Title: Out of Book. Meditative Literature in Environmentally Oriented Installations
Abstract: The long tradition of evolving ecocriticism has shown that literature is a potent field of research concerning the relationship between humans and the rest of nature. However, given the need for interdisciplinary development of versatile approaches to environmental problems, literary texts are increasingly serving as active tools for research and performance. In my paper, I discuss literary texts usually referred to as “meditations” in art installations co-authored by Rafał Zapała and Michael Marder. I explore their ritualistic and cognitive potential, show how the two aspects of these narratives enhance each other, and examine the challenges such texts pose to contemporary literary studies.
Bio: Joanna Soćko, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Literary Studies at the University of Silesia. Her main academic interests are religious or postsecular strategies helpful in coping with the results of the Anthropocene, and plant studies. She wrote a book on the poetry of R.S. Thomas (“The (Meta)Physical Poetry. Materiality in the Works of R.S. Thomas” Warsaw: IBL 2017) and several articles. She teaches creative writing and storytelling, and occasionally writes texts for art installations.