Seminar on literature and the environment

With Jay Watson & Harilaos Stecopoulos

On Wednesday 13 March, Professor Jay Watson (University of Mississippi) and Professor Harilaos Stecopoulos (University of Iowa) will be joining us for a double-header seminar.

Jay will be presenting a talk entitled "Caribbean Counterseascape:  Monique Roffey’s Swimmer Ecology" and Harry will be presenting "The Heat of Modernity: Thermal Violence and Universal Energy in Richard Wright’s Native Son".

The presentations will be followed by a Q&A/discussion.

Jay and Harry will also be keynote speakers at the symposium on Cormac McCarthy’s environmental vision which takes place on Friday 15 March.

Please contact Dr. Martyn Bone (Engerom) or Dr. Stefanie Heine (IKK) for more information.


Jay Watson is the Howry Professor of Faulkner Studies at the University of Mississippi. He is the author of four books including Fossil-Fuel Faulkner: Energy and Modernity in the US South (Oxford University Press, 2022), William Faulkner and the Faces of Modernity (Oxford UP, 2019), and Reading for the Body: The Recalcitrant Materiality of Southern Fiction, 1893-1985 (U of Georgia P, 2012), and Forensic Fictions: The Lawyer Figure in Faulkner (U of Georgia P, 1993). He has also edited or coedited eleven other books. His articles have appeared in PMLA, American Quarterly, American Literature, Modern Fiction Studies, The Cormac McCarthy Journal, and numerous others. He has published chapters in numerous books including William Faulkner in Context, Cormac McCarthy in Context, Approaches to Teaching the Works of Cormac McCarthy, The Cambridge History of the Literature of the U.S. South, and Ecocriticism and the Future of Southern Studies. He has won the University of Mississippi’s Liberal Arts Professor of the Year and Humanities Teacher of the Year awards. From 2009 to 2012 he served as President of the William Faulkner Society, and since 2011 he has directed the annual Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha conference at the University of Mississippi.

Harilaos Stecopoulos is a Professor of English at the University of Iowa. He is the author of Telling America’s Story to the World: Literature, Internationalism, Cultural Diplomacy (Oxford University Press, 2022) and Reconstructing the World: Southern Fictions and US Imperialisms, 1898-1976 (Cornell University Press, 2008). He is the editor of A History of the Literature of the U.S. South (Cambridge, 2021) and Race and the Subject of Masculinities (Duke University Press, 1997). He is currently working on two book projects: “A Keen Sense of Power: Richard Wright, Energy, and the Violence of Extraction” and “Entangled Words: Diplomacy and the Making of American Literature.” He has published articles and book chapters on Ralph Ellison, Stuart Hall, Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, Alice Walker, and Richard Wright. Between 2013 and 2019, he was the editor of The Iowa Review.