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Petro-Texts, Plants, And People In The Anthropocene: The Dark Green, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2019

Petro-Texts, Plants, And People In The Anthropocene: The Dark Green, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

The ‘dark green’ refers to the green plant-human relationships that undergird human cultures as well as the darkly petroleum-fueled industrialization, mass species extinctions, and strange new ecosystems in the Anthropocene. I consider briefly three petro-culture novels based on various ‘road trips’ that explicitly address both the long-term and massive, albeit oft-ignored, ecological power of plants whether in living vegetal form or in their rotted, processed form of petroleum products: Frank Herbert’s Dune, portraying worm ‘spice’ as a stand-in for oil; Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, eliminating all energy and plant life leaving only hungry humans; and Paolo Bacigalupi’s ...


El Abrazo De La Serpiente O La Re-Escritura Del Amazonas Dentro De Una Ética Ecológica Y Poscolonial, Ana María Mutis Jan 2018

El Abrazo De La Serpiente O La Re-Escritura Del Amazonas Dentro De Una Ética Ecológica Y Poscolonial, Ana María Mutis

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

At first glance the Colombian film El Abrazo de la Serpiente (2015) is about the encounter of two cultures with two divergent visions of the world: the indigenous people of the Amazon and the foreign scientists who explored the region during the first half of the twentieth century. This study proposes that Ciro Guerra’s film is also a commentary on how to write about the Amazon. This is supported by the metafictional strategies deployed by the film which, based on the revision and refiguration of the scientific texts that inspired it, simulates the construction of a document that adheres ...


Goethe's Colors: Revolutionary Optics And The Anthropocene, Heather I. Sullivan Oct 2017

Goethe's Colors: Revolutionary Optics And The Anthropocene, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Renowned poet and author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) claimed that his greatest contribution to the world was not his famous Faust (Part I in 1808 and Part II in 1832) or his best-selling 1774 epistolary novel, Die Leiden des jungen Werther [Sorrows of Young Werther], the first German novel to achieve international fame, but was instead his scientific treatise on optics and colors, Zur Farbenlehre [Towards a Theory of Color] from 1810.


The Dark Pastoral: A Trope For The Anthropocene, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2017

The Dark Pastoral: A Trope For The Anthropocene, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Denoting our current age as the Anthropocene, or the era of planet-wide human impact, scales up human agency beyond the usual biological capacity of all living things to alter their surroundings to a geological force. Human activities have altered vast areas of the Earth's terrestrial surfaces, spread industrial particulates across the globe, and impacted the planetary climate with increased release of carbon dioxide that then increases oceanic acidity bleaching entire coral reefs. The biosphere's land, air, and water have all changed with the increased release and use of energy. Once again, a species of living things has become ...


Introduction To German Ecocriticism In The Anthropocene, Caroline Schaumann, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2017

Introduction To German Ecocriticism In The Anthropocene, Caroline Schaumann, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

How do we approach, read, discuss, and teach German literature in light of the transnational and global environmental problems and crises caused by human activities? In what way does the current geological era of the Anthropocene marked by traceable human impact across the globe lead us to reflect on the role and interconnectedness of human and non-human forces? Since human activities and human cultures have caused so many of the current ecological problems, how can scholars address broad-scale interdisciplinary problems with attention to both cultural and scientific knowledge? What is the role of the humanities in this inextricably nature-culture mix ...


Threatening Animals?, Heather I. Sullivan Jun 2016

Threatening Animals?, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Threatening predators and pernicious beasts continue to play significant roles in the human imaginary even as human threats to other species increase exponentially in the age of Anthropocene. While posthumanist animal studies and material ecocriticism sync human and other animals within the biosphere’s living interactions, our shared material reciprocity is currently skewing ever more towards the human threat to other species – and so to ourselves as co-dependents. This essay explores the meaning of “threatening” and “threatened”. Five German texts presenting human-animal interactions in the Anthropocene’s span by Goethe, Kafka, Stifter, Duve, and Trojanow unsettle expectations of threats. In ...


