“Did You See Last Night’s Episode of Ecotopia?”: How a TV Series Could Help Move Climate Action Forward. A Conversation with Elizabeth Watson





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Author Biographies

Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet, University of Lausanne

Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet is Professor of American Literature at the University of Lausanne and co-director of the New American Studies Master’s specialization program. She has published two monographs, eight edited collections of essays, and numerous articles on topics ranging from the Eco-Gothic to American counterculture.

Christian Arnsperger, University of Lausanne

Christian Arnsperger is Professor of Sustainability and Economic Anthropology at the University of Lausanne and coordinator of the Master’s program in Foundations and Practices of Sustainability. He specializes in the existential and ecological critique of capitalism, post growth economics and sustainable counterculture, the transition from circularity to “permacircularity,” and the systemic links between money and sustainability.

Elizabeth Watson

Elizabeth Watson (b. 1992) is a writer and high school English teacher. Born and raised in Texas, she holds a BA in psychology from Boston University and an MA in English from the University of Lausanne. She is interested in the power of storytelling to affect environmental change and to reconnect people to nature. Having discovered Ernest Callenbach’s novel Ecotopia (1975) while studying at the University of Lausanne, she began adapting it for screen as part of her Master’s thesis, which also examined the psychological mechanisms linked to climate change denial and fatalism. Since graduating, Watson has continued to work on the project and has written more episodes for the first season. As a child of the 1980s, she realized that in the twenty-first century a successful television series could reach a much larger audience than a novel, and that a fully fleshed-out and vividly imagined portrait of a sustainable near-future world could help people act more effectively towards creating such a world.


Callenbach, Ernest. Ecotopia. Banyan Tree, 1975.
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Don’t Look Up. Directed by Adam MacKay, Paramount Pictures, 2021.
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Euphoria. Created and written by Sam Levinson, HBO, 2019–22.
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Friends. Created by David Crane and Martha Kauffman, NBC, 1994–2004.
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Game of Thrones. Created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, HBO, 2011–19.
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Greer, John Michael. Retrotopia. Founders, 2016.
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Klein, Naomi. This Changes Everything: Capitalism Versus the Climate. Penguin, 2014.
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Marshall, George. Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change. Bloomsbury, 2014.
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Seinfeld. Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, NBC, 1989–98.
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The Office. Written by Greg Daniels, NBC, 2005–13.
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How to Cite

Soltysik Monnet, A., Arnsperger, C., & Watson, E. (2022). “Did You See Last Night’s Episode of Ecotopia?”: How a TV Series Could Help Move Climate Action Forward. A Conversation with Elizabeth Watson. Text Matters: A Journal of Literature, Theory and Culture, (12), 335–344. https://doi.org/10.18778/2083-2931.12.20

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