This article, Dynamic Dirt: Medieval Holy Dust, Ritual Erosion, and Pilgrimage Ecopoetics, concerns the "liveliness" of nonhuman matter, in this case, dirt. In the picture of my mother walking through the forest along the Pilgrims' Way, you can see the path itself has lowered below the grassy tufts around it. Erosion is an element in pilgrimage. But soil augmentation also is--as well as dirt as healing relic.
This article has had a long genesis--perhaps you could say it began in 1966, when I was 7 years ago and we walked on sections of the Pilgrims' Way to Canterbury. I was not a fast walker. This inspired what has ultimately become my article, "Slow Pilgrimage Ecopoetics," published in Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment.
This article of mine explains what Waste Studies is as a field of study. "Emerging as a response to the imminent dangers of climate change and overwhelming pollution, the critical exploration of waste has emerged as a field of literary and cultural analysis. Waste Studies offers ethical frameworks to pay attention to, understand, and act on bodily, cultural, and societal waste—material aspects of our world. As an aspect of the environmental humanities, Waste Studies expands traditional approaches of ecocriticism, once devoted to "nature," a loaded and complex term. Rather than looking at, say, trees or flowers, the waste theorist focuses on decay, built environments, and dystopic or toxic sites. "
Winner: Gold Medal in College Nonfiction from Literary Classics as well as being awarded a Seal of Approval.
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