Does Ecocriticism Matter? Exploring the Relevance of Green Cultural Studies

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Ecocriticism is a contentious literary movement that has grown in the English-speaking world in the last 15 years. It has recently gained traction in mainland Europe. Ecocriticism places nature at the center of a text. The goal is to shed light onto the relationship between humans and the environment. Climate change will no doubt affect all academic disciplines. The social sciences will need to deal with climate refugees and issues of environmental justice. The hard sciences will be forced to develop new technologies to deal with changing sea levels, temperature variation, and agricultural problems related to the greenhouse effect. Increasing natural disasters will also undoubtedly affect the humanities. The development of Ecocriticism is a sign that this shift in thinking is already in progress, a trend that will no doubt continue as environmental crises increase. Is it not time to acknowledge a need for ecologically conscious literary criticism? Ecocriticism is still maturing, and this paper will touch on the major issues as well as examine the problems within the movement.


Keywords: Ecocriticism, Environmental Criticism, Environmental Literature, Green Cultural Studies, Interdisciplinary
Stream: Literature, Literary Studies
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Chad Weidner

Faculty, The Roosevelt Academy
Middelburg, Netherlands

CHAD WEIDNER comes from the grasslands of Nebraska in the United States, and has a profound appreciation of the prairie. One of his grandfathers was a sharecropper, the other a pinball jockey. He has had a number of poems and short pieces published across the United States and Canada, with the Camel Press and in the Chaffin Journal, Enigma, Green's Magazine, Illya's Honey, the Plains Song Review, and elsewhere. A Flemish Community Fellow, he has done postgraduate work in Germanic Languages and Literature at Ghent University (Belgium). His PhD project explores the politics of agrarianism as it relates to William Burroughs. He is tenured faculty in English at the Roosevelt Academy (the Netherlands), an international honors college of Utrecht University.

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