Jennifer Atkinson presents at the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment

IAS faculty member Jennifer Atkinson presented at the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE). Her talk, "The Poetics of Dirt," explored the role of garden writing in unsettling the privileged status of vision -- and reduction of nature to an optical artifact -- in 19th century U.S. nature writing. The paper also examined the ethical implications of everyday, embodied aspects of garden-based literature and arts, which highlight sense experiences we share with other forms of life. In facilitating felt and imagined connections (what phenomenologists call “vital sympathies”) that are a precondition for extending moral consideration beyond our own selves and species, the genre opens a space in which we might take seriously the vibrancy of matter and various forms of nonhuman agency.