[SEM] Session 2 – ‘Animisms,’ 10 December 2020

The Environmental Humanities research group at LARCA UMR 8225, Université de Paris, in conjunction with the ‘Poietic and Politics’ and ‘Ireland’ groups, U Lille, are happy to invite you to its next session, entitled ‘Animisms,’ featuring Peter Boxall, Jemma Deer and Nicholas Royle (5-7 o’clock, Paris time, 10 December 2020).

Zoom link

Peter Boxall will speak from his recently-completed novel tentatively entitled Estrangement, and in particular, relative to questions of radical animism, he will focus on sections of it that dwell on the painting of British artist, Eric Ravilious (1903-1942).

Jemma Deer will be speaking about her new book Radical Animism: Reading for the End of the World(Bloomsbury 2020).Drawing on a wide range of modern writers and thinkers – from Freud and Darwin to Latour and Derrida, from Shakespeare and Carroll to Woolf and Kafka – Radical Animism develops a new theory of life for a planet in crisis. In the context of the ongoing climate catastrophe, this book shows how ‘literary animism’ – the active and transformative life of literature – can open our thinking to the immense power of the non-human world. An extract from its first chapter, which you can download here, gives us a springboard into it.

Nicholas Royle will read from the ‘Hides’ sections of his novel,  An English Guide to Birdwatching (Myriad 2017). Hélène Cixous writes of it: ‘Great books are still written, they just have to take place in Literature, the continent that never forgets. While reading An English Guide to Birdwatching, I travelled in all the time periods, places, countries of literature. It was more than an odyssey. […] And during this whole prodigious journey, I never stopped laughing. But also working. And since everything takes place in illyrical England—that is, in Verifiction, that is, in the World-Theatre—one inhabits here both a familiar and a supernatural climate: the characters come and go, by bike or by train, from one end to the other of existence; it happens that they die suddenly, but no death takes more than a few pages, the Guide and its birds are there to call the dead back to life.’

About our speakers:

Peter Boxall’s publications include books on Samuel Beckett, on Don DeLillo, on the novel, including Twenty-First Century FictionThe Value of the Novel, and most recently The Prosthetic Imagination: A History of the Novel as Artificial Life. He has edited a collection on Beckett’s politics, entitled ‘Beckett/Aesthetics/Politics’, a collection on poetry, entitled ‘Thinking Poetry’ (with Peter Nicholls), and 1001 Books you Must Read Before You Die. He is editor of the UK journal Textual Practice. Professor at the University of Sussex, Peter Boxall is also currently Visiting Professor at the University of Lille

Jemma Deer, PhD U Sussex, is currently research fellow at the Rachel Carson Centre in Munich, Germany. She is also co-Host of EcoCast, the official podcast of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE), Narrator and Associate Producer of Shakespeare for All, and in 2018–20 was Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Harvard University Center for the Environment.

Nicholas Royle’s hundreds of essays and score of books change how literature is read. Some of his books are monographs on writers in English (Shakespeare, Forster, Bowen, …), studies in deconstruction and of Jacques Derrida. His most recent published book is Hélène Cixous, Dreamer, realist, analyst, writingNicholas Royle also authored theoretical essays on reading the literary, such as, in 2011, 2001, and 1991, respectively Veering: A Theory of LiteratureThe Uncanny, and Telepathy and Literature. With Andrew Bennett, he is co-author of the textbook An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory. His fiction includes the novels Quilt and An English Guide to Birdwatching. Earlier this year, he published Mother: A Memoir. Professor at the University of Sussex, Nicholas Royle is also currently Visiting Professor at the University of Lille.

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