Barbara Holloway on the Anthropo-scenes

Join us for this week’s CuSPP seminar:

Creating A Place Among the Anthropo-scenes

Thursday 25 October, 1pm, Milgate Room, AD Hope Bldg, SLLL

For Indian writer Amitav Ghosh, the world is in the grip of a ‘Great Derangement’: human inaction in the knowledge of great, avoidable danger. This ‘danger’ manifests in several forms, but I am interested in the changes to environment and climate. To engage effectively with these, environmental and agricultural scientists call for a cultural turn to familiarity with the immediate natural world. At the same time, Ghosh predicts that future generations will hold writers and artists, as well as politicians, responsible for the inertia that characterizes derangement.

Ghosh’s and the scientists’ challenge invites experimentation; the relationship between place, culture and the material world is already one of the liveliest areas of inquiry in the humanities. In this paper I take a universal —the winds—and make them local. I focus on local place-writing and on the interplay of the natural world, language and experience, drawing on philosopher Edward S. Casey’s phenomenological and ethnographic approach to language as the expression of ‘intimate relationship between embodiment and emplacement, phenomena and culture’.

Barbara Holloway is a Visiting Fellow in SLLL. She researches and publishes across Australian literary history, place-making and environmental cultural studies in both critical and creative formats. Her most recent publication, ‘The Undead of Australian Forests’, appeared in ‘Land Dialogues,’ a special issue of Fusion, 2017.

 


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