Abstracts & bios

**Abstracts are in alphabetical order (by name of author)**

 

“Remarkable Crises” : Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature, and the Politics of Mourning

Gabriel Briex (University of Toronto)

This paper examines the political dimensions of mourning in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writings from Nature (1836) and “Experience” (1844) to “Fate” (1860), by focusing on his recapturing of “natural history” as a critical category beyond scientific knowledge, in order to account for the democratic insights of transcendental approaches to the natural world. Mourning for Emerson, I argue, figures as both a reaction to a natural dis/order, and a political force directed towards a democratic, abolitionist future. Starting from the conclusion of Nature where Emerson suggests that “at remarkable crises in life” we should “compare, point by point … our daily history, with the rise and progress of ideas in the mind,” my paper proposes to interpret such crises within Emerson’s grasp of mourning as a transformative political affect. Such a “point by point” comparison recalls the Greek etymology of “crisis” in krinein, for judging, sorting out, comparing, (as George Didi-Huberman notes in Désirer Désobéir), and thus presents these “remarkable crises” as active modes of thought and action capable of changing pre-established natural and historical prospects.

Reading Emerson’s “Experience” and “Fate” along these lines––as essays structured around democratic, abolitionist, and environmental concerns––my paper draws on scholarship such as Branka Arsić’s The Other Emerson, Donald Pease’s “”Experience,’ Anti-Slavery, and The Crisis of Emersonianism,” Cristin Ellis’s Antebellum Posthuman, Eduardo Cadava’s Emerson and the Climates of History, and Stanley Cavell’s Emerson’s Transcendental Etudes, in order to understand how Nature, for Emerson, functions with and in crisis, and how his work shifts traditional notions of natural history to advance the transformative horizons of his politics of mourning. By framing my intervention on Emerson’s writing along a recent critical turn towards the political roles of mourning –– following writers such as Jacques Derrida, Judith Butler, Noelle McAfee, David Eng and David Kazanjian –– my paper proposes to understand “crises” as catalysts of a political ethos that enable the convergence of radical movements for the preservation of the environmental and the advancement of social justice. Because Emerson understood natural history as being deeply concerned with social change, and modeled the crises of American and world history on natural sciences, his oeuvre is a crucial nodal point in the long intellectual history of environmental humanist commitment to eco-justice that Lawrence Buell identified as a vital direction for the future of the study of literature and the environment (“Ethics and Politics of Environmental Criticism” in The Future of Environmental Criticism).

Bio.

Gabriel Briex is a third-year PhD candidate at the University of Toronto’s department of English. His dissertation project, Mourning and Politics in the American Renaissance: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglass, and Herman Melville, examines the valence and functions of mourning at the intersection of political, philosophical, and literary discourses in the U.S. before the Civil War. His supervisory committee includes Prof. Paul Downes (supervisor), Prof. Naomi Morgenstern, and Prof. Isabelle Alfandary. Gabriel is an international student from France, and an International Student Co-Representative for the Graduate English Association. After graduating from UofT, Gabriel plans to work in academia in France, creating American Literature Studies scholarship and teaching in Postsecondary Education. He holds a B.A and an M.A from Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris IV, M.A. supervised by Prof. Françoise Sammarcelli), as well as an M.A.-level diploma (D.E.N.S.) from the École Normale Supérieure de la Rue d’Ulm (PSL).

 

Crisis and representation in the graphic mode: The post-human and the post-pastoral in Malik Sajad’s Munnu: A Boy from Kashmir

Antara Chatterjee (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal)

This paper intends to examine the graphic novel Munnu: A Boy from Kashmir (2015) by Malik Sajad, through the overlapping lenses of crisis, conflict, and the environment, to uncover their complex imbrications and intersections, against the backdrop of protracted war. Sajad’s graphic narrative brings to the fore the intimate entanglements between the human and the non-human in a milieu of conflict, set against the backdrop of the Kashmir valley, one of the most troubled and contested spaces of postcolonial India, marked by decades-long civil war, insurgency and militarisation.

Reminiscent of Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus, Sajad’s novel depicts the violence-torn Kashmiri as the endangered hangul deer (the red Kashmiri stag), while non-Kashmiris are represented as human. The hangul is an endangered species of Kashmiri deer on the verge of extinction, whose habitat is destroyed by the protracted conflict in Kashmir, territorial and political in its origins, but human, environmental and ecological in its effects. Long and relentless conflict in Kashmir conjoins the human and the non-human in an inextricable mesh of slowly unfolding crisis vulnerability, and ‘slow violence’ (in the words of Rob Nixon).

Sajad’s ‘ecological lens of narration’ evokes a ‘planetary consciousness’, revealing the interlinked devastation of humans, non-humans and the environment alike in a conflict zone. In this complex conjoined narrative, the non-anthropocentric yet anthropomorphic figure of the humanoid hangul reveals the entangled vulnerablities of the Kashmiri embodied subject (both human and animal), and the Kashmiri environment, in the context of the multiple and interconnected crises unfolding in Kashmir. It has a manifold function: it points to the dehumanization of the Kashmiri in conflict-ridden Kashmir; in counterpoint, through representing Indian soldiers as ‘human’, it underscores their bestiality. By displacing an anthropocentric representation of crisis and war, through the representation of the Kashmiri ‘human’ as the endangered hangul, it points our attention to the enormous ecological costs of war, while interlinking it to the human costs in an embattled Kashmir.

The essay will use the theoretical frameworks of posthumanism and trans-corporeality, derived from the work of Rosi Braidotti, Stacy Alaimo and others to foreground the ‘entanglements’ (Donna Haraway) and ‘transformative encounters’ (Anna Tsing) between the human and the non-human, whereby they are revealed to be embedded in a network of inextricable and mutually constitutive relationships. I will draw on these critical perspectives to comment on the multiple imbrications between human and non-human crises in the context of war-torn Kashmir. My essay will also focus on the graphic mode to comment on questions of crisis, the imagination, representation and critique, focusing, in particular, on Sajad’s ‘post-pastoral’ representation of violence-torn Kashmir, which counters earlier dominant representational strategies of imagining Kashmir as the quintessential idyllic ‘pastoral’ space of India, viewed solely in terms of, and celebrated for its paradisiacal natural beauty.

Bio.

Dr Antara Chatterjee is Assistant Professor of English in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal, India. She studied English literature at Jadavpur University, India and the University of Leeds, U.K. Her research interests include Indian writing in English, South Asian diasporic literatures, trauma, violence and memory, cultural production from Kashmir, medical and environmental humanities. She has received grants and fellowships from the University Grants Commission, India, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, the Charles Wallace India Trust, and the Indian Council of Historical Research. She has published in South Asian Review, Humanities, and in an edited collection of essays by Palgrave Macmillan.

 

Epidemic / Endemic: Climate, Race, and Health in the Nineteenth-Century US

Thomas Constantinesco (Université de Paris / University of Oxford)

In Emerson and the Climates of History (1997), Eduardo Cadava argues that climactic and meteorological metaphors are the locus of Emerson’s engagement with politics and history, in particular with the issues of slavery and abolition. On Cadava’s account, naturalizing race by making it a function of climate does not amount to essentializing identities, so much as it becomes a way to chart their changing coordinates in a fluctuating environment. Building an adjacent argument in In the Wake (2016), Christina Sharpe has shown how metaphors of the weather are contested, “ongoing locations of Black being,” how they reference and perform a climate that produces blackness as a condition of death, while enabling practices of resistance and affirmations of life. Drawing on Cadava’s and Sharpe’s investigations, this proposed paper explores the frequent troping of slavery as a contagious disease—especially malaria—with a view to considering the entanglement of climate, race, and health in a series of mid-nineteenth-century American texts. In his antislavery lectures, for instance, Emerson laments the “infamy” that slavery was bringing “in the air” itself, while hoping for “the winds” to carry the germs of abolition “all over the world,” imagining slavery as viciously infections and abolition as virtuously contagious. Harriet Jacobs similarly figures enslavement as a “blight,” as she reflects on its deleterious and disabling effects on black bodies in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861).  Louisa May Alcott’s Moods (1864) and Harriet Spofford’s “The Amber Gods” (1863) further instantiate the figuration of endemic racism as epidemic disease, as the respective protagonists of these gothic tales struggle against a mysterious disease that has affected the purity of New England’s air. Taken together, these texts read as an invitation to think about the politics of atmospheric contagion and the ways in which American literature is haunted by its own climate.

Bio.

Thomas Constantinesco joined Sorbonne University in 2021 as Professor of American Literature, after having taught at Université de Paris, the University of Oxford, and Yale University. He is also an honorary junior member of the Institut Universitaire de France and a former Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow. His research interests lie in the fields of nineteenth-century American literature, literature and philosophy, literature and history, and medical humanities. He is the author of Ralph Waldo Emerson : l’Amérique à l’essai (2012), as well as several essays and book chapters on the Transcendentalists, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Henry James, and William James. He also translated works by Emerson, Melville, James, Washington Irving, and Mark Twain into French. His most recent work, entitled Writing Pain in the Nineteenth-Century United States, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press in 2022.

