Oregon State University

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The Critical Questions Lecture Series Presents: Professor Evan Gottlieb

Speculative Romanticism, or Wordsworth and Shelley in the Anthropocene

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

If poets are “the unacknowledged legislators of the world,” as Percy Shelley famously claimed, then what do the Romantic poets have to say to us today, when many of our current political leaders are notably unwilling to take seriously the looming catastrophe of climate change? Although poets like Shelley and William Wordsworth did not have phrases like “anthropogenic global warming” at their disposal, they were writing at the beginning of the geologic era we now call the Anthropocene: the era of unprecedented human intervention in the Earth’s atmosphere, with potentially irreversible effects. Re-viewing some of their most influential writings through the lens of Speculative Realism – a set of theoretical approaches that emphasize the importance of thinking outside the subject-object duopoly – we can see the strengths as well as the limitations of their attempts to render in words what Timothy Morton calls “solidarity with nonhuman people.”

Memorial Union (campus map)
206 (Asian-Pacific Room)
Teagan Lochner
1 541 737 1541
teagan.lochner at oregonstate.edu
Sch of Wrtg Lit & Film
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