Prisiones Y Afectos: Reescrituras Visuales Del Cuerpo Encarcelado En La Producción Documental Mexicana Contemporánea, Rosana Blanco Cano Apr 2016

Prisiones Y Afectos: Reescrituras Visuales Del Cuerpo Encarcelado En La Producción Documental Mexicana Contemporánea, Rosana Blanco Cano

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Este trabajo analiza documentales que desarrollan estrategias visuales y discursivas centradas en expresividad afectiva y corporal de individuos marcados por el encierro carcelario. Interesa en particular los trabajos Mi vida dentro (Lucía Gajá, 2007) y Teatro Penitenciario. Libertad desde la sombra (Carlos González/Pablo Ramírez Durón, 2011) que consideran, respectivamente, experiencias emocionales derivadas de una íntima relación con registros fotográficos y teatralidad. Al centrar la experiencia afectiva que al mismo tiempo se conjuga con la experiencia del cuerpo (Hardt 2007), estos trabajos construyen repositorios de emociones donde los “socialmente ausentes” (Foster 2013) acceden a espacios expresivos alternativos donde se confirma ...


Imperial Incentives And Individual Allegiances In Juan Antonio Correa’S La Pérdida Y Restauración De Bahía De Todos Los Santos, Matthew D. Stroud Jan 2016

Imperial Incentives And Individual Allegiances In Juan Antonio Correa’S La Pérdida Y Restauración De Bahía De Todos Los Santos, Matthew D. Stroud

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Juan Antonio Correa's La pérdida y restauración de Bahía de Todos los Santos, written primarily to celebrate the successful recapture in 1625 of an important American colony from the Dutch and their allies, invites an investigation into why and how human beings can be motivated to support people and institutions that not only do not directly benefit them but may in fact operate in ways that are unfavourable to their own lives and causes. Informed by the political writings of Antonio Gramsci and Paulo Freire and the psychoanalytic theories of Jacques Lacan, this study explores the various reasons why ...


The Dark Pastoral: Goethe And Atwood, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2016

The Dark Pastoral: Goethe And Atwood, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

The Anthropocene challenges the humanities to find means of representing and analysing our fossil-fueled practices that have spread industrial particulates over the entire globe, changed the climate, and reshaped landscapes into a “new nature.” In this essay, I propose the “dark pastoral” as an analytical trope, examining two framing texts from the Anthropocene: Goethe’s landmark 1797 pastoral German epic, Hermann and Dorothea, and Margaret Atwood’s 2003 postapocalyptic novel Oryx and Crake, the first installment of her MaddAddam trilogy which ends with a surprisingly pastoral flourish. At the early phases of the Anthropocene (as it is defined by Paul ...


Agency In The Anthropocene: Goethe, Radical Reality, And The New Materialisms, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2016

Agency In The Anthropocene: Goethe, Radical Reality, And The New Materialisms, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Our current era has been termed the Age of the “Anthropocene,” or the human- inflected geological era. This essay addresses the implications of human impact on the Earth as a form of “radical reality” by addressing the broad spectrum of human and non-human agency. The analysis follows a three-step process: it begins with an introduction to the new materialisms and distributed agency in contrast to Howard Tuttle’s notion of “radical reality” based on human consciousness. It then explores the agency of nature’s “vibrancy” in the debate occurring early in the Anthropocene (during Goethe’s lifetime) between “vitalism” and ...


Human And Non-Human Agencies In The Anthropocene, G. Dürbeck, C. Schaumann, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2015

Human And Non-Human Agencies In The Anthropocene, G. Dürbeck, C. Schaumann, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

The era of human impact throughout the Earth’s biosphere since the Industrial Revolution that has recently been named the Anthropocene poses many challenges to the humanities, particularly in terms of human and non-human agency. Using diverse examples from literature, travel reflections, and science that document a wide range of agencies beyond the human including landscape, ice, weather, volcanic energy or gastropods, and insects, this essay seeks to formulate a broader sense of agency. All of our examples probe new kinds of relationships between humans and nature. By configuring a close interconnection and interdependence between these entities, the Anthropocene discourse ...