 

Prophétiser l’Anthropocène ? La trilogie Qatsi de Godfrey Reggio

Marie-Laure Delaporte  (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne / Université Paris Nanterre)

La visualité de l’Anthropocène tend à renforcer la position techno-utopiste que « nous » avons maîtrisé la nature, comme nous avons maîtrisé son image (T.J. Demos). Entre 1982 et 2002, Godfrey Reggio réalise trois films intitulés Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance (1982), Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation (1987) et Naqoyqatsi: Life as War (2002) qui semblent annoncer l’Anthropocène avant même que Paul J. Crutzen ne le formalise au début du XXIe siècle. Comme le rappellent Christophe Bonneuil et Jean-Baptiste Fressoz : « L’Anthropocène. C’est notre époque. Notre condition. C’est une révolution géologique d’origine humaine »

Poème sonore et visuel tout autant que documentaire écologique, la trilogie Qatsi de Godfrey Reggio juxtapose et enchaine les images d’une nature grandiose aux éléments imposants et des flux effrénés de la vie urbaine. Les trois films, chacun à leur manière, semblent donc dénoncer les causes (industrialisation, surconsommation, déforestation …) et les conséquences (dérèglement climatique, pollution, déplacements de populations…) de cette nouvelle ère géologique dont l’humain est responsable. Expérience visuelle et expérimentation cinématographique, l’œuvre de Reggio est pourtant plus complexe qu’il n’y paraît. En effet, l’esthétisme des images, qu’il s’agisse des flux accélérés d’automobiles, des vues en contre-plongée de gratte-ciels ou des visages poussiéreux d’enfants jouant, rythmé par la musique envoutante de Philip Glass, est fascinant. Difficile alors de percevoir un discours contestataire à l’encontre des dérives socio-économiques d’une mondialisation excessive qui partagerait les convictions de T.J. Demos : « l’art engagé du point de vue environnemental possède le potentiel de repenser la politique et de politiser la relation de l’art à l’écologie, […] et les liens inextricables qui se tissent entre la nature, l’économie, la technologie et la culture. »

Godfrey Reggio tente donc de mettre en image le phénomène de l’Anthropocène comme une expérience artistique, esthétique, mais peut-être pas éthique, au cœur d’une perception physique et sensorielle intense, menant à une prise de conscience, que nous ne sommes pas la mesure de tout. Heather Davis et Etienne Turpin confirment que « l’Anthropocène est principalement un phénomène sensoriel […notamment perceptible] à travers des modes visuels ».

Bio.

Marie-Laure Delaporte est docteure en histoire de l’art contemporain, diplômée de l’Université Paris Nanterre, elle est l’auteure d’une thèse intitulée « L’artiste à la caméra : hybridités et transversalités artistiques (1962-2015) », soutenue en décembre 2016. Ancienne chercheuse postdoctorale au Centre allemand d’histoire de l’art-Paris (2019/2020), elle a publié plusieurs articles sur les liens entre arts visuels et Anthropocène: « Éléments naturels et espaces immersifs dans les œuvres de Doug Aitken à l’ère de l’Anthropocène », dans Kinephanos, « Feuilles, phasmes et autres petites bêtes dans les écosystèmes artistiques de Daniel Steegmann Mangrané », dans La Furia Umana. Elle est également enseignante vacataire en histoire de l’art à l’Université Paris 1 – Panthéon- Sorbonne et Université Paris Nanterre, et en anglais à l’Université de Versailles – Saint-Quentin- en-Yvelines.

 

A Martial Meteorology: Carceral Ecology in the US South of Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing

Savannah DiGregorio (Vanderbilt University)

During a discussion of her novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing, on National Public Radio (NPR), Jesmyn Ward recalls her experience of Hurricane Katrina: “I sat on the porch, barefoot and shaking. The sky turned orange and the wind sounded like fighter jets. So that’s what my mother meant: I understood then how that hurricane, that Camille, had unmade the world, tree by water by house by person.”  The “weight of history in the South of slavery and Jim Crow makes it hard to bear up,” she continues. The future is full of worry, “about climate change and more devastating storms like Katrina and Harvey.” In Ward’s depiction of the wind as fighter jets, she imbues the violent elements of the hurricane with a martial quality that demonstrates how weather and, in particular, storms, hold the capacity to unmake the world. Her words reveal the fungible nature of oikos, or home, and a methodological process of undoing—waters that uproot trees that uproot houses that displace persons. And the details of the aftermath left unsaid—the racism laid bare by the storm, those attempts at unmaking, human by human.

Yet it is the history of the US South, of slavery and Jim Crow, that Ward uses as the preface to her concern about a future full of storms wrought by climate change. In doing so, she foregrounds the racial dimensions of the Anthropocene by placing the carceral in conversation with the environment. Sing, Unburied, Sing also explores this much over-looked connection. The novel follows Leonie, an African American mother and her children, Jojo and Michaela, as they travel from their Gulf Coast home to Parchman Prison where they intend to pick up their white father. The aftermath of Katrina haunts the narrative’s background, like so many of the novel’s ghosts. By examining Sing, Unburied, Sing’s spectral twinning of racial and ecological violence, this essay traces what I call carceral ecology. Crafted from Ward’s imagining of a martial meteorology, carceral ecology transforms climatic phenomena like heat, rain, and storms into tools of western power. The novel thus unearths a southern history in which environmental design and manipulation have been used to maintain a carceral state of control. Looking to Sing, Unburied, Sing, allows us to sift through the different evolutions of carceral ecology—from its toxic presence in the communities of the US South, to its early stages on the plantation, and ending, finally, with the worldly arena of the Anthropocene. In the end, Ward offers a counternarrative to a white Anthropocene, one that is attuned to the epoch’s entanglement with race.

Bio.

Savannah DiGregorio is currently pursuing her PhD in English at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Her research is in the environmental humanities with a special focus on critical race studies, critical animal studies, and the global South.

 

Let’s Make Some Noise! Ursula K. Le Guin et les voix de la Terre

Thierry Drumm (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

Les travaux écoféministes ont mis en relief le partage entre Homme et Nature (Plumwood) au cœur de pratiques modernes de conquête qui définissent femmes, animaux, colonisés, et tous les êtres terrestres, comme des ressources connaissables, exploitables, disponibles (Federici). Je souhaite travailler ces enjeux en compagnie d’Ursula K. Le Guin, et en relation aux sons, aux bruits, aux chants. Car simultanément, dans nombre de pratiques associées à cette « rationalisation », les êtres terrestres sont supposés ne pas parler ou n’avoir rien à dire, tout en s’offrant à une vision illimitée (Haraway) : la terre s’est tue et Pascal s’effraie du « silence des espaces infinis ». Ce mouvement dévastateur n’est pas sans rapport aux histoires que connaissent l’écriture et les pratiques de narration : l’invention de l’alphabet peut donner l’impression que seuls les humains parlent vraiment tandis que la terre se tait (Abram) et l’invention de l’imprimerie amplifie puissamment l’expérience si étrange de la lecture « à voix basse » (Eisenstein). « À l’époque où je suis née, dit Le Guin, on en était venu à considérer le silence de la littérature comme une vertu essentielle, un signe de civilisation » (2004). « Faire du bruit » devient alors un acte aussi joyeux qu’urgent, dans l’héritage même de ce que l’écoféminisme a inventé : un acte par lequel sont réappropriées et cultivées des capacités à entendre et porter une multitude de « voix terrestres ». On comprend que le « rejet de la séparation entre Homme et Nature » ne se fera pas en parlant « contre l’Homme, “pour la Nature” » (ce qui ne ferait que reconduire la supposée rupture), mais bien « en parlant en tant que nature » (1989). On s’aperçoit alors, avec Le Guin, combien romans et poèmes ne se sont jamais élaborés à distance d’une Terre muette, mais bien en intimité avec une variété illimitée de voix actives (Plumwood), comme Le Guin en témoigne en particulier dans l’écriture d’Always Coming Home (1985). Histoires et poèmes dansent sur des rythmes et vibrent de voix qui n’ont rien d’intrinsèquement humain. Les bruits, les sons, les chants que font histoires et poèmes sont autant d’entrées en résonance avec des sons et des voix terrestres que nous n’avons cessé d’entendre. Alors que le réalisme mettait ces voix à distance au nom d’un monde « humain » (Ghosh), et à l’heure où nos printemps se font, en de multiples lieux, de plus en plus « silencieux » (Carson), il importe crucialement d’expérimenter comment, même à voix basse, les rythmes et les sons qui portent histoires et poèmes ouvrent d’intrigants possibles (Voegelin) au contact de milieux vivants, sonores et bavards. Il s’agirait de donner toute son importance, avec Le Guin, au rôle de nos histoires et de nos poèmes dans nos manières d’« entendre le son des terrestres » et d’habiter le « Phonocène » (Haraway).

Thierry Drumm est philosophe. Ses recherches concernent le pragmatisme (William James), l’écologie, les pratiques d’apprentissage et la fiction narrative. Il a notamment publié Tricher. Fabrications d’intelligence collective à l’école (Presses universitaires de Liège, 2019) et traduit le livre de Brian Massumi, Ontopouvoir. Guerre, pouvoirs, perception (Les presses du réel, 2021). Ses recherches actuelles se rapportent plus spécialement au travail d’Ursula K. Le Guin.

