On Friday 13 May, Dr Louise Hardwick gave a keynote paper at the international symposium ‘Aesthetics of Crisis: Ecology, Disaster, Representation‘ which was held at the University of Durham’s Institute of Advanced Study, and was generously funded by the Durham Institute of Hazard Risk and Resilience.

The symposium was organised by Dr Kerstin Oloff (Hispanic Studies, Durham) and is part of a wider programme of activities. It followed the ‘Plotting the Crisis’ symposium held at the IAS in 2013, and is part of the series of events run by the Ecology and the Arts Research group in the Modern School of Languages and Cultures at Durham.

Louise spoke on her recent research, presenting a keynote on ‘Experiments in Ecocriticism in the French Caribbean’ which derives from a forthcoming journal article on that topic.

The day offered a stimulating and coherent exploration of themes such as the anthropocene, depictions of migration, and Cli-fi, the branch of Sci-fi that focuses on environmental themes.

It was also an important part of Louise’s activities as Interdisciplinary Leadership Fellow for Birmingham Institute of Forest Research orBIFoR, the University’s multi-disciplinary institute of forest research. Louise’s work on ecocriticism contributes to the institute’s research into how to improve the public understanding of the societal values of forests and biodiversity, and her talks in the UK and in France advance the Institute’s strategic aim of involving the general public in forest research.

You can read more about this, and Louise’s other activities, on her AHRC Early Career Leadership Fellowship project blog.