Finally in "summer mode," I'm in the process of planning the class that I will give at NYU in Spring 2016, to be titled "Early Modern Literature and the Ecumenopolis." As I try to bring the course into focus, in terms of problématique and which books to read, I return to some key statements about the interconnectedness of ecologies across the expanse of the planet. There is Lawrence Buell's point that: "What counts as a place can be as small as a corner of your kitchen or as big at the planet" (Future of Environmental Criticism, p. 62), the idea at the heart of my recent "Espèces d'espaces" senior seminar moreover. And there is Mitchell Thomashow's point, in Bringing the Biosphere Home, worth quoting in full: "Global environmental change may be the invisible consequences of innumerable, seemingly unconnected local actions, spinning a synergy of effects and processes way beyond the original intention. Or it might be the extraordinary impact of one crucial choice or event. The more closely you look at any ecological or political controversy, no matter how tightly it seems to be bounded, the more you realize the extent to which the issue is informed and influenced by global patterns and processes. There is no such thing as local environmental problem" (p. 7). As I prepare the class, the conclusion that I still have to write for an almost finished book, L'aède et le géographe, about early modern French epic and geographical discourses, also comes into focus. It's been a day of visiting the websites of various key thinkers, too: the likes of Mitchell Thomashow, Ursula Heise (which includes details of an upcoming book on "Imagining Extinction: Stories, Laws, Databases" that looks absolutely fabulous).
Project THE HUMANIST anthropocene
is a thought archive and workspace of Phillip John Usher (NYU) at the crossroads of early modern humanism and the problems and insights of the Anthropocene. Main Research Page.
ASLE (Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment)
Environmental Humanities (journal)
Resilience (A Journal of the Environmental Humanities)
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