Date of Award
College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts
British literature, Environmental humanities, Meteorology, Nineteenth-century studies, Phenomenology, Queer ecology
Throughout the nineteenth century, British writers were interested in the emergent science of meteorology, and their lyrical writing (their “poetics”), from poetry to creative and scientific prose, often turns to clouds as both meteorological formations and as material metaphors for human-environment interactions. These writers frequently invoke clouds to disrupt or “queer” depictions of human-environment relationships built on human domination of environmental beings. Clouds, in poetic writing, help writers (and readers) instead experience subject-subject relationships of reciprocity—a collaborative, non-hierarchical way of existing with and learning from our ecological relatives.
Dwelling in the confluence of literary studies, queer studies, and ecology, The Queer Ecology of Clouds in Nineteenth-Century British Poetics illuminates these reciprocal relationships, focusing on the themes of wonder, touch, and entanglement. In all chapters, I discuss writers from the working class (e.g., John Clare, Ellen Johnston), women writers (e.g., Mary Maria Colling, Dorothy Wordsworth), and middle- and upperclass writers (e.g., Alfred Tennyson, Gerard Manley Hopkins). In doing so, I queer traditional canons and challenge assumptions of human exceptionalism and independence. This work invites us to acknowledge a multispecies network with whom we are embedded, offering a more inclusive methodology for existing amid environmental crises.
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Lucien Darjeun Meadows
Received from ProQuest
Meadows, Lucien Darjeun, "The Queer Ecology of Clouds in Nineteenth-Century British Poetics" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2304.
English literature, Environmental studies, LGBTQ studies