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The Dialogue between the Discourses of Ecocriticism and Environmental Poetry

Pickford, Stuart (2009) The Dialogue between the Discourses of Ecocriticism and Environmental Poetry. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This practice-led thesis consists of a collection of poetry and a critical commentary. Through both parts, I examine the nature of the dialogue between ecocriticism and environmental poetry, specifically, the representation of non-human creatures, the representation of bioregions and the use of binarisms, especially as they apply to gender roles. The critical commentary analyses ecocritical perspectives with regard to these issues before contextualizing them in terms of contemporary, mainstream environmental poetry. My own practice is located within this context to reveal the nature of the dialogue between the two discourses. Although the collection of poetry should be read before the critical commentary, I intend for individual poems to be revisited when they form the subject of discussion within the commentary. Ecocriticism is a relatively new discourse that has gained increased prominence over the last decade. This research examines the discourses of ecocriticism and environmental poetry revealing that there are a number of undertheorized areas. Additionally, it demonstrates that the characteristics of the two discourses mean that they sometimes have different agendas. The nature of the dialogue shows that, in some instances, there is disagreement, but more frequently, one discourse tests, expands and qualifies the other, revealing biases and blind spots. As part of this practice-led research, I critique a number of prescriptive definitions of environmental poetry in order to propose a more clearly defined, comprehensive and relevant type of environmental poetry, a significant aspect of this project. My own new definition is an attempt to focus the attention of poets and ecocritics, rather than to be prescriptive.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communications (Leeds) > Performance and Cultural Industries (Leeds)
Depositing User: Digitisation Studio Leeds
Date Deposited: 01 May 2012 09:21
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:23
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2306

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