Pre-conference Workshops and Seminars » Early Modern Literature & Ecocriticism Seminar
Ecocriticism and Early Modern Literature Seminar
Scholarship exploring early modern texts through ecocriticism is thriving, raising important questions both about the visions and possibilities for ecocriticism and about the relevance of literature very separate in time (and often space) from our current ecological crises. In moving away from the origins of “ecocriticism” (very spatially specific and temporally local), green research of early modern literature has developed an extensive and rigorous scholarship, contributing to topics as wide-ranging as “the animal,” postcolonial ecocriticism, feminist ecocriticism, queer ecocriticism, and monstrosity; it has moved toward clearly articulated methodologies (something mainstream ecocriticism has sometimes resisted doing); and, it has begun to conceptualize a form of ideological critique that is alive both to historicist and presentist concerns.
This seminar will explore 1) ways in which both ecocriticism and early modern literature stand to gain, 2) what sort of pedagogically-novel methods might result (and how), and 3) what might be achieved (in terms of “the environment”) from the alliances forming between ecocriticism and early modern literature.
- Why look at early modern literature through ecocritical lenses?
- What does ecocritical work hope to achieve with early modern literature that hasn’t already been done? Shakespeare’s work, for instance, is far and above the most heavily glossed secular literature to be found. Virtually every environmental matter in it has been discussed thematically. What new insights can ecocriticism hope to offer?
- A related question: what—as a balancing act between valid early modern scholarship on the one hand and real ecological advocacy on the other—does ecocritical work on early modern literature ideally look like, and (equally important) what doesn’t it look like?
- In doing ecocriticism with early modern literature, what are the relationships between historicism and presentism? What are some of the issues here that arise, and what do resolutions look like here?
- What are some anxieties that accompany “ecocriticism and early modern literature”?
- If, as Richard Kerridge so eloquently puts it, the present crises we face are “the preoccupation that is the starting-point” of what we do as ecocritics, then how does praxis translate when the texts are early modern? What, then, does/could praxis mean?
- Why has this area become so hot, and, honestly, what are some issues that might arise with this heat?
- Borlik, Todd. Ecocriticism and Early Modern English Literature: Green Pastures (Routledge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture). New York: Routledge, 2010.
- *Bruckner, Lynne and Dan Brayton. Ecocritical Shakespeare. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2011 (exact release date not yet known).
- Egan, Gabriel. Green Shakespeare: From Ecopolitics to Ecocriticism. London and New York: Routledge, 2006.
- Estok, Simon C. Ecocriticism and Shakespeare: Reading Ecophobia. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011 (release date April 6).
- Raber, Karen. “Recent Ecocritical Studies of English Renaissance Literature.” ELR: English Literary Renaissance 37. 1 (February 2007): 151-71.
- ---, Ivo Kamps, and Thomas Hallock (eds). Early Modern Ecostudies: From the Florentine Codex to Shakespeare. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
- Watson, Robert N. Back to Nature: The Green and the Real in the Late Renaissance. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2006.
*depending on availability
Seminar leader Simon Estok is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea. He is the recipient of the top research award for 2008 at Sungkyunkwan University and the “Writing in the Humanities” Award for 2009-11 from the Korea Research Foundation (KRF). He has published on ecocritical theory (and Shakespeare) in PMLA, AUMLA:The Journal of the Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association, The Canadian Review of Comparative Literature (CRCL), The Journal of English Language and Literature (JELL), Mosaic, ISLE, Green Letters, Comparative American Studies, The Shakespeare Review, and other journals.
To pre-register for this workshop, please contact Greta Gaard: greta.gaard uwrf.edu. A fee will be due at regular registration, price is TBD but in the $15-20 range.