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2016  Loving Trees  単独  2016/11/18 
Romantic Legacies  , National Chengchi University   

概要(Abstract) British people love trees. While generally seen as irreligious, historically, more interested in establishing trade than in building churches, many seem willing enough to shed their religious inhibitions for an old tree. The environmentalist, C. W. Nicol, relates his encounter as a young man with the Jomon Sugi of Yakushima forest in these terms: ‘I imagined that I could see an ancient face in the trunk, and my reaction … was to feel that this was no mere tree, but a deity’ (The Japan Times). ‘From mighty oaks to humble hazels, our sylvan treasures have never been more highly valued’ runs the byline of The Independent newspaper’s ‘Green Giants: Our Love Affair with Trees’, an article about the adoption in 2007 of a system for assigning actual monetary value to a tree, which has effectively ended the ‘chainsaw massacre’ of urban trees. Indeed, with record numbers of Britons planting saplings, the total area of land under forest is now approaching the 15% level that was reached back in 1086 (The Guardian).

But why do British people love trees? Though there are many reasons why all of us might love trees, one reason more applicable to British people than to the rest of us is because they have so few. Even at 15% forest cover, the country would still be far below the European average of 40%. Taking my audience briefly through some of the usual (e.g. Wordsworth and Bloomfield) and not-so-usual suspects (e.g. Blake and Gilbert White) of Green Romanticism, I will proceed to the dendrophilic works of two virtually unknown poets, Francis Noel Clarke Mundy and Sarah Johanna Williams. The aim is to distinguish a peculiarly Romantic dendrophilia, make connections with contemporary British dendrophilia, and illuminate the pleasures and perils of loving trees today. 

備考(Remarks)  

2015  Contested Landscapes  単独  2015/04/23 
English and Modern Languages Research Seminar Series  , Oxford Brookes University   

概要(Abstract) This paper is part of a larger project to recover from the eighteenth century alternative ways of thinking about the environment. Consider: why is it when we conserve land today, we necessarily have to put a border around it and prohibit its use? It's even worse with historical buildings, when we would hesitate to leave our own homes unoccupied and unused for more than a few months. The land was never made quite as useless as it is now in the name of conservation, and why this might be the case will be explained with reference to the Leasowes, a landscape garden created by William Shenstone in the middle decades of the eighteenth century. Furthermore, through the very different experience conveyed by James Woodhouse--a labouring poet with a family background in England's ancient common field system--of the same land, and the plants, animals and people who lived on it, this paper ultimately seeks to highlight the problematic legacy of an environmentalism that is unable to reconcile conservation with use. 

備考(Remarks)  

2015  Thinking Landscapes  単独  2015/03/29 
Kyoto Conference on Coleridge and Contemplation  , Kyoto Notre Dame University   

概要(Abstract) We, in the developed world, seem to have lost the ability to produce beautiful landscapes almost from the moment we learnt to appreciate it. Augustin Berque’s Thinking Through Landscape (2013) lays on the blame squarely at the door of the urban elites, the class to which Coleridge belonged, who, increasingly distanced from a practical engagement with the land, developed a literary and philosophical aesthetics that has led to the current environmental crisis. James Woodhouse, the shoemaker poet who observed the changes that were taking place across the West Midlands in the eighteenth century, offers the interesting alternative perspective of a working-class aesthetics of the land. The evidence furthermore suggests that he served as an ornamental hermit at the Leasowes, one of the celebrated prototypes of the English garden. Through the figure of Woodhouse as a spectacle of contemplation, and the design of the Leasowes Park as a site explicitly designed to encourage meditative reflection, I will attempt to tease out the social structures underpinning the act of contemplation and consider the circumstances under which it becomes damaging to human, animal and plant communities. 

備考(Remarks)  

2014  The Unauthorized History of the Japanese Occupation  単独  2014/10/11 
「『記憶』の共有を目指して」第6回シンポジウム  , 南山大学   

概要(Abstract) When the Japanese took Singapore from the British, they built a shrine in the middle of the island. It was called Syonan Jinja, which now lies in ruins. Its purpose is in dispute, so is the cause of its destruction at the end of the war. It is now visited by almost no one, owing to the dense, tropical rainforest around it and the reputation of the area as the haunt of ghosts and vampires. This paper is an examination of the afterlife of Singapore shrine, which Singaporeans read about but never actually see, and the place it occupies in the periphery both of the authorized historical record and a highly developed city. 

