3rd EASCLE Webinar
“Embodied Narratives: Theory and Practice of Material Ecocriticism”
Date and Time: February 22nd 10:00am Central European Time (GMT+1)
Host: Serenella Iovino
Moderator: Hannes Bergthaller
Inspired by recent research in physical and social sciences, the new materialist paradigm proposes to see matter in terms of its agentic capacity and meanings. Matter, as Karen Barad posits in her theory of “agential realism,” is not a “blank slate” but a process in which discursive practices and material formations are mutually implicated. This approach proposes to rework the human-nonhuman relations in ways that take into account matter’s “inherent creativity” (Bennett), nature’s agentic expressions and performative enactments.
Situated in this conceptual horizon, material ecocriticism asks us to rethink the questions of agency, text, and narrativity. According to this view, matter and meaning coalesce in embodied stories (or “storied matter”). All material forms are, in other words, endowed with a “history” or with stories, and these stories, which assume many forms and articulations, can be “read” and told in many ways. Material ecocriticism’s investigations concentrate therefore on an important aspect: how does this emerging of stories in material forms become intelligible to us?
This third Easlce Webinar, held by Serenella Iovino, will focus on the main tenets of material ecocriticism, analyzing a peculiar example of “storied matter”: Naples’ bodies. Examining the embodied narratives of the “porous city” (as Walter Benjamin defined it), Iovino will discuss theoretical aspects, problematic notions, and potentialities of this new fascinating trend in ecocritical studies.
A past president of EASLCE, Serenella Iovino is Professor of Ethics at the University of Turin and Research Fellow of the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation. The theory of material ecocriticism has been firstly elaborated by her in cooperation with Serpil Oppermann. The collection of essays Material Ecocriticism, co-edited by both scholars, is forthcoming with Indiana University Press. Iovino has written extensively on ecocriticism, environmental philosophy, and German philosophical literature of the Age of Goethe.
For more information about her work, please visit: http://unito.academia.edu/serenellaiovino