Ecologies and the Arts
Environmental approaches to cultural studies have gained in visibility in recent years as they were moving beyond the exclusive focus on "wild" nature. An emphasis on the interconnections of environmental, social, cultural, political and economic issues is certainly not new: it builds on a whole body of works from a variety of traditions (eco-socialist, anti-colonial, materialist, eco-feminist and indigenous). While these traditions tended to be sidelined within mainstream genealogies of (Anglo-American) eco-criticism, the understanding of nature as limited to "wild" spaces is now again being questioned from many different directions. This research group seeks to historicize the way in which the arts have articulated and thought through nature-society relations. Its discussions do not limit themselves to cultural artefacts that explicitly deal with "nature" (although these remain relevant). Romantic or environmentalist poetry is as appropriate a topic for discussion as novels that deal with energy regimes, financial crises, or artworks conceptualizing 'waste'.