Franklin Institute

Who are we?

        

        This research group works to investigate the relationships between human beings and the environment from the perspective of the humanities. These relationships are understood more specifically as part of the many cultural expressions of a given people. Ecocriticism was born as a section of literary criticism, a discipline which, together with philosophy, analyzes the values, representations and behaviours towards nature and the environment in such cultural expressions.

        Therefore, this theory functions both as a response and a complement to the contemporary humanist project which has considered the human being as both an individual and social entity; however, this position leaves behind the narrow relationship of the interdependence between humans, nature, and other beings that populate the earth. This critical school of thought has taken root among American, British and German scholars, but it is still relatively unknown in Spain. The group is composed of professors and scholars belonging to different philologies and other fields of (knowledge- study) within the humanities. Research, therefore, will be based on the study and analysis of the values, representations and ethic behaviours towards nature in English, Spanish, and French literature, as well as in cinema and other vehicles of cultural expression. It will also cover the study of relationships between human and non-human beings from philosophical perspectives.


Esperamos la llegada de la vida
después de escribir sobre ella.
Decidimos dónde atracar,
islas, grutas bajo el agua, fronteras
donde aislarnos sin ser reconocidos.

Ahora que no hay bosques
hablamos de su simbología.
Sabemos que la realidad brota de sus raíces
pero estas se queman al nacer.
No veo ramas ni pájaros
sí los mitos sobre ellos,
sobre el ruiseñor en la enramada,
los olivos y las encinas,
los olmos y los cedros,
el manzano;
no vemos nada sobre esta tierra
pero aquí dejamos
nuestro árbol de palabras,
nuestra voz.

Julia Barella, Aguas profundas (Madrid, Huerga&Fierro, 2008)