European Association for Studies of Literature, Culture and the Environment

EASLCE 15th Webinar: Brexit Ecocriticism

Brexit Ecocriticism

Greg Garrard, Professor of Environmental Humanities, University of British Columbia, Canada

Webinar Date and time: 2 May 2020, 10am PDT / 7pm CET

The long-standing relationship between conservatism and conservation, and between nation and nature, was obscured by the stark anti-environmentalism of late twentieth century neoliberal conservatism. The vital role of ‘Englishness’ in the pro-Brexit vote, and the importance of conceptions of landscape and nature to Englishness, though, suggests that ecocritics could usefully turn their attention to the environmental cultures of right-wing populism, both in the UK and beyond.  This project extends my recent co-authored book, Climate Change Scepticism: A transnational ecocritical analysis, which examined British, American, French and German sceptical texts.

Required Reading:
Garrard, Greg. "Introduction." Climate Change and Scepticism: A Transnational Ecocritical Analysis." Bloomsbury Academic, 2019, https://www.bloomsburycollections.com/book/climate-change-scepticism-a-transnational-ecocritical-analysis

Garrard, Greg. "Brexit Ecocriticism." Green Letters, forthcoming.

The key questions to discuss include:

  1. What are the implications for ecocriticism of empathetic/depolarizing approaches?
  2. How is ‘Englishness’ understood, as a culture of nature, by those who don’t identify with it?
  3. How do right-wing populist cultures of nature manifest across the rest of Europe? Are there overlaps with English nationalist nature (as Europen climate scepticism shares common features), or do they have distinctive symbolic reference points?

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Abstract: Brexit Ecocriticism