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Just Futures. An
                                    interdisciplinary approach to cultural
                                    climate models.

This project investigates how culture models climate futures. It brings together literary studies, linguistics, science and technology studies, and literature pedagogy to analyse how texts move between seemingly neutral climate facts (“models of”) and normative social values (“models for”). It understands the qualitative cultural modelling of climate change as an important complement to dominant quantitative scientific climate models. It comprises three work packages focused on climate futures and intergenerational justice in different kinds of texts: dramas and essays (WP 1); social media (WP 2); and pedagogical (WP 3).

Project outcomes include open-access publications, and a website documenting the research process and disseminating results as a virtual exhibition. The team are based in the UK, German, and Austria and represent a range of complementary specialisms: David Higgins (PI UK) in culture and climate change; Julia Hoydis (PI Austria) in risk theory and climate change narratives; Warren Pearce in digital methods of image analysis in social media; Carolin Schwegler in multi-modal sustainability communication; Roman Bartosch in educational research on the modelling of environmental literacy; and Jens Gurr in interdisciplinary model theory. The website is curated and designed by the project’s artistic director, Jasmijn Visser.

The project brings together research centres at the Universities of Cologne (Multidisciplinary Environmental Studies in the Humanities – MESH), Duisburg-Essen (Futures Research in the Humanities), Klagenfurt (Cluster Sustainability), Leeds (Priestley International Centre for Climate), and Sheffield (Digital Society Network). The project is funded by the AHRC (UK), the DFG (Germany), and the FLF (Austria).

