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The jewelled net : towards a Southern African theory/practice of environmental literacy

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dc.contributor.advisor Parr AN, Prof en
dc.contributor.author Martin JP en
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-22T11:02:36Z
dc.date.available 2016-09-22T11:02:36Z
dc.date.submitted 1999 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11892/101689
dc.description.abstract This thesis suggests that there is an urgent need for academic work in literary and cultural studies to become more responsive to the contemporary eco-social crisis of environment and development. Questioning the sustainability of current practices, the researcher introduce an approach which has emerged in the attempt to reorient her own work in English Studies towards what she calls environmental literacy. Her discussion consists of a prologue, six chapters, and an epilogue. The prologue is a story essay which presents through metaphor and narrative some of the questions which later chapters explore in more familiarly academic register. Chapters One and Two assemble the theoretical tools which have shaped her priorities. The first situates the project in terms of issues in South African eco-politics, and goes on to introduce potentially useful models in eco-criticism, environmental history, ecological philosophy and feminist theory. The second chapter argues that elements in Mahayana Buddhism (specifically teachings on emptiness and dependent arising and their relation to compassion) offer suggestive models for further radicalising our theory / practice. The following three chapters experiment with writing environmentally literate responses to several texts (one historical and the rest contemporary). Chapter Three is an appreciative reading of the representation of the Garden in William Blake's poem "The Book of Thel" (1789), Chapter Four brings personal narrative into an analysis of Gary Snyder's epic poem "Mountains and Rivers Without End" (1996), and Chapter Five is a critical survey of eco-cultural texts produced in South Africa during the period 1986- 1996. In Chapter Six the researcher reports on some of the pedagogical implications of the orientation she has described, drawing on the experience of teaching at the University of the Western Cape. The epilogue is brief and imagistic. The written text of the thesis is accompanied by pictures of people, plants and places. As the researcher uses the term, "literacy" implies both reading and writing. Under various guises, the thesis explores five principles or concepts or emphases which she has come to see as primary if our academic practice of reading and writing is to become more environ mentally literate. They are what she calls: situatedness, critique of hierarchic dualisms, receptivity to nondualism, interdependence and heart. Arising from these are several priorities according to which the focus of our teaching and research could begin to change. These include: an emphasis on forms of affirmation as well as deconstructive analysis, attempts to develop theory in conversation with engaged practice, and experiments with different ways of writing. en
dc.language English en
dc.subject Linguistics en
dc.subject Literacy en
dc.subject English language en
dc.subject Sociolinguistics en
dc.title The jewelled net : towards a Southern African theory/practice of environmental literacy en
dc.type Doctoral degree en
dc.description.degree DLitt en

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