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Full-Text Articles in Modern Literature

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 ...