This blog is an online resource managed by the ecocritical reading group of the English Department at Stellenbosch University. Our reading group takes as its starting point the sense of crisis surrounding the idea of nature. New threats to the natural world seem to be proliferating at an alarming rate and the news is full of predictions of disasters and ending — species becoming extinct, climate change, pollution and habitat destruction. What does it mean to consider these urgent questions within the disciplinary frame of literary studies? How can we wrest ‘nature’ from the stranglehold of advertising and natgeowild and allow it to circulate in ways which open up new possibilities away from its relentless commodification. How can concern for the environment avoid turning into a new form of imperialism, a ‘Green imperialism’ in which the west once again tries to save Africa from itself. The reading group explores some of the ways in which ecocriticism has responded to these problems and will explore how nature is becoming increasingly bound up with ethical questions about modes of life.