Voulay-vous éc(h)opoétizay aveck moy ?
The recent French surge of interest in ecocriticism has sparked interesting debates about whether there might be a French specificity in the field. Foregrounding the use of the term “ecopoétique,” some have argued that Francophone academics focus less on the thematic and ideological aspects of environmental literature than Anglophone scholars do, to better scrutinize the poetic fabric of the text. Relying on my own liminal experience as an academic with a bicultural background, trained in English studies mostly in France but with readings predominantly form the English-speaking world, I would like to propose a piece of semi-narrative writing, drawing connections between various cultural threads that I have learned to braid. I aim to tease out some of the influences that have come together to determine my cross-cultural practice of research in ecopoetics and ecofeminism–another ecocritical movement that was largely ignored in France until just recently and is now blooming. Furthermore, this essay delineates some of the leading initiatives and trends that have emerged in the past few years, bringing together various Francophone scholars and networks that have greatly contributed to the blossoming of ecocriticism in French academia. Finally, I cast light on some of the work carried out by the University of Perpignan Ecopoetics workshop. I draw out the guiding principles and perspectives that we believe can bring about innovative developments in the field.
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