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Posts Tagged ‘ecocriticism’

One of my pet musicological theories is that the years 1967-74 were the most creative 7-year period in the history of musical humanity. Why those years? The social and technological revolutions of the 1960s — civil rights, the women’s movement, the counterculture and anti-Vietnam War movements, the sudden unifying singularity of television and mass (and […]

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The deadline for proposals to next year’s Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) conference — arguably the largest and leading ecocritical conference in the world — is coming up in a few weeks. The conference theme is “Notes from Underground: The Depths of Environmental Arts, Culture and Justice.” Keynotes will include Donna Haraway, Anna Tsing, […]

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The third edition of the Environmental Humanities Book Chat features a discussion of my Ecologies of the Moving Image. Discussants include the Royal Institute of Technology’s Anna Åberg, organizer of the “Tales from Planet Earth” film festival and conference, Seth Peabody of Harvard University (and a Rachel Carson Center fellow), and moderator Hannes Bergthaller of National Chung-Hsing University (Taiwan) and Würzburg […]

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Or, process-relational ecocriticism 2.0 Two of the courses I’m currently teaching — the intermediate-level “Environmental Literature, Art, and Media” and the senior-level “The Culture of Nature” — require introducing an eco-critical framework appropriate to a wide range of artistic forms, from literature to visual art, music, film and new media. The process-relational framework developed in […]

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The list of advisors for this new book series in Ecocritical Theory and Practice shows just how the field of ecocriticism has internationalized over the last two decades. I’m pleased to be part of it. Ecocritical Theory and Practice Book Series Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group  Ecocritical Theory and Practice highlights innovative scholarship […]

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Here are my notes from Day 2 of the Moving Environments workshop in Munich. The same caveats apply as yesterday: they’re hastily typed up and reflect only my own interpretation of what transpired. If any of the participants would prefer not to have their ideas shared in this way, I will be happy to remove […]

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What follows are notes from the first day of Moving Environments: Affect, Emotion, and Ecocinema. These are, needless to say, my own hastily drawn up notes (and I’m still a little jet-lagged from my arrival yesterday). Forgive the point form and abbreviation inconsistencies. Any errors are my own; any wonderful ideas are other people’s, unless […]

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Greg Garrard, who’s become something of a point-man for synoptic treatments of ecocriticism (like this one, and see my previous post on him), has come out with a lucid and judicious review of recent publications in The Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory. It covers the years 2007-8, which Garrard, in an email to […]

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I’m on my way this week to the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference in LA, where I’ll be presenting, in miniature, the ecocritical/ecophilosophical model of cinema that I’m developing in my book-in-progress. This “process-relational” model draws on Peirce, Whitehead, Deleuze, Bergson, Heidegger, and others, with inspirational nods to psychoanalysis, cognitive film theory (which, to be honest, is a little less inspirational, but to some extent inevitable), and individual theorists like Sean Cubitt, John Mullarkey, and Daniel Frampton. Its ecophilosophical basis is that it is primarily concerned with the relationship between cinema — as a technical medium, a thing in the world, and a form of human experience — and the ecologies within which humans are implicated and enmeshed. Here’s one articulation of that model. [. . .]

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New York Times op-ed columnist Ross Douthat has it partly right: with its tree/Goddess-worshipping, tribal-shamanic-indigenous-hunter-gatherer-Daoist-pagan New-Age all-is-One-ism, Avatar is an expression of the longstanding American tradition of pantheist nature spirituality. Douthat thinks that that’s mainstream and that Hollywood is fully behind it, but it’s really still the insurgent religion to muscular Christianity and militarist nationalism. This is one of the rare films in which the Goddess (Mother Nature & the Natives) takes on the Capitalist War Machine and… well, you’ll have to see who wins.

But behind it all is the Spielberg factor, i.e., that the overt message (‘Man vs. Nature’, or rather high-modernist techno-capitalism vs. Body-Shop-nature-tech) is undercut by the implicit message that it is science, technology, and Hollywood magic — the Image Industry, the Spectacle — that enchants us and brings us what we really want. And they bring us new life, maybe eternal life […]

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