Nineteenth-Century Eco-poetics, 2013 NeMLA, March 21-24, Boston, MA

full name / name of organization: 
Sophie Lavin
contact email: 

How does nature operate in nineteenth-century poetry? From Arnold's "Scholar-Gypsy" to Leopardi's "La Ginestra," nineteenth-century poets privileged the nature motif in their verse. While literary critics have queried these poetic projects by focusing on Empire, religion, gender, and form, few scholars have explored eco-critical approaches to this global canon. This panel will consider poems where science interrogates landscape, faith interacts with nature, and industrialization pocks the pastoral. We will begin by exploring how the systematic and organized study of nature—and the advent of the natural sciences—impacted verse forms. We will also ask how literary legacies, such as Romanticism, influenced the positioning of nature in the nineteenth-century verse. Panelists will explore through theoretical lenses the evolving notions of nature and how they manifest in the poetry of various nation-states. We will query how the genre responded to the burgeoning sciences and technological innovations, and we will explore the theoretical implications of a nineteenth-century eco-poetics.

This panel queries how nineteenth-century poets privileged the nature motif in their verse. Panelists should examine through theoretical lenses canonic or non-canonic poems (lyric, epic, sonnet, verse-novel, elegy, etc.) that manifest nature in verse. 500 word Abstract/CV by 9/30 to with subject line "NeMLA 19th Eco_Poetics"