Dr Banting

Dr. Pamela Banting, BA, Cert Ed, MA, PhD

Pronouns: she/her

Positions

Associate Professor

Faculty of Arts , Department of English

Contact information

Phone number

Office: 403.220.5480

Location

Office: SS1010

pbanting@ucalgary.ca

 

Background

Educational Background

B.A. English Literature and Philosophy, University of Manitoba, 1976

Cert Ed Secondary Education , University of Manitoba, 1977

MA English, University of Manitoba, 1986

PhD English, University of Alberta, 1990

Research

Areas of Research

Environmental Literature, Nature Writing, Eco-Theory and Ecocriticism

I have been working on North American (particularly Canadian) nature writing, environmental literature, ecocriticism, and eco-theory for over twenty years. 

I was honoured to be the first non-American elected to serve on the Executive Council of ASLE.

I was the principal organizer in creating and setting up ALECC, the Canadian sister organization to ASLE. 

Petrocultural Studies

This new area of study and research is referred to, variously, as petrocultural studies, oil cultures, petrocriticism, and/or the energy humanities. I am currently working on thinking about the subsurface -- the underground and under foot -- and about decolonization of our extractive relationship with the earth. I'm interested in theory, fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry about energy, extraction, fossil fuels, fossils, fracking, bitumen, climate change, etc.

Literature and Culture of the Anthropocene

What will the world be like in the very near future? Will we have a sufficiently stable climate, abundant clean water, healthy food, energy, and sociopolitical cohesion to live in relative security? How will plants and wild animals fare? How does it feel to be alive during the current Sixth Great Extinction? During the Anthropocene? Which new (and old) ideas, stories, ethics, and practices might help us live on, and which ones do we need quickly to dismantle or abandon? How does literature and the arts and humanities more broadly help us envision alternate ways of living? How can interdisciplinary approaches be incorporated into our practices in the arts, humanities and social sciences? Can we relearn the value of community following decades of neoliberalism and globalization? 

I teach courses and have conducted research on and am interested in theories and literature of the Anthropocene, climate change, bioregionalism, community, energy, indigeneity, traditional ecological knowledge, subjectivity, food and food security, water, infrastructure, pandemics, animals and animality, extinctions, materiality, plastic, carbon, slow violence, activism, resilience, and the important role played by the arts and humanities with respect to all of these issues. How, in short, can we develop healthier relationships with the ecosystems that underwrite our existence?

Psychogeography: The Literature of Walking and Other Forms of Motion

Psychogeography; walking in literature and art; epic journeys, pilgrimages; hiking, kayaking, cycling, and other narratives of outdoor movement; the figure of the flaneur; walking with other-than-human animals; motion; feet, boots and shoes; journeys and/as activism; landscape as text / reading the land; and much more. 

Multispecies Studies

Recent research in the arts and humanities in the areas of animal studies, plant studies, extinction studies, fungi, and rethinking the mineral have given rise to the field of multispecies studies and fascinating new interdisciplinary methodologies for scholarly investigation.  How does it feel to be a tree, a bird or a chimpanzee adopted and raised like a human boy in a suburb? Are plants "intelligent"?  Does a form of life have to be conscious in order to be intelligent? What constitutes consciousness?  How can we rethink animacy?  How does humanism blind us to the lives of other forms of life and living?

Participation in university strategic initiatives

Courses

Course number Course title Semester
ENGL 426 Selected Topics in Literary Theory (Animal, Vegetable, Mineral) Fall 2022
ENGL 517 Psychogeography in the Wild Fall 2022
ENGL 253.05 Introduction to Nonfiction Winter 2023
ENGL 309 Introduction to Literature and the Environment Winter 2023

Publications