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Conférences T. S. Eliot

Publié le 24 avril 2024 Mis à jour le 24 avril 2024

Le groupe « Modernismes » du CREA a le plaisir d’annoncer deux conférences sur T. S. Eliot, par Gabrielle McIntire (Queen’s University, Canada) et Rachel Murray (University of Bristol, Royaume-Uni). Elles auront lieu le mercredi 15 mai 2024 après-midi, dans le cadre de la préparation à l’agrégation d’anglais, mais sont ouvertes à tous les publics.


le 15 mai 2024


Bâtiment Max Weber (W)

Amphi Weber

1.      Gabrielle McIntire (Queen’s University, Canada): "T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and Anthropocenic Méconnaissance."

A little over a century after T.S. Eliot published his avant-garde poem, The Waste Land, in 1922, we find ourselves at a time of unprecedented, anthropocenically-driven destruction of our Earth and our ecologies. Our shared eco-systems that sustain all life on this planet in an infinitely complex and delicate symbiosis are increasingly losing balance. Our oikos, which is Greek for “home” and provides the root of “eco”-logy, is becoming less home-like, even unheimlich, uncanny, even while it must remain canny and home-like to us for us to survive as a species. Jacques Lacan describes a cognitive and ontological méconnaissance that marks the mirror stage of our psychic development as young children, and I suggest that a form of méconnaissance is in play in our failures to re-cognize the obvious, chronic damage we are causing to our shared earth, land, air, and water. We see it, but, as with trauma, we are unable to metabolize this witnessing. We thus always-already fail to process climate catastrophe cognitively, emotionally, spiritually, ontologically, emotionally, or viscerally. This paper argues that in The Waste Land Eliot was simultaneously a/ heralding the complexities of climate change and environmental pollution, b/ proposing that failures to grasp the scale of our anthropocenic destructiveness are central to modern (and modernist) subjectivities, and, c/ signaling a warning and a hope that poetry might be an essential vehicle for witnessing and change in the face of these catastrophic global shifts.

Gabrielle McIntire is Professor of English literature at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. She is the author of Modernism, Memory, and Desire: T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and the editor of The Cambridge Companion to The Waste Land (Cambridge University Press, 2015), and, with Jane deGay, of the forthcoming Edinburgh Companion to Virginia Woolf, Modernism and Religion. Her articles on Eliot, Woolf, Joyce, Nella Larsen, and Joseph Conrad have been published in journals including Modernism/modernity, Modern Fiction Studies, Narrative, and Callaloo, and in book collections including The Cambridge Companion to To the Lighthouse, The Oxford Handbook of Virginia Woolf, and The Blackwell Companion to Modernist Poetry. Gabrielle has also won teaching awards, at Cornell University and at Queen’s University. A creative writer as well, Gabrielle’s poems have appeared in journals and collections in England, Canada, the United States, and France, and her book of poetry, Unbound, was published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2021.

2.      Rachel Murray (University of Bristol, UK) : « T. S. Eliot on the Beach »

In this talk, I’ll reflect on an error Eliot made concerning a horseshoe crab, before reflecting on the beach more widely in Eliot writing as an environment that gives rise to productive moments of mental arrest, lapses of understanding, and failures of identification. Such instances of forgetfulness – in which the mind loses access to what it knows it should know – seem to have creative potential for Eliot, who represents the beach in his writing as a space where the mind, to recall The Waste Land, “can connect nothing with nothing.” 
Rachel Murray is Lecturer in Literature and the Environment at the University of Bristol. Her research specialises in modernist and twentieth-century literature, animal studies, and the environment. She is the author of The Modernist Exoskeleton: Insects, War, Literary Form (EUP, 2020). She is the co-editor of Blue Extinction in Literature, Art and Culture (Palgrave, 2025), and ‘Reading Modernism in the Sixth Extinction’ (2022) for Modernism/modernity Print+. Her current book project, Marine Attachments, focuses on marine life and ideas of attachment in modern and contemporary poetry.

Mis à jour le 24 avril 2024