Session1401
TitleKeynote Lecture 2021: Climate Then, Crisis Now - Medieval Ecocriticisms and Environmental Activism (Language: English)
Date/TimeWednesday 7 July 2021: 19.00-20.30
 
SpeakerHeide Estes, Department of English, Monmouth University, New Jersey
 
IntroductionAmanda Power, Faculty of History, University of Oxford
 
AbstractClimate crisis is real, and it is now, and its effects are and will continue to be most pronounced on people and communities with limited resources. As is clear from early medieval literary and hagiographical texts like Beowulf and Felix's Vita Guthlaci, our destructive relationship with the natural world, not to mention our insistence on relegating some humans to degraded positions, already existed more than a thousand years ago. Understanding how deeply embedded these attitudes are in our culture can help us understand the enormity of the cultural shift we need to undertake today in order to change course. As scholars of medieval literature and culture, our studies exist in a real world, not in an ivory tower vacuum. We need to engage with current problems facing the world such as climate crisis and environmental justice in our scholarship and in our teaching.