Arts & Entertainment

Todd Williams to publish “Christina Rossetti’s Environmental Consciousness”

Heather Gursky
Arts and Entertainment Editor

KU English professor in composition and literature Dr. Todd Williams will be releasing his second publication on May 22. This follows his first book, “A Therapeutic Approach to Teaching Poetry,” which was published seven years ago.

Williams chose to write about Victorian poet Christina Rossetti again because he “started noticing there was a lot of nature in her poetry,” leading him to an ecocritical idea.  

“I found a way to blend them because she often goes back to nature to find evidence to support her faith,” Williams said while mentioning Rossetti was a devout Christian. 

Referring to the newest publication, Williams added, “This one is more about thinking of an author from a therapeutic perspective. How does she, Christina Rossetti, create an identity through her writing and make an identity for herself?”

This goes along with the ideas Williams mentioned while talking about the early stages of developing his book. On this topic, he said, “I first started with this idea of an ecocritical reading with Rossetti, and then, I guess, inevitably with me the psychology started creeping in.” He also adds that “it’s a new subfield called cognitive criticism.”

In 2014, Williams designed and introduced Literature and Psychology, ENG 139, to KU, wanting to make a unique contribution to campus noting its growing popularity.

“I think literature is mostly interesting because it teaches us about human nature. So, I kind of see psychology and literature doing the same thing in the sense of trying to help us understand who we are and give us insights on human nature,” Williams said. “Psychology can really illuminate the literature but also the literature can notice things.” 

To preorder “Christina Rossetti’s Environmental Consciousness,” go to Routeledge.com and Amazon.

 

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