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What Does It Mean to Read Nature?
Uppsala University, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Curriculum Studies.
(English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Petra Hansson (Uppsala)



What Does It Mean To Read Nature?

In the context of environmental or sustainability literacy, it is essential to scrutinise the meaning of ”reading nature”.  Without doubt, ecocriticism is an influential field when it comes to the study of representations of nature in literature. Hence, environmental literacy is in one way or another, related to ecocriticism. The aim of this paper is to clarify the contribution of ecocriticism to environmental literacy as being one objective of education for sustainable development (ESD).

First, the meaning of environmental literacy as it is understood within ESD is discussed. Second, given this specific meaning of environmental literacy, i.e. the ability to read nature in a pedagogical context, an analysis of different meanings of reading nature within ecocriticism is carried out. This includes answering the following questions: Which views of nature are represented in the ecocritical field? How can representations of nature be read? What skills do students need in order to read nature? Third, the contribution of ecocritical readings of nature in texts, i.e. ecocritical “literacy”, to environmental literacy in the context of ESD is clarified.

This paper relates theoretical assumptions of the meaning of reading nature within ecocriticism and ESD to students’ responses to ecocritical texts and focuses on understandings of students’ responses to nature in texts and the students’ ideas of how literature can contribute to the development of environmental literacy within ESD.

Keyword [en]
ESD, ecocriticism, nature
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-109260OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-109260DiVA: diva2:271741
Activism, Apocalypse, and the Avant-Garde. The fifth biennial conference for the Association for Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE), The University of Edinburgh, 10-13th July 2008Available from: 2009-10-13 Created: 2009-10-13 Last updated: 2009-11-04Bibliographically approved

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