 

New Hope: Margaret Atwood and the MaddAddam Trilogy

Sofia Duarte (University of Valencia)

Dystopian novels such as Brave New World (1932) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) have often been perceived as warning signs of the possible futures society might face. However, these novels often seemed to lack a more profound analysis of how crises could affect our surroundings, notably nature, and ultimately changed with the rise of eco-dystopian novels. This change of focus can be perceived in the Canadian author Margaret Atwood who went from writing the anthropocentric dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) to what is now known as the MaddAddam Trilogy: Oryx and Crake (2003), The Year of the Flood (2009) and MaddAddam (2013). These three novels narrate the story of a small group of humans who have survived a worldwide pandemic and the struggles they must face in this new environment. However, as the trilogy progresses, it becomes clear that the nonhuman animals that have survived are slowly becoming the protagonists of the novel and turning humans into secondary characters, ultimately presenting a post-anthropocentric world. I argue that when analysed through Donovan’s approach of “Aesthetics of Care” (2016) the novels display the significance of attending nonhuman beings when considering possible future outcomes and the consequences our actions have upon them. What is more, Atwood offers a multiplicity of voices of nonhuman animals and underlines the fact that not only are humans the one to blame for the catastrophes, but they might also be non-essential in the future of Earth and society. As Donovan argues the aesthetics of care implies being “attentive to the environment, perceiving other creatures as subjects worthy of respect, whose different voices must be attended to” and with whom humans are “emotionally engaged, interwoven in an ecological and spiritual (…) continuum.” (Introduction). This perception of the world can be seen distinctively through three groups of nonhuman characters in the novel: The Children of Crake, Pigoons, and the bees. When one analyses these three groups it is possible to perceive how they are presented to readers as sentient beings who face their own struggles to survive and ultimately form a community and bond with each other with the help of the few surviving humans. Both the Children of Crake and Pigoons are given complex language and while the bees are not granted this quality, they are shown as capable of understanding human language. Additionally, readers discover certain customs in them, such as rituals performed during funerals or showing compassion towards other beings.  All in all, these characters are part of a post-human world where diversity in gender, race, class, and species is real and coexistence possible. If we abandon an anthropocentric view of the world it will be possible to perceive a new hope and perspective of the world and overcome possible crises.

Works Cited

Donovan, Josephine. The Aesthetics of Care: On the Literary Treatment of Animals. Kindle Ed., Bloomsbury Academic, 2016.

Bio.

Sofia Duarte is a PhD candidate in the Doctoral Programme in Language, Literature and Culture, and its Applications in the University of Valencia, Spain. Her research revolves around the interdisciplinary field of Animal Studies, a critical framework that in her PhD thesis she is applying for the interpretation of Margaret Atwood’s works and the presence of nonhuman animals in them. Accordingly, Speculative and Dystopian Fiction as well as Posthumanism and Ecofeminism are part of her research interests. Furthermore, having worked on the portrayal of animals in the X-Men in her Master’s thesis, Comic Studies is also an important part of her research line.

 

Bodily Encounters, Bodily Vulnerability: Contemporary British Poetry in Times of Climate Crisis

Michaela Frey (University of Basel)

Due to an extensive exploitation and destruction of the environment, the experienced alienation of humans from nature has recently reached a critical point. While social, political and economic initiatives call for an alternative to an anthropocene view of the world, the growing popularity of the genre “New Nature Writing” also testifies to the need to rethink our relationship to nature in literature. In response, contemporary nature poetry projects alternative viewpoints that go beyond anthropocentric conceptualizations of the human- nature relation. Nevertheless, authors here face a dilemma: How to craft a language that does justice to our times of environmental crisis without falling back on mere idealising illusions? Yet, it is the recognition of this dilemma that allows to encompass the concept of nature under the aspect of mutual dependence between humankind and nature. Accordingly, poet Kathleen Jamie approaches nature through the moment of encounter, which she locates in a “web of interdependencies, which may be damaged through our acts” (Jamie 2011, 39). The poetic moment of encounter and mutual vulnerability of human and non-humans offers a means to poetically explore nature in times of crisis.

This talk will add to a vibrant conversation in contemporary literary studies about the challenging nature of nature poetry in the twenty-first century by looking at poetry by Alice Oswald, Sinéad Morrissey, Kathleen Jamie and Ruth Padel. Investigating how these texts re- establish the connections between humankind and nature, I want to show how moments of encounter between human and non-human bodies can be read as an experience of common corporeality and vulnerability. Appropriating the insights of theoretical considerations from “Ecofeminism”, “New Materialism” and phenomenology, the paper will draw on conceptions of materiality which enables a renewed scrutiny of conceptions of nature as mere ‘Other’. Accordingly, I also want to ask to what extent a materialistic approach closes the gap between language and nature.

Bio.

Michaela Frey works as a research assistant at the University of Basel’s Department of English. She graduated in “English Literature and Culture” and “Comparative Literature” from the University of Munich and University College Cork. She went on to complete her master degree in “European Literatures and Cultures” at the University of Freiburg. Since April 2020, she has been working on a dissertation project on contemporary British nature poetry in times of climate crisis.

 

From the “Storm Cloud” to Vertigo Sea: a Look Back at British Art through the prism of the Anglocene

Charlotte Gould (University Paris Nanterre) & Sophie Mesplède (University of Rennes 2)

Can art historians critically rethink concepts that are fundamental to art history, such as time and scale, in ways that are productive for an intersectional eco-politics? Speaking of the Anthropocene, Timothy Clark remarked in 2015 in Ecocriticism on the Edge that the new era challenges and resists representation on the kind of scales on which politics and art traditionally operate. As a consequence, late twentieth-century art commentary and history have regularly engaged with issues of ecology, responsibility, and representation at the global level, spawning studies that have tended to steer clear of the national. Our recent project, an edited volume entitled British Art and the Environment, Changes, Challenges, and Responses Since the Industrial Revolution asserts that it is possible to summon the national as an alternative scale to the global, especially by being attentive to the country’s idiosyncratic perception of its own position in, and possession of the world. The book looks at how art has been made and commented upon from within the geographical boundaries of the historical heartland of the Anthropocene, or, of its more political designation, the Anglocene.

Born at a time when the British Industrial Revolution had reached a first peak of productivity and efficiency, Ruskin was one of the earliest heralds of an era where his country bore a large responsibility in the process of deterioration of the nature he so loved. It is thus no coincidence that the ecocritical revisiting of art history which Andrew Patrizio urgently calls for in his recent The Ecological Eye has been inaugurated by a crop of exciting studies into Ruskin’s “ecologies”. Ruskin is also the figure casting the longest shadow over this volume with his prescience of the interconnectedness of human and nonhuman agencies and a concern with political and social justice anticipating T.J. Demos’s current emphasis on the need to materialise cross-sectoral aesthetic responses. Moving with characteristic elegance from nature to art and policy, his 1858 lecture on iron, the living metal whose “breath” is able to turn “the whole earth” into a “green and glowing sphere,” announced contemporary New Materialist interrogations into the entanglements – sometimes more lethal than vital – of art, politics, and industrial components, which are today revisited by John Akomfrah’s Vertigo Sea.

Bio.

Charlotte Gould is Professor of British culture and art at Univeristy Paris Nanterre. The focus of her research is contemporary British art, as well as public art commissioning since the 1980s, and environmental art practices. She is the author of Artangel and Financing British Art, which came out with Routledge in 2019. She is a member of SAES, of the Association of Art Historians (AAH), and of The Arts in Society Research Network.

Sophie Mesplède is Senior Lecturer in British art and culture at the University of Rennes 2 where she is a member of the research group ACE. Her research focuses on eighteenth-century British art, in particular the intersections of commercial discourse and artistic production and the representation of the relationships between human and nonhuman animals. She is a member of SAES and of the research network “GIS Sociabilités/Sociability.”

Together they co-edited the 2012 Ashgate volume Marketing Art in Britain: A Cultural History, 1700 to the Present, which was reissued by Routledge as a paperback in 2017. Their book British Art and the Environment. Changes, Challenges, and Responses Since the Industrial Revolution will be out in the Summer.

 

“Quelque chose qui flotte, qui bouge… qui grouille…”: Some Flows of the Formless in Late Anthropocene Fiction

Terry Harpold (University of Florida)

This presentation begins with a partial inventory of waterborne, formless things whose presence is felt with increasing urgency in the Late Anthropocene: hypoxic dead zones; current and weather-disrupting temperature anomalies known colloquially as “blobs;” E. coli-laden rafts and deep-sea clouds of marine mucilage (“sea snot”); phytoplankton, algal, and jellyfish blooms; upwellings of microplastics from deep-sea hotspots or ejected into the atmosphere via wave-wind interactions; great trash vortices; massive oil slicks. And so on. The inventory extends yet more widely and distressingly; I think you catch my drift.

The physical and biological threats of this inventory are among the most alarming symptoms of an ongoing planetary crisis. My goal in this paper is to sketch some operations of formlessness in a literary general ecology of the littoral. (My uses of the terms “formless” and “general ecology” here are influenced by concepts developed by Georges Bataille and Georges Didi-Huberman. “Formless” = not the negation of form, but a processual smearing of the elements of form until it is unstructurable and unspecularizable. “General ecology” = an ecology grounded on principles of expenditure rather than of adaptation and constraint.)

Our anxiety rises when the formless comes to ground or presses on edges that would confine it; these aren’t borders – that’s a geographical, not an imaginative concept – they’re more like bands of slurry, always in insistent motion. Focusing on the ghastly specter of a beach dotted with tens of thousands of tarballs obscures the archaic alterity of the viscous and unmeasured surface as it skirts over the water’s upper limit: the great ungainly blob from which the tarballs are spawned. Focusing on the bathtub ring stain of a red tide on the beach is to look away from the featurelessness of a spreading field that presses inward. The very concept of an inventory of the formless limits: one fixates on cutting up its mass into discrete, countable menaces, foreclosing thus the real source of the anxiety: a generalized, desubjectified flow and pressure, felt indiscriminately.

