Green Hour: “Hemingway, Ecology, and Culture: Re-reading Ernest Hemingway in the Anthropocene” (Dr. Lay Sion NG)


July 11
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

In this talk, Dr. Lay Sion Ng will introduce Hemingway, Ecology and Culture: Re-reading Hemingway in the Anthropocene, the first monograph to give ‘voice’ to the underrepresented nonhuman matter in Hemingway’s literature in the light of environmental humanities, more specifically, material ecocriticism. Bringing together Hemingway studies and material ecocriticism, she seeks to expand Hemingway’s notion of ‘humanity’ by foregrounding the narratives of nonhuman entities through the lenses of elemental ecocriticism, disability studies, color ecology, soil ethics, environmental history, eco-gothic, posthumanism, cultural ecology, and so on.
The book unfolds through close readings of Hemingway’s long novels (The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Old Man and the Sea, The Garden of Eden, Islands in the Stream), short stories (“The Snows of Kilimanjaro, “A Natural History of the Dead) and non-fiction (Death in the Afternoon and Green Hills of Africa), before proposing to consider his imaginative writing as a form of ‘cultural ecology’, a term developed by Hubert Zapf. She challenges the anthropocentric, hyper-masculine ‘papa’ preconceptions of recent American literary scholarship, reshaping the dominant notions of Hemingway’s fame, characters, and literary legacy.
A non-anthropocentric reading of Hemingway’s works can further encourage reflection on one’s ecological ambivalence, considering how one’s ego/eco mindset is shaped and influenced by the cultural, political, social, and environmental factors surrounding one. Ultimately, the book aims to inspire readers to rethink what it means to be ‘human’ in a world encompassing more than just humans and promote ecological awareness and responsibility among readers.

Dr. Lay Sion Ng is an Assistant Professor at the Center for Education of Global Communication at the University of Tsukuba, Japan. Her academic interests include Hemingway studies, material ecocriticism, trans- and posthumanism, teaching English through literature, peer tutoring, etc. Her recent publications include “Teaching ‘Indian Camp’ in the Japanese Classroom” (2023) in Teaching American Literature: A Journal of Theory and Practice, “Towards a Politics of Cure: Jake Barnes’s Mastery of Submission in The Sun Also Rises” (2022) in The Hemingway Review. She has a forthcoming book, Hemingway, Ecology and Culture: Re-reading Hemingway in the Anthropocene, under contract with Bloomsbury Academic.

Location: WZU, Room 101 (Building U), Universitätsstr. 1a (innocube), 86159 Augsburg
Time: 12:00 – 13:00