A seminar on literature and nature – ecocritical reading and wilderness (24.-25. March, 2015)

A two-day seminar (2 study points) for MA and doctoral students working with the themes concerning nature in the humanities. The seminar is open for all interested in ecopoetics, textualities of landscape, and wilderness discussion as well in Scotland as in North American and Nordic Cultures. The seminar is organized by Nature in Arts, Culture and History. Temporal Sedimentations of Landscape and the Diversity of Nature project (HY).


Kirsi Saarikangas: Opening
Pekka Raittinen: Finnish Literature and Nature; Ecocritical Readings and International Perspective
David Borthwick: Ecopoetry and the ‘New Nature Writing’ as a movement in the UK
David Borthwick: ‘Learning to Observe the Winters’: The Poetry and Fiction of Scottish Writer John Burnside
Mikko Saikku: Frontier and Wilderness in North American and Nordic Cultures
David Borthwick: The production of ‘wildness’ in Scotland: from Romanticism to ‘Semi natural landscapes’
David Borthwick: Poetry as ecology: walking, ecosemiotics, bioregionalism

Dr David Borthwick lectures in literature at the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, the University of Glasgow, Scotland.  His research concerns primarily ecopoetry as a response to environmental challenge and threat, with especial engagement with the contemporary UK ecopoetics of John Burnside, Kathleen Jamie and Alice Oswald.  The way in which these poets deal with notions of dwelling, and of place, are of particular interest in responding to the problematic and multivalent nature of place, and its future.  David is also interested in walking as a creative act, and the textualities of landscape.

David is convenor of the masters programme Environment, Culture and Communication – an interdisciplinary postgraduate course.  He is a member of the Solway Centre for Environment and Culture.  He believes strongly in public engagement, and frequently collaborates with artists to host events and walks on environmental themes.