Today! J. Allan Mitchell, “Household Habitats and the Medieval Ecological Imaginary,” Oecologies Speaker Series at Green College

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Please join us for the inaugural talk of the Oecologies Speaker Series at Green College at UBC!
J. Allan Mitchell
Dr. J. Allan Mitchell (English, University of Victoria)
“Household Habitats and the Medieval Ecological Imaginary”
5-6:30pm, Wed Oct 23, Coach House, Green College, UBC

Abstract: Medieval English household texts reveal the extent to which complicated ecologies underpin even the tidiest economies. Gestation and growth in particular expose the human to the vast universe, showing that persons become fleshed out in impersonal modes less anthropocentric than commonly assumed. Our sense that human creatures are entangled in dense material networks has been reinvigorated by recent theory. What is needed is a longer historical perspective. Recovering early notions of animacy, infancy, virtuality, and maturity, Mitchell traces the inheritance of modern speculative and scientific concepts too often considered in isolation from the past.

Speaker Info: J. Allan Mitchell is Associate Professor of English at the University of Victoria. He has written on medieval rhetoric, practical ethics, and human ecologies, and is the author of Becoming Human: An Essay on the Matter of the Child in the Later Middle Ages (forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press in 2014). His other books are Ethics and Eventfulness in Middle English Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and Ethics and Exemplary Narrative in Chaucer and Gower (D.S. Brewer, 2004).

Oecologies: Inhabiting Premodern Worlds is a new Speaker Series sponsored by Green College that gathers scholars from the humanities living and working along the North American Pacific coast to investigate the idea of “oecology,” an older spelling of the modern concept “ecology.” For event details, abstracts, and speaker information, please visit oecologies.com or view the event poster. Also follow us on Twitter (@Oecologies) and “Like” us on Facebook (facebook.com/oecologies)! Oecologies also holds a reading group in advance of each talk in the Speaker Series. If you are interested in attending future sessions, please contact Dr. Robert Rouse. If you have other questions about Oecologies, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Vin Nardizzi or the project assistant, Carmel Ohman.

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