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Byzantine Ecocriticism: Humans, Nature, and Power in the Medieval Greek Romance

Adam Goldwyn, North Dakota State University, Fellow 2016–2017

My work differs from previous studies of nature by focusing not on historical reconstructions of the Byzantine environment, but on the Byzantine sensory, ideological, and emotional experience of nature. As a corollary, I attempt to understand how modern environmental ideologies shape scholarship about the natural world depicted in Byzantine sources. Ultimately, I want to bring Byzantine studies into dialogue with the contemporary environmental movement by advocating a more animal- or nature-centered criticism, such that Byzantinists consider the ethical parameters of scholarship about hunting, animal cruelty, or exploitative environmental practices and become more aware of how anthropogenic climate change affects Byzantine studies.