The lovers in Guigemar certainly make choices and take action of one sort or another in the course of the story, but they also depend upon other agents to produce their love story. Without the ship, the stag, the shirt, the belt, their story would necessarily be quite different. Choose one of these nonhuman figures and investigate, then describe, its influence on the course of love that is clearly at the center of the narrative.
Later in the chapter Gerrard tackles the challenge ecocriticism sees in constructionism, a perspective prevalent in cultural analysis during the past quarter century. He notes that “The challenge for ecocritics is to keep one eye on the ways in which ‘nature’ is always in some ways culturally constructed, and the other on the fact that nature really exists” (10). In what ways can nature, typically considered the ‘opposite’ of culture, be “culturally constructed”? As ever, an example or two would be useful.
Gerrard claims that “As ecocritics seek to offer a truly transformative discourse, enabling us to analyse and criticise the world in which we live, attention is increasingly given to the broad range of cultural processes and products in which, and through which, the complex negotiations of nature and culture take place” (5). How might you explain what he refers to with “the broad range of cultural processes and products in which, and through which, the complex negotiations of nature and culture take place”? Offer an example or two to demonstrate your understanding of what he’s referring to here.
Get yourself acquainted with the way I’ve structured the course by investigating the course blog. Here you should be able to find enough to give you an impression of the class before we meet on Jan 12. In the course description (“our course” in the blog menu) and syllabus (“policies” and “schedule” in the blog menu), you’ll see that most of our coursework will be done here on the blog site—but with papers submitted, and related comments and grades posted, in OAKS. Take a look around, get familiarized, and feel free, please, to contact me with any questions that might arise before the first day: seamanm[at]cofc.edu.