Topics in Comparative Studies 3 (S2, 2019/2020)

Semester 2

Gender Studies and Ecocriticism in the 21st century – Fernanda Gil Costa

Wednesday,  3 p.m. – 6 p.m., room 8.2.

This seminar intends to address the implied articulation between gender studies and ecocriticism (targeting concepts such as nature and education, masculinities, gender roles, post-humanity, environment and ecology) and to focus on significant related cultural works of modernity and contemporary culture. The fact that critical attention is now being called to study the 4th wave of feminism and the 3rd wave of ecocriticism bears witness to their resilience and importance in the field of cultural, literary and comparative studies.

The first step will be to address the Romantic age as the cradle of the modern idea of intellectual independence, and to tackle a few significant works introducing new ideas characteristic of the period, such as progress and education.

In the the so-called period of post-modernity, the growing presence of female writers in the public sphere will come under close scrutiny. Indeed, nowadays many writers in Western societies consistently challenge the traditional representation of society and family as a patriarchal hierarchy of gender roles, as well as the representation of nature as a source of permanent, neglected exploitation. Together with new insights on humanism and post-humanity, the syllabus will also be focused on unconventional narrative models in literature, as well as other arts, in order to enhance a complex reflection on contemporary society, its origins and future.