I’m researching what I call an ‘ecomonstrous’ reading of the United States Southwestern fiction of Cormac McCarthy and R. A. Lafferty. My work fits into the discipline of ecocriticism, especially the recent development known as material ecocriticism with its emphasis on biosemiotics and ‘storied matter’. My research ties ecological hermeneutics into the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of monster studies. An ecomonstrous reading locates and analyses uncanny alterity and grotesque hybridity in land, biota, climate, and various other members, elements, and aspects of the environment as evoked in literature. Some of the contemporary theorists my research draws on include Jane Bennett, Timothy Morton, Graham Harman, and Donna Haraway. I also research ecotheological themes in Thomas Aquinas and Hans Urs von Balthasar as the fiction of both McCarthy and Lafferty contain explorations of divinity and the sacred as related to ecology.
Promises of Monsters conference, University of Stavanger, Norway, April 2016, paper presentation
Difference: Fear, Fascination, and Foreignness conference, University of Glasgow, Scotland, May 2016, paper presentation
LaffCon1 R. A. Lafferty conference, New Jersey, USA, June 2016, panellist, paper presentation