Welcome to our seminar blog
This blog serves as a forum for the reflections and writings of students in a graduate seminar a the University of Oregon (Fall 2009).
How should we characterize the “environmental imagination,” to cite critic Lawrence Buell, in a period whose ecological concerns center not only on relatively ancient problems such as air pollution and deforestation but also on newer phenomena like transgenic crops, global climate change, and virtual space? And how might ecocriticism, as a field of literary and cultural studies, account for the interventions that contemporary writers and media artists often stage in Western environmental thought? With a focus on U.S. and Anglophone culture, we will address these questions by putting contemporary literature and media in conversation with three key concepts: biodiversity, biotechnology, and environmental risk. In doing so, we will investigate the ethical and the aesthetic principles that inflect the environmental imaginings of our present.