Portrait Jöran
Research Associate (Austria)
funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)
University of Klagenfurt/Department of English
University of Heidelberg/German Institute
PhD-Candidate in German Linguistics
Jöran Landschoff‘s academic interests revolve around socio- and discourse linguistic questions, focussing in particular on issues of political opinion dynamics and cultural knowledge structures. Investigating current problems in modern societal debates, his research necessarily looks into individual‘s and group constructions of future challenges and their possible solutions.
In his PhD-Thesis, Jöran Landschoff analyses a German Twitter-Corpus, aiming at detecting interactional communicative patterns, argumentative strategies and opinion communities in regard to attitudes toward climate, Covid and the candidates for the German Chancellorship in 2021. Apart from this, the Philosophy of Language and questions of discourse and power are his constant companions.
Portrait Carolin
Project Co-I (Germany)
funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)
University of Cologne,
Postdoc in German Linguistics/Sociolinguistics
Carolin Schwegler pursues research in socio-linguistics with a focus on discourse, social media, and conversation analysis. She holds a doctorate in German Linguistics from the University of Heidelberg. Her thesis focused on the development of argumentation strategies concerning climate, nature, and sustainability.
As a postdoctoral researcher, she engaged in interdisciplinary publication projects in the fields of environmental humanities, environmental linguistics, and eco-linguistics as well as international interdisciplinary projects. Carolin’s current research focuses on communicative practices of (climate- and health-related) prediction, risk, and prognosis, future-oriented language, and prospective communication.
Portrait Roman
Project Co-I (Germany)
funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) University of Cologne
Department of English II and Research Hub for MESH
Full Professor of English.
Roman Bartosch
His research bridges the Environmental Humanities and educational theory and practice, particularly in arts-based and literary pedagogies and with regard to sustainability, resilience, and transcultural learning. He is currently working on the modelling of learning objectives in times of large-scale extinction and climate catastrophe.
In the project, he will work with Jens Martin Gurr on WP3 to examine notions of modelling and modelling practices in literary criticism and educational research and materials. It seeks to survey how modelling is used and understood in these different fields, and how questions of intergenerational justice affect online readerships and classroom interactions.
Portrait Jens
Project Co-I (Germany)
funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)
University of Duisburg-Essen
Department of Anglophone Studies, Full Professor of British and Anglophone Literature and Culture
Jens Martin Gurr
Jens Martin Gurr co-directs the Competence Field “Metropolitan Research” in the University Alliance Ruhr. With Barbara Buchenau he led the Research Group ‘Scripts for Postindustrial Urban Futures: American Models, Transatlantic Interventions’ funded by the Volkswagen Foundation (2018-2023).
His monograph Charting Literary Urban Studies: Texts as Models of and for the City (Routledge, 2021) synthesized some ten years of research in literary urban studies. Pointing forward to the Just Futures project on cultural modelling, it explored the usefulness of model theory to literary studies. In the project, he will work with Roman Bartosch on WP3 to examine notions of modelling and modelling practices in literary criticism and educational research and materials.
Portait Julia
Project PI (Austria)
funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)
University of Klagenfurt
Department of English, Full Professor of English Literature
Julia Hoydis
Her research is situated at the intersection of literary and cultural studies and the Environmental Humanities, with a focus on literature and risk theory, climate change narratives and future-making across different media. Other areas of interest are the English novel and narratology, posthumanism, postcolonial studies, and transcultural adaptation studies.
In the project, she will work with David Higgins on WP1 to examine focuses on textual models of climate futures in Anglophone dramas and personal essays. It explores especially how these genres model intergenerational justice and issues such as reproductive futures and relationships between parents and children.
Portait David
Project PI (UK)
funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
University of Leeds
School of English
Full Professor of Environmental Humanities
David Higgins
David Higgins was Deputy Director of the Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute from 2018 to 2021 and serves on the Executive Committee of the Priestley International Centre for Climate. For much of his career, he published largely on British Romantic literature and culture. British Romanticism, Climate Change, and the Anthropocene (Palgrave, 2017) marked a shift of focus into the environmental humanities. His current research focuses on two areas: (1) a creative nature writing project entitled The Butter Bump; (2) a wide-ranging project on the role of humanities in addressing anthropogenic climate change.
In the project, he will work with Julia Hoydis on WP1 to examine focuses on textual models of climate futures in Anglophone dramas and personal essays.
Portait Warren
Project Co-I (UK)
funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
University of Sheffield
iHuman & Department of Sociological Studies
Senior Lecturer in Digital Media & Society.
Warren Pearce
Warren’s research explores how science is used in public debates about politics and policy, with a current focus on three areas: 1) how digital platforms are changing experts and expertise; 2) the role of images in online science communication; 3) the use of scientific evidence, advice and assessment in policy work. He has researched these themes extensively through a series of journal articles examining the public life of climate change.
Warren co-leads WP2 with Carolin Schwegler, investigating how different communication modes (e.g. image, text, sound) found on social media platforms (e.g. TikTok, Instagram, Twitter) are used to model climate futures.
Portait Jasmijn
Artistic director
(The Netherlands)
funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Independent artist/designer.
Jasmijn Visser
Jasmijn Visser works on te intersection of art, design and research. Her research focuses on the perception of complexity, especially in relation to geopolitical conflict. She currently is working on her doctorate Climate as a Protagonist in War at the Rachel Carson Center (RCC) in Munich. Visser was part of the postgraduate artist institute De Ateliers and has exhibited, amongst others, at SongEun Artspace Seoul, Delfina Foundation London, CENART Mexico City, HKW Berlin, Museum Centre Krasnoyarsk, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
The development of the visual identity is a part of work package 1, in consultation with David Higgins and in collaboration with Ingmar König.
Portrait Ingmar
Design & Programming
(The Netherlands)
Independent Artist/Designer
In his practice, Ingmar König focuses on the experience of the interior in both digital and physical realms. Fascinated by human shortcomings when traversing through unknown environments, his installations contain interventions that set the visitor on a detour. He holds a Master's in Interior Architecture and a Bachelor's in Fine Arts His work has been exhibited worldwide at, amongst others, Tokyo Creative Salon, Chunart Museum Shanghai, Stroom Den Haag & Art Brussels. Apart from his artistic practice he is a lecturer at the Advertising department of the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam.
He collaborates with Jasmijn Visser on developing the visual identity of CCM.
Portrait Yuting
Research Associate (iHuman)
University of Sheffield, The Wave, Department of Sociological Studies.
Yuting Yao
Yuting completed her PhD in History of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University of Manchester. In her thesis ‘Talking about a Greenish Red: The State-mediated Climate Change Communication in China’, she covers perspectives and methodologies from STS and communication studies to investigate the intertwining development of human society and the environment.
Yuting Yao is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Sheffield for the CCM project. She collaborates with Dr Warren Pearce and Dr Carolin Schwegle on WP2, investigating how cultural forms contribute to modelling climate change on social media.


Lieven, A., Gurr, J.M., Buchenau, B. (2023) Narrative in Planning: A Practical Field Guide. Transcript [OA].
Hoydis, J,, Bartosch, R. Gurr, J.M. (2023) Climate Change Literacy. Key Elements in Environmental Humanities Series. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press [OA].
Buchenau, B., Gurr, J.M., Sulimma, M., eds. (2023) City Scripts: Narratives of Postindustrial Urban Futures. The Ohio State University Press [OA].

Forthcoming Publications

Schwegler, C. (2024) Climate Imaginaries and the Construction of Identity in Social Media. LiLi – Journal for Literary Studies and Linguistics 3 [Special Issue: Media Identities – multimodal and multilingual].

University of
                                    Leeds, Univeristät Klagenfurt, Univeristät
                                    Köln, Univeristät Duisburg-Essen, University
                                    of Sheffield, iHuman

Arts & Humanities
                                    Research Council, Deutsche
                                    Forschungsgemeinschaft, FWF Der