Kyo Maclear

Kyo Maclear

PhD Candidate, Education

Vanier Scholar

My Research

My work examines cultural responses to climate change with a specific focus on children's and youth literature and film. I address the representational challenges climate change presents, and specifically the narrative difficulty of expressing a crisis that unfolds incrementally and often invisibly over time. I look at how children are used as emotive symbols in environmental discussions, evoking our concern for “future generations” and how the figure of the "child redeemer" is used to serve adult needs.

Central to my research program is the pedagogical question of how a narrative imagination shapes young people as environmental citizens in the world. I believe in the power of stories to humanize climate science by offering scenarios that might register affectively. My ultimate goal is to ask how we, as artists and educators, can build a praxis that cultivates a thoughtful and decolonial environmentalism instead of an emergency-oriented response, based on cycles of disaster and repair. We need a curricular and cultural shift if we are to bridge the despair/hope binary that characterizes climate change discussions.