"The Ethics of 'Nature' and 'Environment' in the Literary and Scientific Discourse of the Anthropocene" (Arbeitstitel)
des Cusanuswerks 1.2.2020 bis 31.1.2022
Kontaktadresse an der Universität Würzburg:
Neuphilologisches Institut - Lehrstuhl für Amerikanistik
Erstbetreuerin: Frau Prof. Dr. Catrin Gersdorf
Klasse in der Graduiertenschule: "Environmental Humanities"
Promotion in der Graduiertenschule ab WS 2019/2020.
Around the turn of the century, scientists proposed the Anthropocene as a new geological epoch in which man has become a geophysical force by transforming the physical surface of the earth. Since then, the term has given rise to ardent debates – not only in the sciences, but also in the humanities and in public discourse – on the relation between human beings, non-human entities, nature, and the environment. This project seeks to investigate to what extent the discourse of the
Anthropocene has become politicized and ethically normative. It is my particular aim to specify the role literary and aesthetic forms play in these processes. The project is divided into three parts: Firstly, the Anthropocene will be conceptualized as an ethical concept. Secondly, a selection of both contemporary literary and non-literary anglophone writing shall be analyzed against that backdrop in order to conceive an »ethically oriented environmental poetics«. Thirdly, I will link the previous findings more widely to the tenets of what has recently gained traction as »postcritique«.