The Society for the Study of Ecocriticism in Japan started as a study group in 1994 after Professor Scott Slovic visited Hiroshima University and lectured on nature writing and ecocriticism to a graduate class in American Literature from the Department of Language and Culture. After inviting outside participation, the class grew into a regular meeting for the study of environment, literature, and culture from the viewpoint of ecocriticism, which Cheryll Glotfelty described as “the relationship between literature and the physical environment.” Since being defined, ecocriticism has become an eclectic field incorporating other postmodern approaches to literature and exercising growing impact, particularly in disseminating awareness of environmental crises. The spontaneous meeting eventually evolved into a society that holds annual meetings with presentations; workshops; symposia; as well as special lectures by writers and ecocritics from the United States, scholars from various fields of literature, and environmental activists. Membership is diverse. Participants in several disciplines gather from different regions of Japan. Members’ specialties include English teaching, American literature, multicultural studies, science fiction, area studies, and Japanese literature and culture. SES-J is a registered society within the Japan American Literary Society. In the last 20 years, we have produced critical works, and published several books (see the list of publications). The works listed are the main products of the society’s activities. SES-J welcomes everybody, from scholars with an interest in this interdisciplinary and theoretical field to non-academics who wish to contemplate the future of the earth through appreciation of the environment and literature.
(Board of SES-Japan)