Climate Change, Scale, and Literary Criticism: A Conversation


  • Michael Tavel Clarke
  • Faye Halpern
  • Timothy Clark


climate change, scale, postcolonial theory, literary criticism, human agency


This conversation among the editors of ARIEL and Timothy Clark addresses his 2012 essay, “Derangements of Scale,” published in Telemorphosis: Theory in the Era of Climate Change. In his essay, Clark suggests that scale effects play an important role in contemporary global politics and climate change, and he proposes a new, larger scale of literary study commensurate with an awareness of these issues. The editors discuss the implications of Clark’s essay for postcolonial studies, the merits of his proposed method of literary interpretation, and the ramifications of his discussion of human agency. Clark takes up all these issues in his response to the editors’ conversation.

Author Biography

Timothy Clark

Timothy Clark is Professor of English at the University of Durham. His latest books are The Poetics of Singularity: The Counter-Culturalist Turn in Heidegger, Derrida, Blanchot and the later Gadamer (Edinburgh UP, 2005), The Cambridge Introduction to Literature and the Environment (CUP, 2011), and Ecocriticism on the Edge: The Anthropocene as a Threshold Concept (Bloomsbury, 2015).