[csaa-forum] Paul Alberts on An Ecocritical Self: Beginning with Crusoe
Philosophy at uws.edu.au
Tue Apr 24 21:05:30 CST 2012
The Writing & Society Research Centre and the Philosophy Research Initiative at UWS presents following seminar on Wednesday May 02:
SPEAKER: Paul Alberts
School of Humanities and Communication Arts
University of Western Sydney
TITLE: An Ecocritical Self: Beginning with Crusoe
TIME: May 02, 2-4pm
PLACE: UWS Bankstown Campus, 3.G.55
ABSTRACT: This paper aims to contribute to the relatively new field of ecocriticism, which is still developing from a relatively narrow base of appreciating 'nature writing' into more critical directions of textual analysis, which aim (broadly) to consider the relationship of the human to the nonhuman against a contemporary background of perceived ecological crisis. Some framing propositions and questions on how this relationship might be important to the textual domain of modern prose narrative will lead to an analysis of Robinson Crusoe, often positioned as amongst the very first modern novels. Robinson is a character oriented in two directions, outwardly as a lone individual in an inhospitable wilderness; inwardly, as a suffering subject engaged in self-appraisal. Critical reception has focused on thematizing both these dimensions, but they unarguably interrelate as Robinson 'builds' both his island civilization and a repentant self. Relations with the island, its creatures, then other humans are presented through early-modern and classic European tropes, but this paper will explore how the narrative articulates a version of the properly human through a confabulation of the ecological, the inanimate and the human other.
BIO: Paul Alberts teaches in philosophy at UWS. He is interested in both developing continental philosophical approaches to environmental issues, and promoting the integration of ecological awareness in philosophy. He has recently published on the Anthropocene, and has contributions to anthologies on Foucault and Kafka appearing later in 2012.
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