Human, animal, planet


As the impact of modern society on its fragile material environment continues to grow, literary and cultural scholars are scrutinizing the nonhuman dimensions of canonical and contemporary narratives in a range of media and languages. This axis of research participates in this interdisciplinary project by analyzing real-life ecological issues and their cultural representation in texts in Dutch, French and English. Drawing on recent insights from econarratology, human-animal studies, and the environmental humanities more broadly, we are especially interested in the literary lives of animals, in large-scale ecological issues like pollution, deforestation, and climate change, and in thorny questions involving the differential exposure and culpability of various nations and groups of people. While this research sheds light on actual creatures and environments, it also furthers our understanding of literary, rhetorical, and narrative strategies involving (unusual) characters, settings, and points of view.

Members: Ben De Bruyn, Barbara Fraipont, Véronique Bragard, Jonathan Châtel


Couverture livre

De Bruyn, Ben. The Novel and the Multispecies Soundscape. Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature. Palgrave, 2020.



Bragard, Véronique. "Sparing Words in the Wasted Land: Garbage, Texture, and Écriture Blanche in Auster's In the Country of Last Things and McCarthy's The Road". In: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Vol. 20, no.3, p. 479-493 (Summer 2013). doi:10.1093/isle/ist061 .

Bragard & collectif. "Lire Dans la forêt quand on ne peut y aller" La Revue Nouvelle 4 (2020). Bruyn, Ben. "The Great Displacement: Reading Migration Fiction at the End of the World". Humanities 9.1 (2020): 1-16.

De Bruyn, Ben. "Dolende dieren: Klimaat, migratie en evolutie in Gun Island en Grand Hotel Europa". Vooys 38.3 (2020):

De Bruyn, Ben. "Earth Emotions: New Words for a New World, by Glenn Albrecht" (review). American Imago 77.1 (2020): 213-22.

Fraipont, Barbara. 'Let op de katten en de hond!. Narcisme en dieren in Het beleg van Laken'. In: Lars Bernaerts & Ellen Beyaert (ed.), Walter van den Broeck : nieuwe perspectieven op een oeuvre, Academia Press: Gent (SEL-reeks), 2020 (sous presse).

Fraipont, Barbara. ‘"Het kreeftenleven is ook een leven." Over de mens-dierverhouding in het werk van Charlotte Mutsaers'. In: Johan Goud & Frank G. Bosman (ed.), Leven dat leven wil. Over dieren en mensen in filosofie, religie en kunst, Parthenon: Almere, 2020, pp. 130-147.

Fraipont, Barbara. ‘"Vort paard, hu!": Charlotte Mutsaers’ Animal Writing through Kafka’s Animal Stories'. In: Journal of Dutch Literature, Vol. 7, no. 2 (2016), pp. 35-50.

Activities and research projects:

Workshop on "Sacrifice Zones: Grief and Hope in Multispecies Fiction", UCLouvain, 2021.

Theses defended:

Fraipont, Barbara. 'Humaniteit uw naam is dier' : zoöpoëticale en -politieke configuraties in het werk van Charlotte Mutsaers, 2018.

Christine Temko (2017) « What we excrete comes back to consume us » : Waste Regulation, Systems and Commodity Culture in Contemporary American Literature (1970s to the present).


Illustration : (photographe: Philippe De Gobert), The Great Decline de Maarten Vanden Eynde combine les plans de la Réserve mondiale de graines du Svalbard sous l’aspect d’un circuit en cuivre sur des PCB dont l’ensemble constitue un grand lukasa, un tableau aide-mémoire qu’utilisent les membres de la société Mbudye (Congo). Cette organisation des graines évoque l'urgente nécessité de protéger et récupérer des éco-systèmes et rituels spirituels nécessaires à la vie humaine.