Nuclear Narratives

This stream is concerned with the conflicting narratives and perspectives around ‘the nuclear’. The technology (both in its civic and military use) is, since its emergence, surrounded by risks and uncertainties, which are further amplified through the imperceptibility of radioactive contamination. And while environmental threats such as ionising radiation can physically affect people as well as ecological systems, how they are perceived and negotiated is socially constructed. Therefore, the nuclear is constantly negotiated in official and unofficial narratives, ranging from the talking points of the nuclear industry to personal experience of living with the risk of exposure to fictional post-apocalyptic worlds.

We aim to bring together perspectives of governments, the industry, nuclear research centres, artists and writers, the media, environmentalists as well as the general public. Across disciplines, we examine 1) dominant narratives of the nuclear and their origins, and 2) how these narratives structure, nationally and internationally, human experiences, imaginations and truths within historical, social and artistic contexts.

Stream organisers: Hanna Klaubert and Alicia Gutting.