備考(Remarks)  

2012  Reading the Environment in Children's Literature  単独  2012/10/28 
日本英文学会中部支部第64回大会  , 南山大学   

概要(Abstract) Children's books offer me an accessible medium through which to teach students about the most serious social issues and the most difficult literary ideas. I will demonstrate this in two stages. First, to indicate how the politics of something as esoteric as biocentrism may be found across The Two Towers of J. R. R. Tolkien, The Iron Man by Ted Hughes, and Alan Moore's graphic novel The Watchman. Next, I will show how I have only required a single, 90-minute lecture to teach 1st and 2nd year students at Nanzan university about environmentalism in general and its connection to Dahl's James and the Giant Peach. 

備考(Remarks)  

2011  Wordsworth and Natural Theology  単独  2011/10/29 
日本英文学会中部支部第63回大会  , 名古屋大学   

概要(Abstract) There is general agreement that The Excursion found "its most appreciative audience" in the middle decades of the nineteenth century. In 1837, the poem provided the occasion for one reviewer to notice "[the] long and scornful probation which Wordsworth has endured … till the heart of England has been in some measure converted to his poetical religion". By 1845, the sea change was accepted even by the cynical Thomas De Quincey, and he came to be referred to simply as "the great poet of the Excursion". Kenneth Johnston’s memorable description of the poem as that "Victorian epic" which Wordsworth "gave … to the Romantics", hints at the ideological dimension of the phenomenon. This paper examines more closely this correlation between poem and public that took place during the Victorian period. I will juxtapose Whewell’s Astronomy and General Physics Considered with Reference to Natural Theology (1833) with The Excursion and argue that natural theology was what brought the poem firmly into the ambit of the Victorians. I have been struck throughout by the coincidences between natural theology and environmentalism, on the one hand, and the coincidences between the Victorian mindset and ours on the other. My ultimate objective is to contribute to environmental thinking by revealing how our ecological consciousness has been both enabled and disabled by this formidable inheritance. 

備考(Remarks)  

2011  The Moral Language of Nature  単独  2011/04/01 
Speaking Nature  , Pitzer College   

概要(Abstract) In the dedicatory preface to Astronomy and General Physics Considered with Reference to Natural Theology (1833), William Whewell, scientist, Anglican priest, philosopher and historian of science regretted his explication of the design of the universe in these terms:

"I feel most deeply, what I would take this occasion to express, that this, and all that the speculator concerning Natural Theology can do, is utterly insufficient for the great ends of Religion; namely, for the purpose of reforming men’s lives, of purifying and elevating their characters, of preparing them for a more exalted state of being."

It was a lament that was offered in the backdrop of an advancing sceptical empiricism, which William Wordsworth indicted in The Excursion (1814) for the deleterious effects of industrialization on the land, and on the people and the communities that depended on the land. The problem for Whewell was his failure to reach what he felt to be the moral basis to the phenomenal superstructure of the universe. In The Excursion Wordsworth confronted this veritable loss of compass in the figure of ‘the Wanderer’, who gives ‘Nature’ a moral language. Juxtaposing poem and Bridgewater treatise, this paper deals with Christian environmentalism, its contributions and contradictions that will ultimately be illuminating of blind spots of today’s intrinsically middle-class ecological consciousness. 

備考(Remarks)  

2009  A Less than Green and Pleasant Land  単独  2009/10/04 
イギリス・ロマン派学会第35回全国大会  , 明星大学   

概要(Abstract) The insistence upon the benefit of pastoral living is a familiar trope in English Romantic expression. As Coleridge wrote in 1795, ‘we … become the best possible [in] the country [when] all around us smile Good and Beauty’. Yet, under the pressure to feed a growing urban population and to provide the raw materials for a growing naval and mercantile armada, how good or beautiful was the ‘country’ really? As Kenneth Johnston argues in his controversial biography on Wordsworth, ‘Tintern Abbey’ was triggered by the poet’s shock at the adverse changes to the landscape he had been familiar with as a child. Through ‘Goody Blake and Harry Gill’ and ‘Lines Written in Early Spring’, both published with ‘Tintern Abbey’ in 1798, I will highlight the environmental degradation that was proceeding apace in the English countryside. 

備考(Remarks)  

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