« Nature Repairs Our Ravages? George Eliot’s Novel Ecosystem »-Jesse Oak Taylor, OdG 165, 5pm-7pm

A19, Victorian Persistence and the LARCA invites Dr. Jesse Oak Taylor on Wednesday 6 November 2019. The joint sesssion (5pm-7pm) will take place at the Université de Paris (bâtiment Olympe de Gouges, salle 165).

Dr. Jesse Oak Taylor will give a paper entitled “Nature Repairs Our Ravages? George Eliot’s Novel Ecosystems.”

Jesse Oak Taylor is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Washington. His research focuses on industrialization and empire in the nineteenth century and their relevance for tracing the emergence of the Anthropocene. His recent book, The Sky of Our Manufacture: The London Fog in British Fiction from Dickens to Woolf (2016) traces the conceptual emergence of climate change on the soot-laden London fog (i.e., « smog ») in the late-19th and early 20th centuries. It argues that aesthetics, especially the novel, re-frame our perception in order to come to terms with an environment in which everything, including the weather, bears the imprint of human action. 

His current research explores the concept of the Anthropocene, especially in terms of the way it opens new methodological intersections between the humanities and the sciences, an approach Tobias Menely and himself have been calling the Earth System Humanities. At present, he is approaching this topic through Victorian evolutionary theory, asking how nineteenth century debates around species, geologic time, extinction, and the fossil record must be re-evaluated in light of the human species’s emergence as a geologic agent at planetary scale during the same period.

Pr. Sara Thornton (University of Paris) will be his respondent. 

We will be working with the following texts:

– Dipesh Chakrabarty, ‘The Planet: An Emergent Humanist Category’, Critical Inquiry, Volume 46, Number 1 | Autumn 2019.

– George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1860. (Book First, Chapter 1, Book First, Chapter 12, Book Fourth, Chapter 1, Book Sixth, Chapter 5, Conclusion)

– Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable, University of Chicago Press, 2016.

– Tobias Menely and Jesse Oak Taylor (eds.), ‘Introduction in Anthropocene Reading: Literary History in Geologic Times, University Park, Pennsylvania: Penn State University Press, 2017.

All are welcome!

 

 


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