I discuss examples of this flow and pressure in three works of weird and climate fiction – William Hope Hodgson’s The Boats of the “Glen Carrig” (1907), Jean-Marc Ligny’s Exodes (2012), and Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy (2014). For each of these texts, I show that the formless gives birth to inchoate bodies, human and nonhuman, which insist on their unfixed, indiscriminate matter. I conclude that this aspect of the formless is less a thematized yuck factor than an imaginative operation transgressing and exceeding hierarchy in the Late Anthropocene: a de-anthropomorphic encounter (Bataille: “ma conception est un anthropomorphisme déchiré”) pointing beyond human abjection to unhuman exuberance.

Selected bibliography

Bataille, Georges. La Part maudite. In Œuvres complètes, t. 7, Gallimard 1976, pp. 17–180.

———. “L’Informe.” Documents 7 (December 1929): 382. In Œuvres complètes, t. 1, Gallimard, 1970, p. 217.

Didi-Huberman, Georges. La Ressemblance informe, ou, Le gai savoir visuel selon Georges Bataille. 3e edition, Éditions Macula, 2019.

Hodgson, William Hope. The Collected Fiction of William Hope Hodgson. 5 vols. Night Shade Books, 2017–2019.

Ligny, Jean-Marc. Exodes. Librairie L’Atalante, 2012.

VanderMeer, Jeff. Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation, Authority, Acceptance. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014.

Bio.

Terry Harpold is Associate Professor of English at the University of Florida and Founder and Director of the Imagining Climate Change Initiative (https://imagining-climate.clas.ufl.edu ). His research and teaching interests include environmental humanities, critical plant and animal studies, science fiction and film, image-text studies, and psychoanalysis. He is the author of Ex-foliations: Reading Machines and the Upgrade Path (2008) and co-editor, with Daniel Compère and Volker Dehs, of Collectionner l’Extraordinaire, sonder l’Ailleurs. Essais sur Jules Verne en hommage à Jean-Michel Margot (2015). Recent essays by Harpold have appeared in journals such as Galaxies, Science Fiction Studies, and Verniana; and in edited collections such as Los viajes extraordinarios de Jules Verne (2018), The Cambridge History of Science Fiction (2019), and EcoComix: Essays on the Environment in Comics and Graphic Novels (2020). He is currently working on two long-form projects, Des leçons d’abîme, on image-text relays in Jules Verne’s illustrated fiction, and Beware the Blob!, on the abject and the formless in contemporary climate fiction and film.

 

Savoir-faire du langage et du texte. Pragmatisme et critique littéraires à l’aune des humanités environnementales

Jonathan Hope (Université du Québec à Montréal)

Un enjeu qui s’est imposé en critique et théorie littéraires (surtout française) au 20e siècle concerne l’autonomisation et intransivité de la littérature. Passée par un moment de disciplinarisation et d’institutionnalisation, créant son propre barème de légitimité, l’œuvre littéraire renvoyait, en dernier recours, à elle-même. Les travaux de Nathalie Sarraute ou de Roland Barthes viennent spontanément à l’esprit sur cette question. Nous savons cependant que la réaction à ce vent d’autonomisation et d’intransitivité n’a pas tardé à se faire sentir. Nous pourrions tracer une ligne reliant les travaux sur l’engagement de l’écrivain, le retour au réel, et le pragmatisme littéraire (Hamel, Viart et Vercier, Citton).

Se déployant en grande partie à l’extérieur de ces débats et discussions, le nature writing n’est pourtant pas en reste pour penser le rapport de la littérature et du monde. Consacré à l’écriture et aux textes qui ont la nature comme objet (Bass, Barnhill, Marshall & Simpson), le nature writing, ou la littérature environnementale, adopte une disposition moins soupçonneuse à l’égard de la référentialité. Par ailleurs, des travaux plus récents, où la littérature environnementale se mêle avec des considérations des plus larges humanités environnementales (Posthumus), proposent des manières novatrices de créer (avec) des textes et (avec) du langage. De ce fait même, il semble que les littératures et humanités environnementales occupent une place de choix pour l’advenue d’une critique littéraire résolument pragmatiste.

Cette communication tissera des réflexions de trois ordres : une présentation des enjeux théoriques, une étude de cas, et l’établissement des bases pour un projet de recherche.

Références

David Barnhill. 2010. « Surveying the landscape. A new approach to nature writing ». Interdisciplinary studies in literature and environment (17.2).

Roland Barthes. 1966. « Introduction à l’analyse structurale des récits ». Communications (8).

Rick Bass (et coll.) 1992. « The rise of nature writing. America’s next great genre? » Mānoa (4.2).

Yves Citton. 2013. Pour une interprétation littéraire des controverses scientifiques. Éditions Quæ.

Jean-François Hamel. 2015. « Émanciper la lecture. Formes de vie et gestes critiques d’après Marielle Macé et Yves Citton ». Tangence (107).

Ian Marshall et Megan Simpson. 2009. « Introduction. Ecopoetics and the eco-narrative ». Interdisciplinary literary studies (10.2).

Stephanie Posthumus. 2019. « État présent. Is écocritique still possible? » French studies (73.4).

Nathalie Sarraute. 1956. L’ère du soupçon. Essais sur le roman. Gallimard.

Dominique Viart et Bruno Vercier. 2005. La littérature française au présent. Bordas.

 

“Merry Crisis and a Happy New Fear:” An Ecopoethical Reading of Five Stories of Animal Retribution

Xavier Lachazette (Le Mans Université)

As Lawrence Buell argued in 1995, the master metaphor of apocalypse is the most powerful tool that critics of anthropocentrism can wield in their urge to convince the world of the need to rise to the challenge of climate change. “Of no other dimension of contemporary environmentalism,” he explained, “can it be so unequivocally said that the role of the imagination is central to the project; for the rhetoric of apocalypticism implies that the fate of the world hinges on the arousal of the imagination to a sense of crisis.” A quarter of a century later, though, it seems that environmental progress and the raising of people’s awareness are still slow in coming, when they are not met with outright evidence of climate skepticism or denial. Young activists demonstrating for climate action are thus left to vent their frustration and concern by chanting messages like “Merry Crisis and a Happy New Fear,” which ironize about the world handed down to them by adults.

In order to help with the “arousal of the imagination to a sense of crisis,” I propose to focus on five stories published between 1917 and 1952, in which as many writers have used the topos of animal retribution (mostly birds) to come to terms with critical moments in their own personal lives (moral crises), or in the life of nations (World Wars I and II), or in that of their fictional characters. I will set out to show that the apocalyptic elements in those stories underline the complex relationship that binds human to nonhuman animals, a guilt-ridden rapport with the environment cropping up metaphorically in stories that offer visions of “a tampered-with nature recoiling against humankind in a kind of return of the repressed,” though they are not necessarily meant to put forward an ecocentric point of view. My point will therefore be that the current environmental emergency enables us to reread those works of fiction in a different light, both uncovering new meaning and helping us to call readers to action through arresting revenge-of-nature stories.

The five stories I will study are Arthur Machen’s “The Terror: A Mystery” (Duckworth, 1917), Melville Davisson “Post’s The Revolt of the Birds” (Appleton, 1927); Philip Macdonald’s “Our Feathered Friends” (Cynthia Asquith, ed., When Churchyards Yawn, Hutchinson, 1931), Frank Baker’s “The Birds” (Davies, 1936) and Daphne Du Maurier’s “The Birds” (The Apple Tree, a short novel and several long stories, Gollancz, 1952).

Bio.

A member of my University’s research group (the Labo 3LAM) and an associate member of the University of Angers’ CIRPaLL (which focuses on short forms), I teach 19th- and 20th-century British literature at Le Mans University. I am editing the papers read at the first Daphne Du Maurier Conference, which I convened in Le Mans in June 2019. I have published articles on the representation of nature in Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre and The Origin of Species. An article I wrote for an upcoming number of E-rea on “Understanding, Acknowledging, Representing Environmental Emergency” is currently being peer-reviewed.

 

(Wo)man at war : fighting for the environment

Catherine Lanone (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle)

This paper discussing the mixture of genres as an attempt to find a suitable voice to engage with environmental destruction, in three geo-political contexts. Benedikt Erlingsson’2008 film Woman at War revisits the cinematic genre of the lone warrior, blending it with fantasy and humour to challenge electrical exploitation and uses the trope of the twin to call for the self-reinvention of the West. In India, Booker-Prize winner Arundhati Roy shunned global lionization to switch to essay writing to struggle against the Narmada River Project and the construction of the Sardar Sarova Dam, leading to vast displacement and the loss of the river as a source of sustainability. Bitterly resiting Dam/age, Roy has ceaselessly challenged appropriation and the collapse of democracy, tracing an ongoing pattern leading to the recent COVID disaster. Her fiction extends the biopolitical concern with the environment by dramatizing the bull-dozing of people in different contexts. In Tasmania, Booker-Prize winner Richard Flanagan has also extensively defended the Franklin river, joining demonstrations, writing in newspapers, fictionalizing his own experience as a river guide, co-editing a book of essays, The Rest of the World is Watching: Tasmania and the Greens. Water meets fire as Flanagan sought to oppose the burning of ancestral Tasmanian forests (including the use of Napalm) to build a plant. His ardent newspaper articles engage with these manifold ways of committing “climate suicide.”

