From Ego to Eco - Imagining Ecocentrism in Literature, Film and Philosophy
Galway, 10th - 11th June, 2011
Hosts: School of Languages Literatures and Cultures NUI Galway /German Department
Dr. Tina-Karen Pusse, Sabine Lenore Müller M.A.
For many centuries, anthropocentric world views were crucial for the implementation of nature toward man's ends and played a part in creating the multifarious imbalances that today threaten ecosystems on a global scale. In film, literature and critical thought alternatives to anthropocentrism are being outlined, sensitivities awakened towards a global eco-consciousness that pays attention to the interdependence of species and ecosystems. A shift from imagining homo sapiens at the top of a hierarchy of existence or, alternatively, at the centre of global concerns to imagining a unity of being is taking place in literature and art through the ages. It is being tested and contested in this century increasingly also in the medium film. A unique and different inventory of artistic techniques, modes of expression, structures of realising this shift towards ecocentrism go hand in hand with an academic shift of focus. . Aim of this conference is to bring together scholars from various disciplines within the Arts and Sciences/ the Humanities to reflect on these changes, to reflect on ways in which works of art and mind break free from anthropocentric paradigms. Artistic visions and theoretical concepts that place humans in neighbourly relations with the 30 million surrounding species shall be central but also the discontents and possible dangers inherent in ecocentrism. We invite abstracts of no more than 250 words. Responding to one or more of the following questions: How is earth, not the individual, as the prime metaphor for life realised in literature and film? How is ecocentrism justified or contested in philosophy and theory? Which ethical and political questions do arise? How are religion and science linked into the topic of ecocentrism and which modes and techniques of representation are used to express ecocentric matters? And finally, thinking about a shift to ecocentrism from and within Ireland: Which traditions, genealogies of thought or works of art link Ireland - artistically, philosophically - to green thinking?
Contributions can focus on but are not limited to these topics:
- Myths of transformation/ green mythologies
- Ireland and ecocentrism
- Animal ethics
- Ecocentrism and religion / spirituality
- Imagining cyclicity
- Literary/filmic redemptions of the eco-sphere
- Images of the roots of our crises
The keynote lectures will be delivered by Lawrence Buell (Harvard University), Thomas Duddy (NUI Galway) and Hubert Zapf (University of Augsburg) who have confirmed attendance.
Deadline for the submission of abstracts is the 15th of March in 2011.
Conference fee: 70 Euro, students 30 Euro - NUIG staff and students free.
School of Languages Literatures and Cultures
Arts Millennium Building
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