Nature And The "Dark Pastoral" In Goethe's Werther, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2015

Nature And The "Dark Pastoral" In Goethe's Werther, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Celebrating the natural harmony of the stream, grasses, and the beautiful wellspring where the peasant girls come to fetch water in Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (The Sorrows of Young Werther, 1774), Goethe’s eponymous hero embraces pastoral nature with a passion. He partakes in a traditional pastoral setting of rustic, idyllic landscapes rife with “simple” peasant folk, happy children, and agricultural pursuits far from the complexities of urban or courtly life—at least in the first part of the novel. This idealized pastoral framework with its peaceful green hills and valleys appears isolated from—or, more precisely, abstracted from ...


Music And Migratory Subjects In Pedro Almodóvar’S Todo Sobre Mi Madre, Hable Con Ella, And Volver, Debra J. Ochoa Apr 2014

Music And Migratory Subjects In Pedro Almodóvar’S Todo Sobre Mi Madre, Hable Con Ella, And Volver, Debra J. Ochoa

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

A film criticism is presented for the Spanish films "Todo sobre mi madre," "Hable con ella," and "Volver," all by film director, screen writer, and producer Pedro Almodóvar. It focuses particularly on Almodóvar's use of international music and his interest in immigrants and their cultural influences on Spain.


Coming Home: The Latina/O Queer Zone Of Comfort, Rita Urquijo-Ruiz Apr 2014

Coming Home: The Latina/O Queer Zone Of Comfort, Rita Urquijo-Ruiz

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

An autobiographical account about accepting and utlilizing the multifaceted aspects of one's identity as queers of color in order to transform one's community.


Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands: Heroic Women Of The Early Reconquest In The Spanish Comedia, Matthew D. Stroud Jan 2014

Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands: Heroic Women Of The Early Reconquest In The Spanish Comedia, Matthew D. Stroud

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Against the backdrop of the uncertain and troubling history of Christian Spain at the turn of the ninth century, three comedias highlight the heroic deeds of the women of Asturias and León. In Lope de Vega’s Las doncellas de Simancas, women who are to be sent as tribute to the Emir of Córdoba sever their own hands, threaten suicide, and ultimately lead the resistance against the barbaric exchange. In Las famosas asturianas, also by Lope, Sancha, selected, as well, for delivery to the Moors, shames her countrymen by appearing undressed before them but not in the presence of the ...


"¡Ay, Reino Mal Gobernado!": The Monarchy In Mira De Amescua’S Las Desgracias Del Rey Don Alfonso, El Casto, Matthew D. Stroud Jan 2014

"¡Ay, Reino Mal Gobernado!": The Monarchy In Mira De Amescua’S Las Desgracias Del Rey Don Alfonso, El Casto, Matthew D. Stroud

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Until relatively recently, the conventional wisdom regarding the comedia held that the vast and remarkable cultural production of Spain’s Golden Age not only mirrored its political dominance but served as imperial propaganda in the effort to project the Hapsburg monarchy, the Castilian language, the Iberian political and economic systems, and the Roman Catholic religion both at home and abroad. More recent scholarship has found the relationship between imperial cultural production, politics, and society to be much more complicated, porous, and nuanced. Baroque art and literature teem with representations of racial and sexual diversity, class distinctions, and national identities, and ...


Dirty Traffic And The Dark Pastoral In The Anthropocene: Narrating Refugees, Deforestation, Radiation, And Melting Ice, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2014

Dirty Traffic And The Dark Pastoral In The Anthropocene: Narrating Refugees, Deforestation, Radiation, And Melting Ice, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

“Dirt is essentially disorder [....] Dirt offends against order,” asserts Mary Douglas in her 1966 anthropological text on “purity and pollution.” Dirt disturbs order; hence dirt is that which is disorderly and “out of place.” Similarly, according to Greg Garrard’s Ecocriticism (2012) the term pollution describes a cultural norm denoting something out of place: pollution, he writes, “does not name a substance or class of substances, but rather represents an implicit normative claim that too much of something is present in the environment, usually in the wrong place.” This definition of pollution and dirt as “something out of place,” however ...


