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Image of Megan Hunter Reading

Novelist returns to Jesus College for Cambridge Science Festival event

On Tuesday 19 March the Intellectual Forum welcomed Megan Hunter (2006) to the Cambridge Science Festival to discuss her debut novel The End We Start From. 

The Intellectual Forum’s fourth and final event for the Cambridge Science Festival 2019 featured thoughtful discussion on the novel, a vision of Britain after climate disaster, followed by questions from the audience. 

Dr Hjördis Becker-Lindenthal, Jesus College Postdoctoral Associate and Leverhulme Early Career fellow, runs a course on Facing the Environmental Future: Theology in the Anthropocene with Dr Simone Kotva at the Faculty of Divinity. After adding The End We Start From to their reading list, they decided to bring the event to the Cambridge Science Festival.

Dr Becker-Lindenthal explained:

“Usually the Anthropocene is approached from the climate sciences, and it’s all very much about graphs and statistics. Of course there is overwhelming evidence that this climate disaster is happening right now – but at the same time we continue with our daily lives because it’s so difficult to get our heads around this. We thought it might be helpful to look at what the theological and philosophical tradition have to offer in terms of how humans interact with nature… but in order to understand we need to know what it feels like to have a disaster looming – and that is why we decided to add a novel to our reading list, which is not something we usually do. Novels and films are able to simulate experience… we thought this would be a way to really come to terms with climate change and hopefully be so unsettled that we act on that feeling”. 

Megan Hunter was born in Manchester and studied English Literature at Sussex before coming to Jesus College to complete an MPhil in English Literature: Criticism and Culture.

She said: "It's great to be back at Jesus with my first novel... I have very fond memories of the place. It's wonderful to do the final event for my book here and to 'end where I started', in a sense".

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