2015 Plenary Speaker
Dr. Rebecca Davis
A specialist in medieval literature at University of California-Irvine, Dr. Rebecca Davis is currently completing a book on the intimacy of God and nature in William Langland’s fourteenth-century poem Piers Plowman and Langland’s unorthodox representation of God in the allegorical figure Kynde, a word that means “nature” in Middle English. In bringing the creator into creation, Davis argues, Langland challenges the anti-material prejudice often attributed to late-medieval theology and imagines instead a creaturely ethics based on embodied and experiential modes of perception.
Rebecca Davis received a B.A. in English at Southern Methodist University and a M.A. and Ph.D. in English at the University of Notre Dame. She taught at McDaniel College in Maryland for three years before joining UCI in 2009 where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on medieval religious writing, medieval women, Chaucer, Langland, the Arthurian tradition, medieval visions, and animals in literature. Davis is co-editor of Yearbook of Langland Studies, the sole journal dedicated to research on Piers Plowman and its contemporary contexts.
Photo Credit: Megan Nowell
The Natures Conference
The Natures conference was established in 2009 out of a growing awareness that environmental studies was an arena in which various disciplines could find common ground. While papers delivered at the conference cover a wide variety of topics, including but not limited to environmental ones, that original value for interdisciplinary representation persists. Natures provides young and seasoned scholars the opportunity to share their work from across the broad spectrum of the humanities, explore the variety of critical identities, and participate in the growing field of ecocriticism.