Storytelling and the Climate Crisis

a person standing at the edge of a drought wasteland and a vibrant green area

Please join us on Monday, March 11 at 4:00pm for a panel discussion entitled “Storytelling and the Climate Crisis.” Contemporary writers and activists have described the climate crisis as, in part, a crisis of the imagination, of culture, and of storytelling. In this panel, we’ll hear from writers and scholars of different genres — science fiction, journalism, history, literary fiction, and comedy — about how the climate crisis has impacted their craft and what practices of storytelling have to offer us at this pivotal moment in human history.

Co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Department of English, the Department of History, and the Berkeley School of Journalism.



Daniel Gumbiner is a novelist and editor based in Oakland. His first book, The Boatbuilder, was nominated for the National Book Award. His new novel, Fire in the Canyon, was published by Astra House in 2023. He is the Editor of The Believer.


Annalee NewitzAnnalee Newitz is a science fiction writer and science journalist. They are the author of nine books including, most recently, the science fiction novel The Terraformers. They are a contributing opinion writer at the New York Times, a columnist in the The New Scientist, and the co-host of an award-winning podcast, Our Opinions Are Correct.


Aaron Sachs is a professor of History and American Studies at Cornell University. He is the author of several books, most recently, Stay Cool: Why Dark Comedy Matters in the Fight against Climate Change (NYU Press, 2023).


Rebecca SolnitRebecca Solnit is a writer, historian, and activist, and a graduate of the Berkeley School of Journalism. She has written more than twenty books, including Orwell’s Roses; Hope in the Dark; Men Explain Things to Me; A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster; and A Field Guide to Getting Lost. Together with Thelma Young Lutunatabua, Solnit edited the 2023 collection Not too Late: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility.


Rebecca Herman (moderator) is associate professor in the History Department at UC Berkeley and author of Cooperating with the Colossus (Oxford University Press, 2022). She is currently working on a book about the unlikely ban on mining in Antarctica, told through the stories of the military wives and children, artists, writers, activists, soldiers, and scientists who traveled South in growing numbers during the 1970s and 80s.


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