Summary

When William Cronon and other scholars met at UC Irvine with the task of “reinventing nature,” they found that the physical and social landscapes of the region lent themselves to the critical and interdisciplinary work of re-defining commonly held notions of nature. Cronon writes in the introduction to Uncommon Ground: Toward Reinventing Nature, “What better place than southern California… to explore the contradictory meanings of nature in the modern world- not because southern California is unique but because it perfectly exemplifies so many tendencies of modern American culture” (34). For Cronon, the region is one local place of many from which to theorize about how larger forces such as modernization, urbanization, globalization, and climate change impact our understandings of humans and their relationships to nonhumans and places.

In light of the important contributions made by the working group at UC Irvine over a decade ago, the UC San Diego Transdisiplinary Ecocriticism Group aims to create an interdisciplinary space to discuss teaching development and research in the Environmental Humanities. We ask: what are the intellectual and ethical responsibilities we, as ecocritics working in Southern California, might cultivate? What are the pedagogical best practices in our respective fields? How might these pedagogical and ethical responsibilities inform our research methodologies? To answer our proposed questions, we will host a variety of discussion group meetings, lectures, field trips, and an end of the year symposium. We are excited about collaborating with the Interdisciplinary Forum for Environmental Research in the 2015-2016 academic year!

The group is open to new members. For more information about how to join the group or participate in any events, please email the appropriate contact person.

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