Critical Perspectives Series

The Critical Perspectives series aims to bring the analytical insights of scholars, theorists, and critics working in literary and cultural studies into our English classrooms and broader academic community at UNC Asheville. A complement to our Visiting Writers series, Critical Perspectives draws no hard line between “creative” and “critical” work but gives focus to speakers who model contemporary modes of analysis in literary fields. Series topics correspond with and enrich current classes offered by English faculty, and collectively range across various approaches and subjects (historical, cultural, theoretical, formal) in contemporary literary studies.


Fall 2023

Erin James

“Unsettling Fire: Narrative and Emotion in the Anthropocene”

Thursday, November 30 at 7:00 p.m. in 225/226 Highsmith Union

We regret to announce that the Critical Perspectives talk with Erin James has been cancelled. We are rescheduling her talk for the spring semester. An announcement will be made once those details are finalized.

Erin James is author of Narrative in the Anthropocene, which argues that a richer understanding of the forms and functions of narrative in the Anthropocene provides us with invaluable insights into how stories shape our world.

Her talk draws from recent work that she has done with The Confluence Lab, an interdisciplinary team that uses the tools of the humanities and the arts—especially those related to storytelling, representation, emotions, and communication—to study environmental issues impacting rural communities. In particular, she’ll discuss the personal experience narratives of “frontliners” in the Pacific Northwest who have had to escape wildfire quickly, and what those stories can teach us about fire, stories, and our relationships to both.

Past Events