations physically open up new passages for global trade, countries like Canada are making increasingly aggressive assertions of sovereignty over the North.”

Material Cultures in Canada is available as a paperback or e-publication through Wilfrid Laurier Press: https://www.wlupress.wlu.ca/Books/M/Material-Cultures-in-Canada2

Reference: Shukin, Nicole. “Materializing Climate Change: Image of Exposure, States of Exception.” In Material Cultures in Canada, Thomas Allen & Jennifer Blair (eds.), pp. 189-207. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2015.