The 2019 HBO mini-series Chernobyl has been praised as the best series of all times. Its account of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine and the fates of those dealing with its aftermath touched millions of viewers – but something about the appraising reviews of the series rubbed me the wrong way. It is true that the series is “as stunning as it is gripping”, as a Guardian review by Rebecca Nicholson revels (2019).
Das Sommersemester 2020 war in mehrerlei Hinsicht ein ungewöhnliches. Der zwölfwöchige Bachelor-Kurs, den ich unterrichtete, war mein erster, noch dazu im Online-Format, und ich hatte vor, ihn direkt mit einem kreativen Lehrexperiment zu beginnen. Es ging um die Übersetzung von aktuellem britischen Nature Writing, insbesondere von Auszügen aus Mark Cockers A Claxton Diary: Further Field Notes from a Small Planet (2019).
The summer term of 2020 was an unusual one in several ways. The undergraduate course I taught was my first one, on top of that in online format, and I started with a creative teaching experiment right away. The twelve-week course was on the translation of current British Nature Writing, looking specifically at excerpts from Mark Cocker’s A Claxton Diary: Further Field Notes from a Small Planet (2019).
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced teachers and students to reimagine environmental literature classrooms. Spaces where we once discussed environmental literatures at the same time and place have been replaced with online “classrooms” that are scattered across time zones and a wide range of learning conditions, where family or financial responsibilities often compete with curricular deadlines for attention.
The 22nd of May saw the launch of Critical Zones: Observatories for an Earthly Politics, a ‘thought exhibition’ at ZKM Karlsruhe. The exhibition – opening physically on the 24th of July, but currently available online – began with a streaming festival: three days of films, lectures, and panel discussions, mediated and moderated by Bruno Latour, Peter Weibel, Barbara Zoé Kiolbassa, Dominika Szope, and Annett Holzheid.
From nowhere, I’m from nowhere, I fell down when the pinnacle of the TV tower pierced a grey cloud and unfolded on the bony grounds, unfolded over two snails and a plastic film
In one of the most recognisable South African poems of the twentieth century, Mongane Wally Serote’s“City Johannesburg” (written circa 1971), the black narrator of the poem searches through the pockets of his trousers and jacket for his passbook as he mockingly salutes the city of Johannesburg, the sprawling metropolis that developed out of the discovery of gold in the surrounding Witwatersrand gold reef in the 1880s.
On 2 May we joined Dr Greg Garrard for a discussion on climate scepticism and his concept of Brexit Ecocriticism.
On 6 April 2020 seven enthusiastic ecocritics from various countries in Europe joined Dr Scott Slovic from the University of Idaho to discuss the values, opportunities and challenges of capitalising on their research to become public intellectuals.