What does it mean to study the environment in nonfiction and creative texts? How are ecological topoi mediated through different textual forms, such as literature, poetry, and film? How can we, in the twenty-first century, study nature as it was understood in the past? Join Literature, Arts, and the Environment as we approach these questions in our Fall Ecocriticism panel. Panelists include Jonathan Kramnick (English), Oksana Chefranova (Film and Media Studies), and Dominuqe Brancher (French). Jonathan Kramnick is Maynard Mack Professor of English here at Yale. His research is in eighteenth-century literature and philosophy. His most recent book, Paper Minds: Literature and the Ecology of Consciousness interrogates literature’s contribution to discussions of created and natural environments, and engagment with the world. Kramnick uses literature and poetry of the eighteenth century to explore the relations between the mind and the environment and the fields of study that enlighten them. Oksana Chefranova is Associate Research Scholar in Film and Media Studies. Her current book project, From Garden to Kino: Evgenii Bauer, Cinema, and Genealogy of Built Environments in Russia Circa 1900, examines the history of built environments in Late Imperial Russia through the prism of the cinema of Evgenii Bauer. Through archival research and critical analysis, Chefranova argues that these built environments traverse boundaries of nature and culture, and serve as an epistemological tool in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian modernism. Dominique Brancher is Visiting Professor of French and Professor of French at the University of Basel (Switzerland). She is a scholar of the Renaissance, and has written on the intersections of the history of science and medicine and literature. Her book, Quand l’esprit vient aux plantes: Botanique sensible et subversion libertine (XVIe-XVIIe siècles), examines the epistemological and literary boundaries between man, animal and plant. Through a humanistic exploration of historical scientific and medical sources, and Renaissance literary texts, Brancher thinks about the subversive representations of the vegetable realm in this period. Panelists will present their own ecocritical work, followed by a Q&A-guided discussion.
Refreshments to follow.