 

Cartographie la catastrophe, politiser le paysage. Muriel Rukeyser, Le Livre des morts

Elvina Le Poul (Université Paris VIII)

La poétesse américaine Muriel Rukeyser a écrit Le livre des morts en réponse à la catastrophe écologique et industrielle de Gauley Bridge qui a frappé la Virginie-Occidentale (États-Unis) entre 1930 et 1936. Dans le contexte de la Grande dépression, une rivière est détournée pour les besoins d’un projet hydro-électrique et extractiviste. Le temps que court le chantier, des centaines de travailleurs migrants pauvres perdent la vie discrètement, en inhalant les poussières de silice qui saturent l’air du tunnel-mine qu’ils creusent. Paru en 1937, Le livre des morts prend en charge le désastre, non pas pour le documenter ni alerter à son sujet, mais plutôt pour interroger une situation géologique particulière, marquée par une violence lente qui se propage des sols aux corps. Composés à partir d’un montage de documents (extraits de dépositions, témoignages, entretiens, coupures de presse) auxquels sont tissés des vers élégiaques, les poèmes mettent au travail le bruissement de voix des survivants, veuves, médecins, travailleuses sociales, tout en offrant une surface d’impression au paysage remodelé par le chantier.

Une pensée de la catastrophe domine aujourd’hui les imaginaires, représentant celle-ci comme un événement de rupture à venir (tel un « rideau qui tombe sur la scène » écrit la philosophe Isabelle Stengers), qui requiert une action pour le contrer. Le livre des morts démobilise cette représentation : il s’offre comme un dispositif d’attention, qui n’invite pas à lever la tête vers le ciel pour appréhender le cataclysme, tel l’Anthropos protagoniste de l’Anthropocène, mais à sonder délicatement le sol, ce que le paysage recouvre. Muriel Rukeyser fait émerger la montagne creusée, les champs de maïs-cimetières, la rivière détournée et son devenir-flux comme des problèmes poétiques.

L’anthropologue Elizabeth Povinelli ne pense pas l’Anthropocène comme un événement météorologique et géologique mais comme un ensemble de perturbations politiques et conceptuelles qui réorganisent les perceptions. Ainsi Muriel Rukeyser, en éprouvant la catastrophe industrielle de Gauley Bridge comme une crise, admet qu’elle requiert qu’on invente pour elle d’autres modes d’attention. Elle propose des gestes à l’égard des vivants comme de l’inerte que la catastrophe affecte, pour savoir aussi hériter de celle-ci.

Bio.

Elvina Le Poul est doctorante en Littérature comparée à l’Université Paris VIII (Fablitt/LHE). S’intéressant tout particulièrement aux croisements entre les questionnements écologiques et littéraires, elle prépare une thèse sur la politique des eaux vives dans la littérature contemporaine sous la direction de Lionel Ruffel. Elle est membre du comité de rédaction de la revue Jef Klak et écrit pour des revues indépendantes (Panthère Première, Z).

 

Meaning-making, art and fiction in times of global uncertainty

Séverine Letalleur-Sommer (University of Paris-Nanterre)

The word “crisis” refers to “The turning point of a disease when an important change takes place, indicating either recovery or death”.  With climate change and natural resources quickly declining, Earth scientists are gauging the full impact of the Anthropocene, many wondering if we have already engaged on an irreversible path – due to various positive feedback loops and tipping points. Yet, because of the force of inertia that characterises the climate system, we have few means of realizing the extent of the impending disaster. Lately though, due to the Covid pandemic, people have had a slight foretaste of the frailty of our globalised system; hence a climate crisis coupled with an ontological crisis, and a sense of powerlessness.

The aim of this talk is to examine how art and fiction can re-inject meaning in a world verging on ecological disaster by staging the local consequences of climate change or systemic collapse in works focusing on small-scale individual situations; situations paradoxically construed as more real than abstract scientific forecasts  for “story-telling”  or powerful images can help better comprehend the issues at stake by showing ordinary people in extra-ordinary positions . Also, because art often involves the inventive cross circulation of ideas and sensory modalities, it may trigger extra felt meaning via affects, while increasing awareness in the reader-spectator by reinforcing the aesthetic experience. In this respect, literary narratives and art pieces could help brace the population for future challenges and deal with the paradox of the “possible and the real”, the struggle to fathom the inconceivable offering a fresh perspective on our relationship to Nature. To illustrate my point, I will take inspiration from the works of Canadian poet Alice Major, Welcome to the Anthropocene, and art pieces by Mel Chin, notably : Revival Field (1991).

Bio.

Séverine Letalleur-Sommer is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Paris-Nanterre. She is a member of the research centre CREA EA 370 specialized in English studies (Centre de Recherches Anglophones) and is currently working in the field of enactive linguistics, semiotics and neuro-esthetics, cross-examining the construction and conveying of meaning via linguistic and visual signs. She has written several articles dealing mainly with the way visual art and literature interact and, beyond their immediate subject, tend to mirror the workings of an “embodied mind” (in reference to Varela, Rosch and Thompson’s groundbreaking essay The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience, 1993). Those include writings on synaesthesia and perception (Interfaces 36, 2015), on meaning construction in a literary visual context (Études de Stylistique Anglaise 3 & 5, 2013), on colour perception and enactivism (Interfaces 33, 2013) and on the question of untimely art in F. Bacon’s paintings (Polysèmes 17, 2017). Her most recent paper deals with artists’ hyperacuity and “hyper-ability” to convey what most cannot or do not see, by analysing Milton’s blindness and the properties of enactive inner vision in Paradise Lost.

 

Rewriting the Anthropocene Imaginative Crisis Through the Sublime: A Rhetorical and Narratological Analysis of Atomic Power in Contemporary U.S. Literature

David Lombard (University of Liège / University of Leuven)

Traditional theories of the natural sublime still suggest a fraught and distant experience of overpowering natural landscapes and thus seem incompatible with the Anthropocene aesthetic and imaginative crises, which compel us to question the nature/culture divide. The nuclear or atomic sublime, for its part, has built on the natural sublime’s “terrible beauty” to aestheticize phenomena which leave the human subject in a state of “petrified awe” (Shukin 2020) and devoid of any sense of responsibility (Ferguson 1984; Wilson 1989; Hales 1991). This presentation will turn to the genre of the creative memoir or “eco-memoir” (Lynch 2020) as a resourceful site for thinking about the material sublime and new materialist alternatives to the nuclear sublime. More specifically, by means of a rhetorical and narratological analysis of atomic culture in Lindsey A. Freeman’s The Atom Bomb in Me (2019), this paper will evaluate the affordances and limits of using the nuclear sublime to figure the “invisible” and yet global and still-pervasive issue or “hyperobject” (Morton 2010; 2013) of nuclear danger. This presentation will also explore how Freeman’s interests in new materialist trends and concepts such as “vibrant matter” (Bennett 2010) and “trans-corporeality” (Alaimo 2010), which view humans and nonhumans as constantly “intermeshed” (Alaimo 2010, 2), in the “lower” sense of touch, and in other aesthetic categories such as the gothic and the weird (Fisher 2016), help her imaginatively rewrite our understanding of the emotional and affective dimensions of the nuclear sublime and sensorium. Overall, through its study of one of the ramifications of the current environmental crisis (atomic power) in Freeman’s memoir, this paper will redefine the nuclear sublime as a beguiling and dangerous strategy to represent the intricacies of our relationship with humans, nonhumans and technology in the Anthropocene.

Bio.

David Lombard is a research fellow at the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (F.R.S.-FNRS) and a PhD candidate in literary studies at the ULiège and KU Leuven (joint degree), where he is a researcher at the Interdisciplinary Center for Applied Poetics (CIPA), Intersections, and the English Literature Research Group. His main fields of interests are American (literary) studies, environmental humanities, narrative theory and rhetorical theory. He is the author of the book Techno-Thoreau: Aesthetics, Ecology and the Capitalocene (2019), which served as an extended pilot study for his broader PhD project on the rhetorics and narratologies of the contemporary literary sublime in Anthropocene non/fiction (2020-2024). Lastly, David is associate editor of the U.S. studies academic association and research blog PopMeC, research fellow at the general-audience center in political ecology Etopia, and member of BASCE’s events committee.

Works Cited

Alaimo, Stacy. 2010. Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Bennett, Jane. 2010. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Durham: Duke University Press.

Ferguson, Frances. 1984. “The Nuclear Sublime.” Diacritics 14 (2): 4. https://doi.org/10.2307/464754.

Fisher, Mark. 2016. The Weird and the Eerie. Third edition. London: Repeater Books.

Hales, Peter B. 1991. “The Atomic Sublime.” American Studies 32 (1): 5–31.

Lynch, Tom. 2020. “Eco-Memoir, Belonging, and the Ecopoetics of Settler Colonial Enchantment.” In Dwellings of Enchantment: Writing and Reenchanting the Earth, edited by Bénédicte Meillon, 119–29. Lanham: Lexington Books.

Morton, Timothy. 2010. The Ecological Thought. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

———. 2013. Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World. Posthumanities 27. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Shukin, Nicole. 2020. “The Biocapital of Living–and the Art of Dying–After Fukushima.” Postmodern Culture: Journal of Interdisciplinary Thought on Contemporary Cultures 26 (2). http://www.pomoculture.org/2020/07/09/the-biocapital-of-living-and-the-art-of-dying-after-fukushima/.

