Stephen’s dissertation examines the relationship between conceptions of nature and models of worldhood in contemporary Austrian prose. Against a history of nature writing and the cultural and political significance of nature in the Austrian contexts, he considers how contemporary novels reimagine nature and humanity’s relationship to it. He situates this reimagining within theoretical discourses both on the Anthropocene, in its epistemological, ontological, and aesthetic challenges to humanity’s understanding of its role and place in the contemporary, global world, and on “planetarity,” where the “planet” emerges as an alternative figure of worldhood against the “globe” of globalization.
In general, Stephen is an austrophile, having spent two years as an English Teaching Assistant in Linz and a year conducting dissertation research in Vienna through Fulbright Austria. He is most likely to be found hiking a mountain, at the opera, playing volleyball, at his cello, or hunched over a board game.