A place for ASLEC-ANZ postgrad members to collaboratively do ecocriticism: share and discuss interesting links, articles and ideas; crowd-source research; test arguments; find collaborators
Eco-critical Connections is dedicated to creatively and critically considering the more-than-human aspects of our world. It is an initiative of the ASLEC-ANZ postgraduate community.
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ASLEC-ANZ Postgrad Mailing List We send out sporadic emails, particularly around the time of ASLEC-ANZ conferences and events, with opportunities for postgraduates and postdoctorates to engage with and contribute to the ASLEC-ANZ community.
Postgraduate Representatives 2015-2016
Emma Davies is a PhD student in Philosophy at the Australian National University. Her PhD is an investigation of how ethics in the human-nonhuman relationship is, and might be, informed by the affects. Read more here. Email: email@example.com
Alanna Myers is a PhD student in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. Her research explores the mediation of place in contemporary environmental struggles over conservation and mining. Read more here. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Report from Emma Nicoletti
Outgoing Postgraduate Representative 2013–14
Published in ASLEC-ANZ Newsletter Autumn/Winter 2015
The election of the Liberals in September 2013 made me anxious to say the least, prompting me to write the following on Eco-Critical Connections – ASLEC-ANZ’s postgrad and ECR blog:
Emeritus Professor of Science at Griffith University bluntly states that the Coalition’s “direct action” proposal “will be disastrous for the environment if it carries [it] out”. Eminent Australian Environmental Humanities researcher, Deborah Bird Rose, has also eloquently spoken of the “bad news”: “The election results here in Australia are not good news for wildlife, ecosystems that have sustained minimal human impact, and all the human beings who research, rescue, love, care for, and defend animals, plants and ecosystems that are at risk.”
Of the risks the Coalition poses to environmentally-oriented humanities scholars are ridicule and a disregard for the valuable contribution they make to understanding …
Firstly, how the ways we see ourselves as actors in the world impacts upon how we relate to and act upon the world, and
Secondly, how to encourage people’s engagement and understanding of ecological issues so as to intervene in our “increasingly ridiculous […] addiction to waste”.
That last quote deliberately twists the opening line of the Liberal Party’s media release,
“Ending more of Labor’s Waste”, which states that “a Coalition Government, if elected, will crack down on Labor’s addiction to waste by auditing increasingly ridiculous research grants”. Among the projects Jamie Briggs, Liberal MP, holds up as “ridiculous” in this press release are a study into identity politics and a study into how urban media can best be used to respond to global climate change.
Briggs asserts that such projects waste taxpayer dollars because they “do little, if anything, to advance Australians research needs”, and, perhaps more importantly from Briggs’ point of view, because they speak about concepts and physical realities that he doesn’t understand or believe in (despite the overwhelming evidence) “leave taxpayers scratching their heads”.
You can read the entire article by clicking on this link. Unfortunately, the Coalition has managed to abolish our country’s emissions trading scheme, severely hamper our renewable energy sector and throw into doubt the inviolability of the Great Barrier Reef. However, thankfully, their across-the board anti-society and anti-environment policies and frequent ineptitude at diplomacy and consultation look to have ignited the interest of a generally politically apathetic Australian population, reflected in the Coalition’s terrible polling.
Never quelled by the waxing and waning of the political drama, ASLEC-ANZ’s passionate, talented and intelligent postgrad and ECR community have been tirelessly working to further our understanding of humannonhuman relations through art and humanities scholarship. Conceptualising, noticing and improving these relations is fundamental to helping ameliorate the interconnected difficulties facing individuals, societies and the environment. It is an important endeavour that often challenges the status quo, and I wish to draw attention to some of these achievements here.
Caroline Williamson, researching at Monash University, had her article ‘Beyond Generation
Green: Jill Jones and the Ecopoetic Process’ published in the Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, vol. 14 no.3 (2014). I am also pleased to report that the outstanding quality of Caroline’s work was rewarded with the Association’s A.D. Hope Prize, for the best postgraduate paper given at their 2013 conference.
Cassandra O’Loughlin, researching at the University of New Castle, has made an excellent contribution to the field of ecocriticism, publishing creative and academic work. Her poems “Touch and Flow” and “Floods” were published in the poetry anthology A Slow Combusting Hymn: Poetry from and about Newcastle and the Hunter Region, edited by Kit Kelen and Jean Kent and published by ASM and Cerberus Press and her review of Rose Lucas’s poetry book Even in the Dark can be found in Plumwood Mountain (Vol 2 No1). Cassandra has also had an article called “The Ecopoetics of Charles Harpur” published in Volume 3 of AJE, which I am thrilled to note was awarded an RHD Publication Prize Commendation 2014 by the Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle.
Julie Hawkins, researching at the University of New England, completed her PhD with a thesis entitled “Ecological Speculative Fiction: A Study of Futuristic Humans, their Technological ‘Worlds’ in early and their Relationship to Non-Human Nature”—congratulations to Julie on her graduation in October 2014. Her article, “Eco-Lore: Some Mythic and Folkloric Roots,” was published in Australian Folklore (28, 2013, No. 13, pp. 174 – 187) and she currently working on several projects, including writing courses and articles to help increase awareness of ecology and of the divide between humans and non-human nature and the need to heal it.
Catherine Clover has been highly prolific, exhibiting, presenting and authoring several works, interviews, conference papers and scholarly articles. I strongly encourage everyone to visit her website ciclover.com for a glimpse of her amazing work in the field of acoustic art and a detailed catalogue of her many, many achievements. Some of her most recent work includes, “Reading the Birds” as part of Trainspotters INC curated by Camilla Hannan and part of MoreArt 2014 Moreland City Council Public Art Show, “The Sky in a Room” curated by Cristiana Bottigella, Sigrun Sverrisdottir and Tisna Westerhof in Deptford X Harts Lane Studios London UK, “Artist’s Books (reprised)” coordinated by Sandra Bridie, Craig Burgess and Alice Mathieu at the George Paton Gallery in the University of Melbourne, “Melbourne SoundWords” in collaboration with Salomé Voegelin, curated by Danni Zuvela and Joel Stern as part of Liquid Architecture: The Ear is a Brain in Melbourne, and “Perch” in collaboration with Alice Hui-Sheng Chang and Vanessa Tomlinson, and curated by Andrew Tetzlaff for Blindside in Melbourne.
I am pleased to announce that my PhD thesis “Reading literature in the Anthropocene: Ecosophy and ecologically-orientated ethics of Jeff Noon’s Nymphomation and Pollen” has been passed and received an Honourable Mention in the Board of the Graduate Research School Dean’s List. I also invite you to keep an eye out for my article “Becoming other to Belong: Radical Eco-Cosmopolitanism in Jeff Noon’s Nymphomation”, which has been republished in the IAFOR Academic Review Volume 1, Issue 5, available in March 2015.
As out-going postgraduate representative, I would like to extend my thanks to ASLEC-ANZ for giving me the opportunity to interact with such an amazing community of interested and like-minded scholars over the last two years. It has been richly rewarding and thoroughly motivating! I wish everyone all the best with their research and creative works.