Wilson, Rob. 1989. “Towards the Nuclear Sublime: Representations of Technological Vastness in Postmodern Poetry.” Prospects 14 (October): 407–39. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0361233300005809.

 

William Golding, Gaia, and the Crisis Ecology of Lord of the Flies (1954)

Theo Mantion (Harvard University)

It is now well-known that James Lovelock’s theory of the Earth-system was given the name “Gaia” by his friend and novelist William Golding. Turning away from the modern ecology of the Robinsonade, Golding’s first novel Lord of the Flies is a cruel aestheticization of the world as mysterious and withdrawn, where subject and milieu are reconfigured in light of mid-20th-century ecological anxiety. I want to argue that Golding’s text is not only about the crisis of the novel as literary form, but also a manifestation of crisis in ecological thinking in the aftermath of WW2, the atom bomb, and decolonization. My intervention will thus be at the crossroads of literature, theory, while gesturing towards a genealogy of Gaian aesthetics.

Moving beyond postcolonial readings of the novel which have rightly focused on its problematic rhetoric (Hawlin), I will delve into the colonial anxiety of what Achille Mbembe calls inimitié, and place the deadly illusion of colonial ecology at its center. In the British consciousness of the time, the idea of the man-colonizer assigning meaning and structure to his milieu is profoundly shattered: the eventuality that the Empire escape from the colonizer’s hands is behind a form of anxiety that fully participates in the crisis ecology of the novel. In the aftermath of WW2 and the atom bomb, the specter of self-annihilation haunts the text. Following Frédéric Regard in his pioneering study of Golding, I will argue that the tragedy of the novel dwells in its inability to escape the “agrilogistic” (Morton) circle—a prefiguration of Latour’s analysis of Gaian feedback loops and the distribution of agency in the Anthropocene. Eventually, the novel manifests a cruel redistribution of agency that includes the island itself and other nonhuman actors. Cruelty however does not display deeper, metaphysical truths, but rather creates “appels d’air autour de ces idées” (Artaud). As Golding puts it in “Gaia Lives, OK?,” the world, in its mysterious distribution of agency and inwardness, escapes from the stasis of novelistic, literalist emplotment.

The ecology of the novel (its relative place in the canon of the British novel and the Robinsonade) is in crisis as much as real-world ecology. By charting the ethics and aesthetics of the novel in the Anthropocene, Lord of the Flies plays an important role in the genealogy of contemporary ecocriticism.

Bio.

Theo Mantion is a PhD student in French and Comparative Literature at Harvard University. His research interests cover 20th- and 21st-century French and English literatures. He is currently working on an article project about Monique Wittig’s geopoetics. Other interests include queer thought, ecocriticism, the materiality of writing and the politics of aesthetics.

 

Crises and feedback loops

Alessia Pannesse (University of Oxford)

The Covid-19 sanitary crisis has brought about a sudden drastic reduction in global production, mobility, and transportation, resulting in decreased emissions and related improvement in environmental health. At the same time, the forced confinement due to the pandemic is sometimes framed as a condition from which to reassess modern life’s habits and values, and build upon such reassessment in order to reimagine a more sustainable and equitable future. In other words, a tension exists between two crises – one in human health, one in the ‘health’ of the natural environment (of which humanity is of course part) – that seem to stand in mutual opposition. My paper will offer a reflection on the concept of crisis through a dual perspective that brings into dialogue literature and physiology. I will build my reflection upon the notion of feedback loop, which I will apply as analytical category that pertains to both environmental and bodily self-regulatory mechanisms.

The notion of feedback loop as pertaining to the bodily self-regulatory mechanism is rooted in nineteenth-century advances in physiology, in particular in the discovery and characterisation of the autonomic nervous system, an adaptive physiological mechanism that carries out life- sustaining functions entirely automatically. The discovery led to growing awareness of the central role of automaticity in human survival, as reflected in French physiologist Claude Bernard’s observation that, despite appearing ‘free and independent’, humans largely rely on automatic processes for their survival, just like their evolutionarily more ancient precursors. Further emphasising Bernard’s idea, at the turn of the century American philosopher and psychologist William James estimated that ‘nine hundred and ninety-nine thousandths of [human] activity is purely automatic’. These and similar observations suggested that, whilst intuitively appearing defined by individual agency and free deliberate choice, humans are, to a large extent, dependent upon evolutionarily ancient automatic mechanisms. Such mechanisms governing human self- regulation are comparable to the mechanisms that govern planetary, environmental, self-regulation: both rely upon automatic feedback loops that maintain long-term balance by constantly absorbing and adapting to physical/chemical disturbance before it becomes critical.

Drawing on examples from nineteenth-century British scientific and literary texts, I will examine the relationship of the notion of crisis understood in the physiological sense with that of crisis understood in ecological sense, and both with ‘crisis’ as literary idea. I will suggest that different approaches to crisis subtend different assumptions about the characteristics of the underlying system, depending on whether this is conceptualised as negative-feedback loop, or as positive-feedback loop. Through this dual-model approach, my paper will offer a critical reevaluation of the notion of crisis as a conceptual category often assumed in its negative connotation, in light of its (also) analytical and literary potential.

Bio.

I am a doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Oxford, where I previously studied literature and arts. My work lies at disciplinary crossroads, as I also trained in law (University of Rome), veterinary medicine (University of Perugia; University of Cambridge) and neurobiology (Columbia University). I have held fellowships at Institutes for Advanced Studies in New York (Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America), Paris (Institut d’études avancées), Delmenhorst (Hanse- Wissenschaftskolleg), London (University College London – Institute of Advanced Studies), and Amsterdam (Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies).

 

L’élégie écologique comme genre littéraire écopoétique : quelques éléments de théorisation à partir de l’Almanach d’un comté des sables

Clarisse Pinchon (Université de Picardie Jules Verne)

L’Almanach d’un comté des sables d’Aldo Leopold comporte deux sections dont la tonalité élégiaque est évidente. L’une, intitulée « Élégie des marais » (‘Marshland Elegy’), déplore la perte prévisible d’un milieu, le marais ; l’autre, « Sur un monument au Pigeon » (‘On a monument to the Pigeon’), la disparition effective d’une espèce, le pigeon migrateur. L’objectif de la communication serait de proposer des éléments de théorisation de l’élégie écologique à partir d’une approche de ces textes à la lumière des analyses développées par Timothy Morton quant au caractère paradoxal du concept-même d’un tel genre littéraire.

On commencerait par rappeler deux de ces paradoxes qui rendent problématiques la notion d’élégie écologique. Elle est d’abord rendue paradoxale par son objet : alors que l’élégie traditionnelle requiert la nature comme arrière-fond et caisse de résonance de la plainte, l’élégie écologique consiste en une déploration de la perte de la nature elle-même. Le deuxième de ces paradoxes est relatif à la temporalité de l’élégie écologique : la plainte qui y est exprimée porte sur une perte seulement à venir, non encore survenue, ce qui est paradoxal.

On montrerait d’une part que l’objet de la plainte dans l’élégie écologique modifie la façon dont cette plainte est exprimée. Ces modifications sont mineures dans le cas de l’élégie consacrée au pigeon migrateur, car les procédés élégiaques traditionnels conviennent bien à la déploration de la disparition d’une seule espèce : les autres composantes de l’écosystème subsistent et peuvent donc remplir leur rôle de décor et de caisse de résonance de la plainte. Des mutations plus conséquentes sont à l’œuvre dans l’« élégie des marais ». En effet, c’est la disparition de tout un milieu qui est déplorée, si bien que rien de subsistant ne peut faire écho à la plainte. Celle-ci est donc exprimée différemment, au moyen d’un recours à l’imaginaire de l’apocalypse ainsi qu’à celui du sens étymologique de l’élégie comme chant qui accompagne un sacrifice.

On établirait d’autre part que le paradoxe lié à la temporalité de l’élégie écologique trouve sa résolution dans la visée pratique et éthique qu’on peut lui prêter. Si l’élégie écologique peut porter sur une perte encore à venir, c’est qu’elle a une fonction active de prophétie conjuratrice : il s’agit de déplorer la perte afin de mieux la prévenir, comme une prédiction dont le lecteur voudra empêcher la réalisation. On peut attribuer un tel rôle à l’élégie écologique même lorsqu’elle porte sur une perte passée : elle viserait à faire sentir l’irréversibilité de la perte afin d’encourager à préserver ce qui peut l’être encore. Telle est l’hypothèse que l’on peut tirer du fait qu’Aldo Leopold, souligne, dans sa déploration de l’extinction du pigeon migrateur, que son texte n’a pas le pouvoir de l’immortaliser, s’inscrivant en faux contre le topos de l’immortalité conférée par la littérature.

 Bibliographie

Aldo LEOPOLD, A Sand County Almanac & Other Writings on Ecology and Conservation, New York, New York Library of America, 2013 (1ère éd. 1947)

Aldo LEOPOLD, Almanach d’un comté des sables, trad. fr. Anna GIBSON, Paris, Flammarion, 2017

Timothy MORTON, ‘The Dark Ecology of Elegy’, in Karen A. WEISMAN (dir.), The Oxford

Handbook of the Elegy, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010

Bio.