The Chica Rara As Observer In Concha Alós’S Los Cien Pájaros, Debra J. Ochoa Jan 2013

The Chica Rara As Observer In Concha Alós’S Los Cien Pájaros, Debra J. Ochoa

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

The article focuses on how the protagonist of the book "Los cien pájaros," by Concha Alós can be understood through the concept of chica rara or strange girl given by author Carmen Martín Gaite. Topics discussed include the use of the term chica rara by Martín Gaite in the novel "Nada," by Carmen Laforet, the issues involving prostitution and sexuality in the "Los cienpájaros," and the portrayal of independent woman in the book.


Glittery Poetics: Joteando En San Antonio, Tejas, Rita Urquijo-Ruiz Jan 2013

Glittery Poetics: Joteando En San Antonio, Tejas, Rita Urquijo-Ruiz

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

No abstract provided.


Part(Iend)O El Alma: Rebirthing The Self, Rita Urquijo-Ruiz Jan 2013

Part(Iend)O El Alma: Rebirthing The Self, Rita Urquijo-Ruiz

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

No abstract provided.


Irony In Emmanuel Carrère’S La Moustache, Nina Ekstein Jan 2013

Irony In Emmanuel Carrère’S La Moustache, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

The subject of irony in film is a problematic one, in no small measure because of the assumption of referentiality in what is shown onscreen. I examine a form of irony that is tied to undecidability and use it to analyze La moustache (2005), which is a cinematic exploration of the possibilities for creating undecidability and its attendant tensions, exemplifying how irony may be visually communicated. Carrère's film moves into the domain of irony through a wide-ranging critique worked out through discordance.


Sex In Rotrou’S Theater: Performance And Disorder, Nina Ekstein Aug 2012

Sex In Rotrou’S Theater: Performance And Disorder, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Sexual desire is ubiquitous in all theater. It follows that virtually all theatrical traditions struggle with the issue of the representation of that desire onstage. The French stage of the 1630s and Jean Rotrou's theater of that period in particular constitute an unusual moment of relative freedom before the imposition of the bienséances banished sexual activity from the stage. What I propose is a theatrical reading of sex in Rotrou's plays, a tripartite examination of dramatic strategy: how Rotrou foregrounds the scandalous by direct depiction of sexuality onstage; how at other moments he moves to attenuate its prurient ...


Genesis 31-34 As Spanish Comedia: Lope De Vega’S El Robo De Dina, Matthew D. Stroud Apr 2012

Genesis 31-34 As Spanish Comedia: Lope De Vega’S El Robo De Dina, Matthew D. Stroud

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Lope de Vega’s El robo de Dina, based upon Genesis 31-34, focuses on the disturbing series of events involving Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, and culminating in the mass slaughter of an entire enemy people who were doing their best to accommodate the demands of the Hebrews. The primary focus of this article is not the Biblical story itself, but rather the techniques that Lope used to adapt his source text for a comedia audience. From the amplification of the scope of the source text by the inclusion of the story of Laban and Jacob to the depiction of women ...


Racializing Queerness, Queering Nationalism, Rita Urquijo-Ruiz Apr 2012

Racializing Queerness, Queering Nationalism, Rita Urquijo-Ruiz

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Book review of Reading Chican@ Like a Queer: The De-Mastery of Desire by Sandra K. Soto, part of the Chicana Matters Series.


