Alexander Menrisky

  • PhD Candidate
  • Graduate Instructor
  • English
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • Social Theory
  • Writing Rhetoric and Digital Studies
1302 Patterson Office Tower
859-257-7001
Research Interests:
Education

Master of Arts, English, University of Kentucky (2014)

Bachelor of Science, Journalism, Ohio University (2012)

Publications

"The Natural Death of Alexander Supertramp: Ecological Selfhood and the Freudian Rhetoric of Into the Wild. Forthcoming in ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment.

“Hallucinogenic Ecology and Psychoanalytic Prehistory in Margaret Atwood.” Forthcoming in Mosaic, an Interdisciplinary Critical Journal.

Current Project

WILD ABANDON: Postwar Literature and the Identity Politics of Ecology

Wild Abandon addresses the literary consequences of what I term the identity politics of ecology, a position that arose through the interaction between the countercultural discourses of ecology and authenticity in the 1960s and 70s. This intellectual trend takes the ecological concept of interconnectivity as the most authentic basis of selfhood. As such, it advocates an essentialist and universalist identification with the ecosystem writ large. I argue that literary representations of dissolution—when a text seems to embrace the identity politics of ecology and erase its subject’s sense of selfhood in natural environs—in fact critique this idea by foregrounding an unsurpassable representational tension between self and ecosystem. Assuming an anti-essentialist stance, all the texts I study acknowledge ecological interconnectivity as a universal condition but maintain the necessity of culturally mediated and individually constructed identity positions from which to recognize that condition.

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