Agrégée de philosophie et ancienne élève de l’École Normale Supérieure de Paris, je suis actuellement doctorante en philosophie à l’Université de Picardie Jules Verne. Je travaille sur la notion de conscience écologique sous la direction de Jean-Luc Guichet.

 

Climate Crisis and Nostalgia in the 21st-Century American Culture

Alicja Relidzyńska (University of Warsaw)

Significant changes to the biosphere, caused by the climate change, have in the past several decades been eventually recognized as a global crisis (Zylinska). Thus, the acknowledgment of the Anthropocene has prompted social and cultural consequences (Autin; Jagodzinski). While opinions differ on when exactly the Anthropocene started (Steffen et al.), the gravity of the problem has become apparent to the general public only recently, ultimately obliterating the nature/culture division (Latour; Chakrabarty), and altering the character of myths, icons, and key motifs of the American culture.

The example of an Anthropocene-induced reinterpretation and reproduction of a well-known, previously established notion is the emergence of the new type of nostalgia. The “novel nostalgia,” unlike its previous and other embodiments, is aware of the irreversibility of time and does not entail yearning for the restoration of the previous times. Instead, it consists in playing with past aesthetics in a more critically articulate manner, which is associated with the Anthropocene and realization of its hazards. Thus, the paper aims to examine the intersection of the new type of nostalgia and the Anthropocene as a cultural category. The self-aware, paradoxical form of the discussed sentiment allows to depict previous decades in a skillful, at times bitter, way, as it “anesthetizes” the contemporary sceneries (Mirzoeff) and demythologizes the past with a spectrum of aestheticizing methods to display the loss of both nature itself and the pre-Anthropocene perception (Žižek).

The study will cover selected contemporary American photography (Troy Paiva’s Lost America [2013], and Hayley Eichenbaum’s Mother Road [2017]), David Guetta and Sia’s “Let’s Love” (2020) music video, and multimedia vaporwave art. The analyzed texts present abandoned elements of capitalist infrastructure and play with the representation of previous decades, challenging the idea of the grandeur of the past, which is traditionally associated with the notion of nostalgia. The techniques used in the discussed materials—synthetic colors, digital manipulation, and mindful, meticulous emulation of past imagery—allow to artfully remodel the feeling of nostalgia, evoking “a continual tension between longing and disavowal” (Dove-Viebahn).

Bio.

Alicja Relidzyńska, MA, is a PhD candidate and a teaching associate at the American Studies Center of the University of Warsaw. Currently, she teaches BA-level courses and works on her dissertation about the new form of nostalgia in the Anthropocene. Her research interests include visual studies with an emphasis on photography, new media, and popular culture, as well as cultural responses to social and environmental changes.

 

Veiller en crise : Garden Time / Un temps au jardin (2016) de W.S. Merwin

Cécile Roudeau (Université de Paris) & Thomas Dutoit (Université de Lille / CNRS)

« Que peut faire la poésie, contre le saccage en cours ? » La question que lance Pierre Vinclair dans Agir non agir. Eléments pour une poésie de la résistance écologique (2020), résonne avec urgence, mais aussi déjà comme un post-scriptum, quand ce qu’il y a « en cours » n’est que la trace d’une crise climatique et anthropocenique dont les débuts défient jusqu’au discours de la science. Et si la poésie n’était pas tant une réponse à la crise que ce qu’il advient à la représentation quand le « sentiment » de crise vient en déjouer la temporalité même, le drame de l’acmé, l’illusion du tournant ? « If a feeling of crisis goes on long enough, I suppose, one of two things happens, » écrit le poète W.S. Merwin en 1961, « either a person or a society becomes numbed or they get interested in poetry. » Reliant crise et critique, il poursuit : « The great periods when people were interested in poetry, though not necessarily the great periods for writing it, were times when something critical was, at least, in the wind. » L’imprésentable de l’extinction « en cours », conséquence d’un dérèglement climatique global, nous paralyse ou nous rend poètes. Le poème, pourtant, ne fera pas des miracles (« A poem is not going to be the most effective way of changing something »); il ne rémédiera pas à la « stupidité » des hommes ; l’injonction qu’est la poésie est même peut-être de ne pas agir, en tout cas, de ne pas agir contre, mais d’attester (l’émerveillement) l’interrelation qu’est le monde. « The feeling of awe—something that we seem to be losing—is essential for survival. »

Sans nous arrêter sur ses poèmes écrits à vif entre 1952 et 2014 au sujet de la catastrophe écologique, nous lirons Garden Time comme le point culminant d’un parcours qui va de la crise au partage et commence par l’abandon de la ponctuation. Si chez René Char, « la poésie est une action qui a lieu dans la langue », chez Merwin, la lenteur répond à l’urgence, la déprise à la crise et à la prise du/par le concept. Quand le couperet de la ponctuation, la hache de la syntaxe, cèdent la place à la coulée du vers, au murmure assonantique de la langue, le sens devient contingent à l’instant du partage – lecture, traduction. En rejetant les signes diacritiques, le poème défie le sens, compris comme discrimination entre – substances, espèces, idéologies –, pour privilégier un partage qui est aussi un faire, un agir sans agon. Le poème, dès lors, est contingent à la prise de parole singulière de celui ou celle qui le lit. Rejetant la prise, et l’emprise, de la rationalité naturaliste, Garden Time tente, par son art de la déprise (de vers), d’habiter poétiquement un monde, de veiller ce monde qui traverse les crises du climat et de la critique – « even if the whole world is burning ».

Bio.

Thomas Dutoit est professeur de littérature anglaise à l’Université de Lille, en délégation au CNRS, LARCA UMR8225 (2020-2021). Sa recherche porte sur les textes littéraires du XVIIIe siècle jusqu’à nos jours (le gothique, la poésie romantique, littérature et environnement, littérature et philosophie, déconstruction). Il écrit un ouvrage dont le titre, provisoire, est Reading Worlds, Geo-writing. Il a publié récemment « & co-graphy » dans le numéro spécial  « Ext: Writing Extinction » de l’Oxford Literary Review (41.1.2019)

Cécile Roudeau est professeur de littérature américaine à l’Université de Paris, et directrice du LARCA UMR 8225. Sa recherche porte sur la littérature du XIXe siècle, littérature et politique, littérature et environnement. Après un premier ouvrage sur La Nouvelle-Angleterre : Politique d’une écriture. Récits, genre, lieu (PUPS, 2012), elle a travaillé sur les fictions d’un en-commun dans le long XIXe siècle américain. Elle écrit un livre dont le titre, provisoire, est Beyond Stateless Literature: Practices of Democratic Power in Nineteenth-Century US Literature.  Au LARCA, elle a co-fondé la traverse « Humanités Environnementales ». Avec Thomas Dutoit, elle a traduit Garden Time de W. S. Merwin (à paraître aux éditions Fanlac, 2021).

 

Animal Extinction and American Poetics

Joshua Schuster (Western University)

Extinction is the end of a species and the end of address, a special kind of silence for which there is no longer the possibility of return to living speech. This essay examines how American poets in recent decades have responded to the rising rates of extinction in the Anthropocene. I first attend to the well-discussed poem by W. S. Merwin, “For a Coming Extinction,” written in the mid-1960s. This work has garnered significant attention for its early consciousness towards extinction, however the ecocritic Ursula Heise finds the poem to be too narrowly committed to an elegiac and dispiriting mode of address. On further reflection, the poem offers an unusual visionary type of voice that includes itself in its assessment of destruction – a voice that readers are likely meant to refuse. Next I turn to recent poems by Eleni Sikleianos, who has written a suite of descriptive poems for extinct animals in Make Yourself Happy (2017). I examine the different modes of address that Sikleianos associates with distinct lost animals. Some poems (such as to the Tasmanian tiger and Chile Darwin’s frog) provide minimal description and hesitate to offer anything more than a quiet voice. Other poems such as to the Passenger pigeon recreate aspects of the lived experience of the animal in poetics. Finally I turn to a brief reflection on the recent poetry of Ed Roberson, who incorporates an urban African-American poetics tradition with a meditative reflection on “the Earth before the end of the world.” Roberson’s poems search for a new ethics of elegy for the disappearing lifeworlds. He develops a poetics that registers how such loss of life affects both memory and anticipation that range from the personal to the planetary.

Bio.

Joshua Schuster is associate professor of English at Western University. He is the author of The Ecology of Modernism: American Environments and Avant-Garde Poetics (University of Alabama Press, 2015). Forthcoming work includes the book, co-written with Derek Woods, Three Critiques of Existential Risk (University of Minnesota Press, 2021). Recent essays have been published in Resilience, Cultural Studies Review, Minnesota Review, and Parrhesia. He is on sabbatical for 2021-2022 and living in Paris during the year.

 

Pour en finir avec l’idée de crise : l’écocritique comme pensée et pratique des alliances

Julie Sermon (Université Lyon 2)

De toutes les théories qui ont pu marquer la pensée de la littérature et des arts du XIXe siècle à aujourd’hui, l’écocritique est sans doute celle qui a été le plus directement frappée au sceau de la crise. Conçue, dès l’invention du terme par William Rueckert en 1978, comme une façon d’aborder les œuvres qui soit en phase avec les défis que soulève « le présent et le futur du monde dans lequel nous vivons tous »  ; institutionnalisée avec la fondation de ASLE (Association for the Study of Litterature and Environment), créée l’année même du Sommet de la Terre de Rio (1992) ; connaissant une vogue croissante depuis les années 2000, au cours desquelles le terme d’anthropocène a été popularisé – l’expansion du champ écocritique concorde avec celle de la conscience, toujours plus aiguë et pressante, que les dérèglements écosystémiques menacent la vie sur Terre et qu’il importe, partant, de développer des outils, des méthodes, des concepts, à même de saisir et de réfléchir ces enjeux, et peut-être d’en infléchir le cours.

