The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

The Overstory: A Blueprint for Cultural Change in the Anthropocene


  • Isak Sköld

Summary, in English

Within the field of ecocriticism, there is an ongoing discussion about climate change fiction and the capacity for literature to inspire cultural change in relation to the climate crisis of the Anthropocene. Relatively new novels explore the inherent conflict between consumerist features of contemporary human culture and scientific facts regarding human impact on life on Earth. In Richard Powers Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Overstory (2018), cultural change is explored at great length. In this essay, I explore ideas of cultural change and the possible connections the novel makes between cultural change and storytelling. This essay finds that the book argues for storytelling playing an important part within a larger system of activism that in turn has the potential to inspire cultural change. Apart from storytelling, this essay sees cultural change in the novel as pertaining to reconfigurations of societal institutions and individual actions of local activism as well. The essay approaches the novel as existing within the category of climate change fiction and links it with ethical discussions from the field of ecocriticism.

Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • the Anthropocene
  • Cultural Change
  • Richard Powers
  • The Overstory
  • Trees
  • Literature
  • Climate Change Literature
  • Ecocriticism
  • Activism


  • Annika Lindskog