“Sustainability” is present everywhere: in international policy, advertising, design, education, Nobel Award–winning literature, media reportage, and environmental activism, as well as corporate greenwashing and neoliberal austerity. In the dominant understanding, it is a speculative narrative about present-day solutions that could forestall a planetary crisis and ensure a livable future. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (UNDSGs) and UNSG’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UNSGA) adhere to this understanding but also officially expand it, reframing sustainability as a social justice aspiration. This shift officiates a new trend in sustainability research, which supports different concepts of sustainability and places “culture” and “equity” at the center of such scholarship.

Narrating Sustainability is a transdisciplinary research project that responds to the UNSDGs that redefine sustainability as a matter of sociopolitical, cultural, and environmental justice. The project will explore how sustainability is narrated, contested, understood, and reimagined in literary studies, environmental psychology research, and design.

The project is led by Hanna Musiol (Literature / NTNU Environmental Humanities), in partnership with Christian A. Klöckner (Environmental Psychology) and Casper Boks (Design). The research team includes one postdoctoral researcher, Kari Nixon, and two PhD scholars, Parissa Chokrai, and Ysabel Muñoz Martínez.

Narratives of Sustainability is generously funded by NTNU TSO Sustainability at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.