This panel proposes to explore evidence of environmental concerns in all genres of French romantic literature. Through an ecocritical lens, we will examine the ways writers contested the unprecedented acceleration of advances in technology, industry and urbanization, and their detrimental effects on the natural environment. Going beyond the material concerns of the ‘city vs. country’ paradigm, we intend to analyze specific instances where French Romantics theorized a global and biocentric model of the natural environment. In what ways are the landscapes depicted in French romantic literature models of a better earth rather than conduits to expression? Aside from the stylistic construct of “le sentiment de la nature”, did Rousseau and Bernardin de Saint-Pierre leave a more profound ecological imprint on French depictions of nature? Did Wordsworth and the Lake Poets have a more significant impact on the French Romantics than has otherwise been realized? Is Baudelaire really “anti-Nature”? These are just a few examples of the important questions that this panel might address. Papers with a multidisciplinary approach addressing the influence of natural history, the American Transcendentalists, or landscape art on French nineteenth-century literature are also welcome.
Please submit 250-300 word abstracts in English or French to Karen Quandt, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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