Anahid Nersessian (UCLA), "Apostrophe: Clouds"
This paper uses the colloquial and ideologically freighted expression “under climate change” as a prompt for thinking about Romantic renderings of the sky, and particularly of clouds, as a form of apostrophe—which is to say, as an address to a nature that has been made absent or else is in the process of disappearing. How this apostrophic or more pointedly lyric predisposition affects Romantic and contemporary thinking about ecological catastrophe is my guiding if not only question.
Anahid Nersessian is Associate Professor in the Department of English at UCLA and an affiliate of both the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and LENS, the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies, also at UCLA. She is the author of Utopia, Limited: Romanticism and Adjustment (Harvard UP, 2015) and The Calamity Form (U of Chicago P, forthcoming), and the editor of Percy Bysshe Shelley's Laon and Cythna; or, the Revolution of the Golden City (Broadview, 2016). Her writing has appeared in Critical Inquiry, ELH, the Los Angeles Review of Books, MLQ, NLH, PMLA, Public Books, Studies in Romanticism, and elsewhere. With Nan Z. Da, she runs the Thinking Literature imprint published by the University of Chicago Press.