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Full-Text Articles in Modern Languages

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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.


Affinity Studies And Open Systems: A Non-Equilibrium, Ecocritical Reading Of Goethe's Faust, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2011

Affinity Studies And Open Systems: A Non-Equilibrium, Ecocritical Reading Of Goethe's Faust, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Ecocriticism’s contributions to the current rejection of dualistic thinking are noteworthy, particularly when this interdisciplinary field concentrates on hybridity and “relations” that preexist essences. In this mode, ecocriticism participates in a broader development of “affnity studies” that encompass the many efforts across the disciplines toward reconfiguring our “intraactions” with the world in terms that avoid dichotomies and Newtonian linearity and that utilize instead nonlinear, nondualistic forms of “hybridity.” Hybrids, in Steve Hinchliffe’s words, are “more or less durable bodies made up of similarly hybrid and impermanent relations.


Nature In A Box: Ecocriticism, Goethe’S Ironic Werther, And Unbalanced Nature, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2011

Nature In A Box: Ecocriticism, Goethe’S Ironic Werther, And Unbalanced Nature, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Ecocriticism emphasizes how our bodily and ecological boundaries are just as porous, inter-penetrable, and open as are our cultural and linguistic realms. As individual bodies and communities, we are fully immersed in our material environment and participating in constant exchanges of matter and energy. In this essay, I nevertheless advocate for a cautious approach to the ecocritical question of contested boundaries. After all, some boundaries and membranes are necessary to maintain living organisms. Regarding Timothy Morton’s assertion that we are “radically open,” I note the need for stable and healthy membranes to sustain life, such as our porous yet ...


Ecocriticism, The Elements, And The Ascent/Descent Into Weather In Goethe’S Faust, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2010

Ecocriticism, The Elements, And The Ascent/Descent Into Weather In Goethe’S Faust, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

The ostensibly religious and ethical significance of Faust's final ascension after his death tends to distract, if not blind, readers to other possible implications of that upwards movement and to the idea that he may continue and return "back to earth." The assumption that heavenly powers reward Faust leads to the claim that Goethe's tragedy validates the quest of "land developers" or those who would strive regardless of the consequences. I propose, in contrast, that we read Faust's "final" ascension alongside Goethe's weather essay, "Witterungslehre 1825," and thereby note that this upward motion is not necessarily ...


The Dangerous Quest For Nature Narratives In Goethe’S Werther: A Reading Of The Ruptured Monologue And The Ruptured Body, Heather I. Sullivan Jan 2007

The Dangerous Quest For Nature Narratives In Goethe’S Werther: A Reading Of The Ruptured Monologue And The Ruptured Body, Heather I. Sullivan

Modern Languages and Literatures Faculty Research

Assessing Goethe's narrative ruptures, this essay follows their trail in three directions: first through the editor's sudden interruption of Werther producing the post-epistolary multiplicity of voices, second in the alterations Goethe made to the 1787 version of Werther that enhance the theme of rupture itself, and third along the fault-lines delineated in three exemplary "letters of nature" from Werther.