Ecocriticism in Poland: Then and Now
Keywords:Ecocriticism, animal studies, history of ecocriticism, Polish ecocriticism, comparative ecocriticism, empirical ecocriticism, new materialism
The aim of this paper is to present a synoptic picture of the development and current state of ecocriticism in Poland. Understood in the generic sense of the study of literature and environment, ecocriticism had begun in Poland already in 1970s and has since then generated its own original tradition. Understood in the specific historical sense of a field devoted to the study of literature and environment that was consolidated in the 1990s in the USA and the UK and has then expanded both in disciplinary and national terms, ecocriticism was imported to Poland only in the beginning of the 21st century, but has managed do generate its own tradition as well. For a while, both these currents of Polish ecocriticism had run in parallel to one another, but have recently merged, stimulating new exciting developments. The paper will delineate these historical trajectories and recent developments alike. And it will also show how today’s Polish ecocriticism contributes to ecocriticism globally, not only by offering its own culturally unique perspective and archives, but also by proposing new methodologies, including so-called empirical ecocriticism, an emerging field that originates in part from Poland.
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