|In Memoriam – Glyn Salton-Cox
The English Department is devastated to announce the death over the New Year of our colleague Glyn Salton-Cox. To his family, loved ones, and friends here, in his native Britain, and throughout the world, we offer our deepest and most heartfelt condolences. Glyn was a brilliant scholar, a very popular teacher, and the kindest of colleagues.
The Department of English invites you to a commemoration of our colleague Glyn Salton-Cox on Friday, March 3d, 2023.
We will gather in the Faculty Club’s Betty Elings Wells Pavilion at 3:00 pm and then move to the Terrace at 4:00 pm for a reception. Please let us know of any accessibility requests.
Literature and the Environment: "Speculative Ecologies"
- Course Number: ENGL 122LE
Check on GOLD.
- Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 122AA-ZZ
- Quarter: Fall 2015
As a knowledge practice that uncovers strange interdependencies, complex food webs, and bizarre niches for even more bizarre creatures, ecology unsettles us with the alienness of the environment around us. Nonetheless, as a scientific endeavor, ecology is usually framed as a passive gathering of information, an uncovering of relationships that will enable a more complete description of a particular environment. This course asks what happens when ecology becomes a speculative and creative endeavor, an exploration not of a pre-existing system that we can already experience as an environment, but a radically new world. The speculative works that we will examine create imaginative worlds that are experientially alien to us, yet treat them as complex ecological systems. In these novels, films, and other works, ecology becomes more than another layer tacked on to everyday experience. It becomes the primary experience itself: uncovering the hidden interdependencies of a new environment may well be a matter of survival. We will consider ecosystems that have been radically altered by an alien intruder, alien worlds visited by humans who must adapt or die, imaginative reconfigurations of Earth dynamics in a post-petroleum world, and real emergent ecosystems that are hybrids of anthropogenic technology and natural systems. Imaginative encounters with these category-defying environments will challenge us to to think critically about what constitutes an ecosystem, and the implicit boundaries and limitations of ecology as we practice and experience it today.