Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Crisis Writing
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Portfolio of writing  portfolio 4000 Words  100%
Supplementary Assessment Portfolio of writing  Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. portfolio. 4000 Words  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. ​Demonstrate, in both creative and evaluative writing, a wide-ranging awareness of the thematic and structural possibilities of specific genres.

2. Demonstrate, in both creative and evaluative writing, an increased command of a variety of techniques associated with a range of writing for specific purposes.

3. Reflect and comment upon in critical prose on their own creative practice.

4. Demonstrate, by the revision of work previously discussed in workshops, an ability to improve their writing in response to criticism​

Brief description

Crisis Writing explores a variety of approaches to writing about climate change including speculative fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, song and conceptual writing. Each two-hour session will be divided into a seminar and a workshop. Literary examples will be discussed in relation to the latest climate science and theoretical concepts drawn from ecocriticism and ecological philosophy. There will also be a particular emphasis on the relationship between writing and political action. The module involves keeping a daily diary/blog and includes two field trips. It forms part of the core provision for the ECW Climate Crisis Stream. However, the module will also be of interest to students following other E&CW schemes who have previously taken modules such as Literature and the Sea, Telling True Stories and Writing Selves.


session 1: Introduction / Environmental Diary

The first half of the seminar will introduce students to the content and aims of the module. The second half will focus on the writing of an environmental diary.

Session 2: Ecopoetry

This seminar will explore ecopoetry and what that might mean to write from a bio- or ecocentric perspective

Session 3: Activism and Conceptual Writing

Students will explore the interface between activism and writing. The seminar will discuss and experiment with different ways in which political action in the world can shape writing and vice versa.

session 4: Natural Beauty/Natural Spectacle (Field Trip 1)

Students will discuss how writing can be used to celebrate the natural world and highlight its aesthetic and biophilic value. They will also be encouraged, however, to reflect on the idea of nature tourism and the monetising of the natural world. Creative pieces will be written in response to a field trip.

Session 5: Green Songs

Students will study a range of folk and pop protest songs from the 1960s to the present that engage with environmental concerns.

Session 6: Ecological Travelogue

Students will be introduced to how the literary form of the travelogue can be employed to investigate the climate crisis, using a combination of first person narrative, interviews, and scientific data.

Session 7: Essay as Intervention

Students will examine how the journalistic or literary essay can be used to interrogate contemporary climate change concerns, using a combination of personal reflection, political argument and cultural criticism.

Session 8: Writing Wales and Fossil Fuel (Field Trip 2)

Students will consider the history of coal mining in Wales and discuss the role played by fossil fuels in the current climate crisis. Creative pieces will be written in response to a field trip.

Session 9: Species Extinction and Literary Reanimation

In this seminar, students will research a recently extinct species and write about it.

Session 10: Writing Ecotopias

This seminar explores the writing of eco-utopias or ecotopias

(a term coined by the novelist Ernest Callenbach). Looking at literary examples alongside a range of relevant philosophical ideas.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Yes, oral through seminar discussion, written through assignment
Improving own Learning and Performance Yes, through reflecting on how theoretical understanding and engagement with pressing political problems can be used to improve the students’ own creative practice.
Information Technology Yes, through Blackboard, blog and wordprocessing skills
Personal Development and Career planning Critical self-reflection and development of transferable skills in communication and research.
Problem solving Yes, through thinking through the problem of the most effective way(s) to write about the climate crisis.
Research skills Independent and directed research for seminar preparation and work on summative assessment tasks.
Subject Specific Skills Conceptual and technical knowledge in key fields of creative writing and literary study.
Team work Group work in seminars.


This module is at CQFW Level 6