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Time

25. Sep - 27. Sep
kl 10:00 - 16:00

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Place

Campus Kristiansand

Registration deadline

12 Aug

Contact Person

PhD Course: LIT606 Ecocritical Theory: Literature, Culture and Environment

LIT-606 Description: Please scroll down.

Time

25 Sep - 27 Sep
kl 10:00 - 16:00

Add to calendar

Place

Campus Kristiansand

Registration deadline

12 Aug

Contact Person

Ecocritical Theory: Literature, Culture and Environment 5 ECTS

Ecocriticism, that is, research focusing on the relation between literature, culture and the environment, is a rapidly growing field both internationally and within Norway. As an environmental humanities discipline, ecocritical research contributes to interdisciplinary environmental research from the perspective of literary and cultural studies.

Ecocriticism is, however, not based on a theory of its own, but rather draws upon theoretical approaches from various directions. This course will introduce participants to a variety of theories that relate nature and the environment to literature and culture and ask how these theories can be utilized for ecocritical research.

The lectures included in the course will provide insights into some of the earliest theoretical developments that current ecocriticism draws upon, through exploring the thinking of predecessors such as Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno and the critical theory of the Frankfurt school, and how these inspired ecological aesthetics, environmental ethics, constructivist ecocriticism, and recent approaches such as cultural ecology. Another focus will be theories of risk and the risk society, as these have been developed by sociologists such as Ulrich Beck and Anthony Giddens, and how they can be applied in the analysis of narratives of environmental risk and the Anthropocene. A third approach addressed in the course will be the combination of ecocriticism and postcolonial studies and the inspiration it draws from, among other things, concepts of environmental justice and ecofeminism. The current “material turn” within cultural studies will be addressed through a lecture on the relatively new (but expanding) sub-field of material ecocriticism. Finally, one of the most recent developments within ecocriticism will be discussed, namely the combination of cognitive narratology with empirical approaches in the study of environmental narrative.

The thematic course lectures will be held by internationally established researchers in ecocriticism and related fields. The course will generally have a strong focus on the combination of ecocritical theory and practice, and thus on the applicability of the theoretical approaches presented and discussed to the practical analysis of literary and filmic texts and genres. It will also provide a platform for participants to discuss and receive feedback on the theoretical aspects of their own projects.

Preliminary schedule

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

15:15–15:45 Welcome and introduction (Reinhard Hennig)

15:45–16:00 Short break

16:00–16:45 Alexa Weik von Mossner: From Cognitive Narratology to Empirical Ecocriticism: Exploring Empathy and Emotion in Environmental Narrative

16:45–17:00 Short break

17:00–17:30 Discussion

18:30 Dinner

Thursday, 26 September 2019

09:00–09:45 Timo Müller: Critical Theory and Ecocriticism

09:45–10:00 Short break

10:00–10:30 Discussion

10:30–10:45 Short break

10:45–11:30 Sylvia Mayer: Risk Theory and Narratives of Environmental Risk 

11:30–11:45 Short break

11:45–12:15 Discussion

12:15–13:30 Lunch break

13:30–14:30 Presentation and discussion of students’ projects

14:30–15:00 Break

15:00–16:00 Presentation and discussion of students’ projects

Friday, 27 September 2019

09:00–09:45 Tonje Vold: Postcolonial Theory and Ecocriticism

09:45–10:00 Short break

10:00–10:30 Discussion

10:30–10:45 Short break

10:45–11:30 Christian Hummelsund Voie: Material Ecocriticism

11:30–11:45 Short break

11:45–12:15 Discussion

12:15–13:30 Lunch break

13:30–14:30 Presentation and discussion of students’ projects

14:30–15:00 Break

15:00–16:00 Presentation and discussion of students’ projects

Lecturers

  • Reinhard Hennig (course leader)  is associate professor of Nordic literature at UiA
  • Alexa Weik von Mossner is associate professor of American Studies at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria.
  • Christian Hummelsund Voie is associate professor of English at the University of South-Eastern Norway.
  • Sylvia Mayer is professor of American Studies at the University of Bayreuth, Germany.
  • Timo Müller is professor of American Studies at the University of Konstanz, Germany.
  • Tonje Vold is associate professor of comparative literature at OsloMet, Norway.

 

LIT-606 Emnebeskrivelse:

Program

PhD program at the Faculty of Humanities and Education, specialization in literary studies.

Prerequisites

Students must have completed a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline.

Recommended previous knowledge

It is recommended that participants before the start of the course have acquired basic knowledge of ecocriticism as a field of research (through, for example, having read one of the standard introductions into the field, such as Greg Garrard: Ecocriticism, 2nd ed., London/New York: Routledge 2012).

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the students will both have gained a general overview of ecocritical theory, and advanced knowledge of the specific approaches addressed in the course. The students will know how to apply these approaches in the analysis of literary and filmic texts and genres, and they will know how to situate their own work-in-progress in relation to ecocritical theory.

Contents

The course will provide insights into a variety of theoretical approaches related to ecocriticism, such as critical theory, risk theory, postcolonial ecocriticism, the “material turn” and material ecocriticism, as well as cognitive narratology and empirical ecocriticism. Students will also have opportunity to discuss and receive feedback on their own work-in-progress.  

Teaching methods

The course will consist of lectures with following discussions, as well as presentations and discussion of theory-related aspects in students’ own projects. The participants will read a selection of theoretical texts in advance of the course, which will both prepare them for the thematic lectures and serve as an additional basis of discussion.

Examination requirement

The course will award 5 ECTS for registrants who read the required literature prior to the course, participate in all lectures, and do a presentation of theory-related aspects in their own research project. It is also expected from participants that they participate actively in the discussion of lectures and of the other participants’ projects.

Assessment methods and criteria

Assessment of whether participants have achieved the learning outcomes of the course will be based on the oral presentations described above (“examination requirement”). In the case of candidates who are in a very early stage of their projects, a written assignment can be used as an alternative assessment method.

Offered as a free-standing course

Yes

Responsible faculty

Faculty of Humanities and Education

Contact person

Reinhard Hennig (reinhard.hennig@uia.no)

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