Replanting the Colony: Sustainable Ecology and Nationalist Memory
Ecological responses to colonialist legacies have emerged as a form of economic nationalism, simultaneously, representing renewable natural resources and expressing an authentic identity, disconnected from the colonizer. Often, such an eco-renaissance sells the former colony as a tourist destination, positing a purified form of Nature to contrast the colonizer’s urban identity. Upon closer examination, however, sustainable ecology is a nexus of cultural and economic forces. Ireland’s present reforestation project, for instance, seeks to re-create the forests of oak and yew that used to cover the island. Deforested by agricultural pressures as well as the colonizer’s Industrial Revolution needs, such forests now represent a vibrant intersection of science, history, and cultural memory, an ecological linchpin uniquely evolved to support the country’s flora and fauna, yet one that must be re-created from a pre-colonial past.
This panel, at the 24th International Conference of Europeanists at the University of Glasgow July 12-14, 2017, seeks submissions for studies examining eco-critical responses to a post-colonial history, wherein nations address their hybrid status by a conscious engagement with an ecologically sustainable cultural identity.
Submit abstracts and questions by October 1 to Daniel.Shea@msmc.edu