Fourth Session: Criticism and Crisis

Our fourth session will take place on Thursday 25th March in room GSB2, 2 Gower Street, between 1 and 3pm. We will be looking at an extract from Slavoj Žižek's First As Tragedy, Then As Farce (London: Verso, 2009).

Discussion points will be as follows:

- Is it ideology, stupid?

- Within global capitalism, is choice ever choice at all?

- 'The best indicator of the Left's lack of trust in itself is its fear of crisis.' Do you agree?

- How can critical theory and/or literature respond to crisis?


Third Session: Ecocriticism

Our third session will take place on Thursday 11th March in room GSB2, 2 Gower Street, between 1 and 3pm. The texts that we will be discussing are as follows:

- Chapter 1 of Ursula K. Heise's
Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008).

- Hubert Zapf's chapter, "The State of Ecocriticism and the Function of Nature as Cultural Ecology", in Catrin Gerstof and Sylvia Mayer (eds),
Nature in Literary and Cultural Studies: Transatlantic Conversations on Ecocriticism (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2006).

The questions for this week's discussion are as follows:

What is ecocriticism?

Is there an over-emphasis on the concept of 'interconnectedness' in ecocriticism?

Is Heise right to suggest 'eco-cosmopolitanism' as a way of re-envisioning globalisation from an ecological perspective?

Is Heise's idea of 'deterritorialisation' the solution to the problem of the global versus the local in ecocriticism? What does this mean for literature?