En repartant des perspectives que trace, mais aussi des doutes que formule Rueckert dans son article fondateur, et en les faisant dialoguer avec tout un ensemble de travaux produits dans le champ écocritique anglophone du milieu des années 1990 à aujourd’hui, ma communication s’attachera :

– à la façon dont l’écocritique problématise les liens entre crises écologiques et crise « des concepts, des affects et des percepts » nous reliant au tissu biotique et abiotique de la planète ;

– aux méthodes et aux critères d’analyse auxquels les écocritiques recourent, souvent en puisant dans d’autres champs disciplinaires ou critiques (écologie scientifique, écologie politique, philosophie, studies…) ;

Par-delà le sentiment de ressassement qui peut parfois se dégager à la lecture de ces travaux (qui reviennent sur les mêmes motifs, insistent sur les mêmes nécessités, préconisent les mêmes changements), je défendrai in fine l’idée que si l’écocritique a eu et continue d’avoir une vertu heuristique, c’est parce qu’elle se définit comme une pensée et une pratique des alliances, tant épistémologiques qu’ontologiques – seule façon d’en finir avec l’idée de crise (laquelle nous enferme dans un horizon négatif, tout en étant sous-tendue par l’idée d’un retour à la normale) et de nous situer politiquement, éthiquement et esthétiquement en « terrestres » .

Bio.

Julie Sermon est professeure en histoire et esthétique du théâtre contemporain (Université Lyon 2), co-directrice du laboratoire Passages Arts & Littératures (XX-XXI), au sein duquel elle anime l’axe « Humanités environnementales ». Depuis 2017, elle consacre l’essentiel de ses activités d’enseignement et de recherche aux relations, à double sens, qui peuvent se nouer entre les arts de la scène et l’écologie – réflexions dont elle propose un premier état des lieux dans Morts ou vifs. Contribution à une écologie sensible, théorique et pratique des arts vivants (édition B42, juin 2021).

 

‘Dreaming themselves, they are as they wish’: crisis in Maggie Gee’s ekphrastic landscapes

Maxim Shadurski (Siedlce University, Poland)

Maggie Gee’s apocalyptic novels feature planetary crises which frequently result from anthropogenically induced factors, be it an arms race or a climate emergency. In their own peculiar ways, The Burning Book (1983), The Ice People (1998), and The Flood (2004) conjoin the representation of crisis with landscape. Crisis manifests itself as a process, a succession of interlinked catastrophes that build up to a boundary event. Said event brings forth a condition of simultaneity, which, in turn, finds its most comprehensive summation in the figure of landscape.

This paper contends that ekphrastic landscapes sustain Gee’s representation of crisis: not only do her novels transmediate photographs, drawings, and known paintings, but they also set up their own visually and allusively textured descriptions. In Gee’s novels, such direct and provisional ekphrastic landscapes fulfil several chronotopically interrelated functions. On the narrative level, they prolapse into the future, foreshadowing both the end and the time thereafter, when crisis has allegedly come to pass. On the intertextual level, they enfold earlier cultural framings of crisis and salvation, such as include medieval visions, the modernist wasteland, and Gee’s own recycled characters and tropes. On the receptive level, the reader becomes positively interpellated as both a participant in ongoing crises and an agent in their tentative resolution. Taken together, narrative prolepsis, intertextual allusion, and receptive self-reflexivity characterize Gee’s ekphrastic landscapes and constitute the Anthropocene chronotope of her apocalyptic novels. Additionally, this form of time and space is broadly specific to the representation of crisis in contemporary culture.

Focusing predominantly, but not exclusively, on The Flood, the paper examines how Gee’s novel aestheticizes the gradual crisis of suspended chronometric time and geometric space. This process re-enchants landscape and renders past culture into flickering chronotopes of ‘all times and places’, which provide the biomass for a hereto unrepresented, postapocalyptic city. The novel anticipates that city as a network of interspecies relationships, marked by the narrative ‘we’. Such a newly prefigured ‘distribution of the sensible’ (Jacques Rancière) references both narrator and reader, as well as all human and nonhuman actors, living and dead. As Gee’s characters lie down in the landscape and engage in dreaming, they are poised on the brink of a new era. The simultaneity of this boundary event thrusts forward beyond the Anthropocene chronotope, pointing towards what Donna Haraway and Bruno Latour have respectively dubbed the Chthulucene and Gaia.

Bio.

Maxim Shadurski is the author of The Nationality of Utopia: H. G. Wells, England, and the World State (Routledge, 2020) and two other monographs about utopia. His work has appeared in Clio: A Journal of Literature, History and the Philosophy of History, English Studies, and Modern Language Review, as well as in edited collections published by Anthem and Palgrave Macmillan. He edits The Wellsian: The Journal of the H. G. Wells Society and serves as an academic advisor for the Gale/Cengage publishing group. He holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh and is an Associate Professor of English Literature in the Institute of Linguistics and Literary Studies at Siedlce University (Poland).

 

Vous avez dit Anthropocène ? Passage à l’arche !

« Anthropocène », « Capitalocène », « Industrialocène », « Plantationocène », « Pyrocène », mais aussi « crise climatique », « question environnementale » ou « biodiversité »… Chaque année, un nouveau terme apparaît pour qualifier ce qui n’est décidément ni une « crise » ni un « climax », et tente de signifier une pluralité de situations (« crises »), différentes selon les aires géographiques et les statuts sociaux. On peut gausser la très grande généralité ou l’insuffisance de ces termes, leur scientificité vague ou leur reprise en boucle hypnotique. Leur volatilité signale surtout le besoin inassouvi de circonscrire des champs pluriels de causes, d’actions et d’effets. Ce besoin de langage, dans son appauvrissement même, nous rappelle l’importance décisive des littératures et des mythes, qui d’arches en arches, d’inventions poétiques en inventions politiques, se confrontent aux déluges de mots et de maux.

Bio.

Directrice de recherche au CNRS, Anne Simon est rattachée au centre « République des savoirs » où elle anime le Pôle Proust et le programme de zoopoétique Animots dédié aux études animales littéraires et artistiques. Sur ces problématiques, elle a porté un programme soutenu par l’Agence nationale de la recherche française (Animots, 2010-2014) et codirigé quatre numéros spéciaux : « Facing animals », L’Esprit créateur (2011) ; « Human-Animal », Contemporary French and Francophone Studies (2012) ; « Écopoétiques », Fixxion (2015) et « Zoopoétique », Revue des Sciences humaines (avec A. Benhaïm, 2017).  Son essai de zoopoétique Une bête entre les lignes est paru aux éditions Wildproject en 2021. Elle est par ailleurs l’autrice de quatre ouvrages sur Proust.

 

L’Anthropocène dans le roman d’anticipation américain : représenter le supraliminaire climatique

Manon Tardy (Universités Bordeaux-Montaigne / Nantes)

Günther Anders, dans sa thèse pour l’âge atomique (1959), s’exprime sur la non-représentation du néant. Selon lui, l’esprit humain n’est pas « configuré pour imaginer la catastrophe, [on] ne peut s’imaginer le néant ». Cet exemple lié aux événements de la bombe atomique est repris par le philosophe Hicham-Stéphane Afeissa, qui le met en corrélation avec le réchauffement climatique ; l’humanité ne pourrait pas non plus se représenter l’ampleur de la crise écologique.

On appelle supraliminaire, antonyme de subliminal, la cause de stimuli trop importants qui provoquent un décalage représentation/implication émotionnelle, ici nommé décalage prométhéen. « Difficile de dire à quoi notre habitat ressemblera dans quelques décennies » ou encore, « Alors que la pensée moderne avait nettement distingué l’homme de la nature, nous avons du mal à nous figurer cette situation inédite, où les deux sont imbriqués » sont des remarques récurrentes de cette décennie. Se figurer l’Anthropocène, se projeter dans l’Anthropocène, c’est pouvoir s’imaginer notre époque, se la représenter et ainsi permettre une réaction. Or, la littérature d’anticipation est un des moyens privilégiés par les écrivains depuis le début du XIXè siècle pour représenter le bouleversement géologique et climatique en cours.

La littérature de l’Anthropocène est, pour simplifier, « une critique de la modernité ». Dans notre communication, nous tenterons de répondre aux questions suivantes d’un point de vue comparatiste, en nous aidant d’un corpus de romans d’anticipation américains : Qu’est-ce que la littérature de l’Anthropocène ? En quoi est-ce une écriture militante ? Quels problèmes et solutions sont traités? Qu’apporte spécifiquement la littérature d’anticipation américaine aux enjeux écologiques ?

Bio.

Manon Tardy esy en quatrième année de doctorat en littérature générale et comparée à l’Université Bordeaux-Montaigne et en co-direction à l’Université de Nantes, sous la direction de Jean-Paul Engélibert et Frédéric Le Blay. Sa thèse porte sur les représentations de l’Anthropocène dans le roman d’anticipation anglais, américain et français, du XIXe au XXIe siècle.