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Environmental Risks, Dystopias and Myths in Contemporary Literature

Tampere University

The project will study how environmental risks, dystopias and myths have become worldwide phenomena in contemporary literature and popular culture. In these pessimistic portrayals of the near future, humans are often represented as an endangered species heading for extinction. While contemporary literature frequently wrestles with ethical dilemmas concerning nature, it also seeks to express new collective fears and shape collective imagination.


The study will provide new perspectives on the ways in which global environmental risks and the near future are perceived and imagined in Finland and other Western societies. It will improve our understanding of environmental crises as cultural, historical and ethical phenomena.

Funding source

Academy of Finland

Contact persons

Toni Lahtinen

PhD, docent

toni.lahtinen [at]

+358 50 324 7917