The 2014 webinar series will start off with a webinar hosted by Prof. Dr. Hubert Zapf (University of Augsburg, Germany) on Literature and/as Cultural Ecology. This 5th EASLCE webinar takes place on February 27th at 4:00 pm (Central European Standard Time).
In the webinar, Prof. Zapf will position the concept of “literature as cultural ecology”, which he has developed in some of his recent work, within the field of contemporary ecocriticism and critical theory. Between an anthropocentric cultural studies perspective, in which nature is dematerialized into a discursive human construct, and a fundamentalist ecocentrism, in which cultural processes are subsumed under naturalist assumptions, cultural ecology looks at the interaction and living interrelationship between culture and nature, without reducing one to the other. Literature is seen as a cultural form in which this living interrelationship is explored in specifically productive ways, providing a site of critical self-reflection of modern civilization as well as a source of creative cultural self-renewal. This is not merely a question of thematic orientation or content but of the aesthetic processes staged in imaginative texts, which in this sense can be described as functioning like an ecological force within the larger system of cultural discourses. Prof. Zapf will illustrate this approach with examples from American literature.
Webinar participants are required to prepare a set of texts, which will be made available by the moderator in advance. Participation is free and open to all EASLCE members, with preference given to graduate students. The number of participants is limited to six.
Registration is possible from January 19th to February 15th.