<b>Toward an Ecopoetics of Randomness and Design: An Introduction</b> // Hacia una eco-poética de la aleatoriedad y el diseño: Una introducción


  • Franca Anik Bellarsi Université libre de Bruxelles
  • Judith Rauscher Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg




Ecopoetics, poiesis, randomness, design, entanglement, ecotone, adaptive mapping // Ecopoética, aleatoriedad, diseño, enmarañamiento, ecotono, mapeo flexible


      What ecopoetics is and what it does, how it relates to but also exceeds ecopoetry, and the nature of its relationship to the more general poiesis (?making”) at work in the material universe remain open and thorny questions. Moreover, what are the insights from the more specialised field of experimental ecopoetry that we may bring to our understanding of ecopoetics in general, whatever the genre and material support on which environmentally-inflected poiesis deploys itself? As this Special Focus section shows, one may begin to answer such questions by taking into account notions of randomness and design, concepts that operate in experimental texts and the material universe at large, but which have not been sufficiently foregrounded in the ongoing theoretical debate on ecopoetics. Any sustained effort to understand how randomness and design permeate ecopoetics requires a vision of ecopoetics that goes beyond (eco)poetry. Providing some examples of what such a broader vision of ecopoetics might look like is also one of the goals of this Special Focus. Unfolding in three stages, this introductory essay will first map out the elements and orientations that inform the debates on ecopoetics, while also touching upon the adjacent territories of geopoetics, zoopoetics, écopoétique and Ökopoetik. A second part will meditate on the elusive concepts of randomness and design, and on how ecopoetics might be considered a form of adaptive mapping of their ever-fluid entanglement. The third part, finally, presents the contributions to this Special Focus section and surveys the different facets of the co-constitutive operations of randomness and design explored in each.



      Lo que es y hace la ecopoética, cómo se relaciona pero también supera la ecopoesía, y la naturaleza de su relación con la más general poiesis (“creación”) en el universo material siguen siendo cuestiones abiertas y espinosas. Además, ¿cuáles son las percepciones del campo más especializado de la ecopoesía experimental que podemos aplicar a nuestro entendimiento de la ecopoética en general, sea cual sea el enero y el soporte material en el que se despliega la poiesis influida por el medioambiente? Como muestra esta Sección especial, uno puede empezar a responder tales preguntas teniendo en cuenta nociones de aleatoriedad y diseño, conceptos que operan en textos experimentales y en el universo material en general, pero que no se han colocado suficientemente en un primer plano en el continuo debate teórico sobre la ecopoética. Cualquier esfuerzo continuo para entender cómo la aleatoriedad y el diseño impregnan la ecopoética requiere una visión de la ecopoética que va más allá de la (eco)poesía.  Aportando algunos ejemplos del posible aspecto de esa visión más amplia de la ecopoética es también uno de los objetivos de esta sección. Desarrollada en tres pasos, este ensayo introductorio primero delineará los elementos y orientaciones que informan los debates sobre ecopoética, a la vez que abordará brevemente los campos adyacentes de la geopoética, la zoopoética, la écopoétique y la Ökopoetik. La segunda parte meditará sobre los elusivos conceptos de aleatoriedad y diseño, y en cómo puede considerarse la ecopoética como una forma de trazar de forma flexible sus siempre fluidos entrelazamientos. La tercera parte, finalmente, presenta las contribuciones a esta sección y sondea las diferentes facetas de las operaciones co-constitutivas de aleatoriedad y diseño que se exploran en cada artículo.


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Author Biographies

Franca Anik Bellarsi, Université libre de Bruxelles

FRANCA BELLARSI's research and publication interests are equally divided between Beat Generation studies, ecocriticism/ecopoetics, and English Romanticism.  In 2008, she convened the first ecocritical/ecopoetic conference in Belgium.  She has also guest-edited three special issues with academic journals on topics such as ecopoetry/ecopoetics or ecospirituality (one with the Canadian Online Journal of Ecocriticism, JoE in 2009; one with the Journal of Comparative American Studies (CAS) in 2009 too; and one in 2011 with Ecozon@, European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment).  In 2016, she convened the 7th Biennial Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Culture, Literature and Environment (EASCLE) in Brussels. She is currently working on several publication projects devoted to experimental ecopoetics, including two forthcoming special issues, one with  of the Australian journal Plumwood Mountain and one with Green Humanities (co-guest-edited with Chad Weidner).

Judith Rauscher, Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

Judith Rauscher is a lecturer and postdoctoral researcher in American Studies at the Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg. Her research interests include North American ecopoetry, environmental cultures of mobility, feminist science fiction, and single-sex societies in U.S. literature and culture. She has published articles on Canadian petro-poetry, the intersection of ecocriticism and geocriticism, the poetics of place and displacement in U.S. multiethnic poetry, and the environmental imaginaries of American poetry about air travel. She is currently finishing a manuscript on “Poetic Place-Making: Nature and Mobility in Contemporary American Poetry,” and preparing a new project tentatively entitled “Revisions of the American Eve: Gender, Community, and the Technoscientific Imagination.”






Articles: Toward an Ecopoetics of Randomness and Design