Oecologies: Inhabiting Premodern Worlds is a research cluster that gathers scholars from the humanities living and working along the North American Pacific coast to investigate the idea of “oecology,” an older spelling of the modern concept “ecology.” We retain this defamiliarizing spelling because our research asks how we might rethink “ecology” through the study of premodern natural history, taxonomy, hierarchy, and categorization. By exploring an array of discourses about “oecology,” our research asks what conceptual or metaphorical resources might help us – as located moderns – reorient our perceptions about the premodern past and our present and future moments. Among other matters, our research will discuss the relations among terms such as N/nature, landscape, ecology, economy, environment, and technology, and will ask how our regionally and temporally specific conceptions draw / differ from premodern inhabitations of the world.
2 - 3 October 2015 Vancouver, British Columbia
SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Downtown
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Connections Grant and with generous support from Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia
Oecologies Speakers Series: The Histories of Sustainability 2014-2015
The Speaker Series, which was generously sponsored by Green College at the University of British Columbia, took place approximately once per month between September and April in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years.
Medieval and Renaissance Oecologies
7-9 November 2014
The 42nd UBC Medieval Workshop will be welcoming Dr. Laurie Shannon (Professor and Chair, English, Northwestern University) and Dr. Jonathan Hsy (Associate Professor, English, George Washington University) as plenary speakers.
Medieval and Renaissance Œcologies seeks to interrogate premodern understandings of the natural world and ecological thinking. A prevailing attitude within modern Western culture has imagined the natural world as “out there,” a distinct realm upon which humans import subjective meaning. More recently, ecocritics and theorists of the new materialism(s) have challenged this conception of nature. What did conceptions of Nature and “œcology” look like in the Medieval and Renaissance periods and how did different discourse communities define their meanings?