Saturday, April 5, 2014

these boots are made for talking

One of my tasks for the day - once I'd ceremoniously handed over the Presidency of the Society of Novel Studies to my successor - was to take some photographs that can go on Novel's blog, to illustrated the gathered assembly … I asked our keynote speaker, the brilliant Ursula Heise, if she minded if I took a couple of pictures of her whilst she was on stage.  No, she said, so long as I managed to show her boots … Her talk, on "terraforming for narratologists," had me thinking that although I might lay claim to an interest in environmental writings, both fictional and non-fictional, that I am woefully under-read in theoretical writings in that area.  I wanted her bibliography.  I was frantically writing down titles.  I feel as though I'm probably the only person at the conference who isn't already fluent in the language of the Anthropocene, a concept that I must surely have read about time and again, or at least grazed up against, but which has never quite managed to stick.  ("Anthropocene"?  That would be the period in which we're currently living - in which we've been living since the Industrial Revolution, in Western countries, in which humans have made a permanent, definitive impact on the earth and environment.  At least, I think that will do as a working, rather amateur definition).  I also, of course, wished that I could wear kick-ass boots like that - most suitable for the delivery of a kick-ass talk.

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