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Organisation for Studies in Literature and Environment-India (OSLE-India) is a forum for promoting ecocriticism, especially in India and also in other Asian countries. Today ‘ecocriticism’ has come to mean not only ‘the application of ecology and ecological principles to the study of literature’, but also the theoretical approach to the interrelational web of natural, cultural and supernatural phenomena.

 

Objectives

1. To promote eocriticism at the cognitive, emotional and praxiological levels

2. To provide a platform for academic interaction between scholars from literature and other disciplines, especially between the humanities and sciences

3. To encourage creative engagement with nature and ecology

4. To address the pedagogical aspects of ecocriticism and cultural studies from ecological perspectives

5. To give special attention to the contextual and relevant ecological issues

 

Strategies

1.  Conducting conferences, workshops

2. Organising special lectures on relevant themes                                                          

3. Offering consultancy, guidance and resources especially to the researchers in the field

4. Publishing a Newsletter of OSLE-India

5. Bringing out other relevant publications

 

History

OSLE-India owes its origin to a postgraduate ecocritical course (now called, ‘ecoliterature’), which the Department of English, Madras Christian College, Chennai, has been offering for the past twenty years. With a view to strengthening this course, the department conducted an international conference on ecocriticism in collaboration with the Indian Association for Studies in Contemporary Literature (IASCL), and the World Association for Studies in Literatures in English (WASLE) on the 20th and 21st of December, 2004, in Chennai. This conference clearly showed the growing interest and involvement in ecocriticism in the Indian academy. In order to bring these scholars together, an informal forum called ASLE India was formed in January 2005, and it has been meeting in Tamil Nadu (Chennai, Madurai, and Tiruchirappalli) for the past two years. So far this forum has brought out two Newsletters and motivated two colleges in Tamil Nadu – Loyola College, Chennai, and Bishop Heber College, Tiruchirappalli -- to introduce courses in ecocriticism. From its inception, the Chennai-based forum has been the official Indian affiliate of the international body called ‘Association for Studies in Literature and Environment’ (ASLE). On the 27th of May, 2006, ASLE India became a registered body and entered a new phase of life. Renamed OSLE-India, it continues to be the parent ecocriticism forum in India and also the Indian affiliate of ASLE.

 

Collaboration

OSLE-India seeks to collaborate with Centre for Plants, People and Ecosystems (CPPE) Chennai, a forum which has expertise in several fields including, ecology, taxonomy, biodiversity, forestry, botany, conservation, environmental economics and sociology.

 

OSLE-India was born on 14 January 2005, the day which celebrates the fertility of the land that nourishes and sustains the household (akam). Even as the house (akam) is surrounded by the outside world (puram), the heart/soul (akam) is housed in the body (puram). Akam, as the household, affirms the kinship among humans, nature, and culture.

This affirmation has been represented in various ways in art, literature and culture, especially in this part of the world, from ancient times. We recognize its value and significance. Hence, Akam.

OSLE-India intends to provide a platform for its members to explore the literary/ artistic representations of the household in which both humans and non-human beings have their essential being. Today this area of exploration, known as eco-criticism, engages the scholarly attention of researchers, intellectuals, professionals and academics alike. Akam will be the site of such explorations particularly relevant to the Indian context.

Conferences, workshops and other appropriate academic activities will be the special convergent points for members to share expertise in the area and learn from each other. A Newsletter will be the organ of the collective.

Akam (OSLE-India) is founded by

Dr Nirmal Selvamony, Reader, Department of English, Madras Christian College, Chennai; e-mail: nirmalselvamony@gmail.com