Material Ecocriticism: Dirt, Waste, Bodies, Food, And Other Matter, Dana Phillips, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2012

Material Ecocriticism: Dirt, Waste, Bodies, Food, And Other Matter, Dana Phillips, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Chunks of walls and flooring crash in mangled heaps as an enormous orange crane smashes apart the science building. Fueled in part by energy funds, Trinity University is updating its campus. Several hundred feet away, purple martins swoop down to feed squawking chicks nestled in white plastic gourds dangling from an angular metallic pole. In the university's community garden, ripe tomatoes are going to waste. Beyond the demolition site, a grackle lands on the neatly mown grass, where he puffs up and struts while other grackles watch him.


Faust’S Mountains: An Ecocritical Reading Of Goethe’S Tragedy And Science, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2012

Faust’S Mountains: An Ecocritical Reading Of Goethe’S Tragedy And Science, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Ecocriticism's environmental perspective views human beings, bodies, and culture as participants in ecological interactions and exchanges with the rest of the energetic and material world, including both biotic and abiotic forms. This ecocritical essay assesses how Goethe portrays Faust's mountain experiences in both part I and part II (1808, 1832) of the tragedy as engagements with physical matter rather than with spiritual inspiration. Indeed, by using ecocriticism to study Goethe's science as the context for the play, we see that Faust's many mountains are more than a setting; they actively destabilize his — and our — assumptions about ...


La Pratique Ironique De L’Appel À L’Autorité Dans Les Péritextes Du Théâtre De Corneille, Nina Ekstein Jan 2012

La Pratique Ironique De L’Appel À L’Autorité Dans Les Péritextes Du Théâtre De Corneille, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Corneille a lié un grand nombre de péritextes à son œuvre théâtrale, dont les Préfaces, les avis « Au lecteur », les Arguments, les Épîtres, les Examens de 1660 et les Trois Discours sur le poème dramatique de la même année. Ce sont tous des textes polémiques du fait qu’ils représentent des prises de position dans les débats théâtraux de l’époque. Ce sont aussi des défenses souvent très spécifiques de ses œuvres. Les péritextes constituent un terrain particulièrement riche car c’est là qu’un auteur fait connaître ses intentions au lecteur.


The Theatrical Lieu De Culture Within Molière’S Theater, Nina Ekstein Jan 2012

The Theatrical Lieu De Culture Within Molière’S Theater, Nina Ekstein

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Molière’s theater is itself, by definition, a lieu de culture. The performance of one of his plays transforms the space in which it occurs into a lieu de culture by virtue of the presence of two crucial features. First, the performance belongs to a cultural domain, in this case specifically the theater. By ‘culture’ I mean simply that which is tied to the arts, letters, manners, and scholarly pursuits. Second there must be an audience present for that performance. The same basic situation obviously holds true for any playwright whose plays are performed. What makes Molière interesting is the ...


The Biblical Ruth As Dama Principal: Tirso’S La Mejor Espigadera, Matthew D. Stroud Jan 2012

The Biblical Ruth As Dama Principal: Tirso’S La Mejor Espigadera, Matthew D. Stroud

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

The comedia mined a variety of source texts for its plots—Italian novelle, Spanish history, Greek and Roman mythology, and, of course, the Bible—but always managed to adapt plot, setting, and characters to the conventions of the Spanish national theater. This process offered great benefits, such as audience familiarity, as well as challenges, including inherent and unavoidable limitations on artistic freedom. One of the more interesting adaptations is Tirso de Molina’s reworking of the Biblical story of Ruth in La mejor espigadera, primarily because of the lack of dramatic potential offered by the original: there are no villains ...


Dirt Theory And Material Ecocriticism, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2012

Dirt Theory And Material Ecocriticism, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

This essay speaks for dirty aesthetics. Although aesthetic landscapes readily inspire environmental thinking, a case can be made for grappling with the truly local dirty matter right at hand. Dirt, soil, earth, and dust surround us at all scales: we find them on our shoes, bodies, and computer screens, in fields and forests, and floating in the air. They are the stuff of geological structures, of the rocky Earth itself, and are mobile like our bodies.