"Nature as Nurturer and Nemesis: Ecocritical readings of Daniel Defoe and his contemporaries [1/31/11;6/14/11]
Defoe's publication of the various pieces known collectively as "The Storm" (1704) set the stage, early in his career, for the significant role nature would play in his imagination. In his novels, nature alternatively functions as nurturer and nemesis to the travelers who traverse the globe. Robinson Crusoe's relationship to animals on the island both reconciled him to the place and provided some of his greatest moments of fear and dread. This panel will take up the challenge laid down by Rober Marzec in "An Ecological and Postcolonial Study of Literature: From Daniel Defoe to Salman Rushdie" (Palgrave Macmillian 2007) to consider the implications of reading Defoe's works through a deliberately ecological lens. Papers on Defoe's contemporaries will also be welcomed.