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“Nothing Alive But Us and the Plant”: Eco-Horror and Scott Smith’s The Ruins

Join James Coby of the Unearthed Speakers Bureau for a free community talk at the Greensburg-Decatur County Public Library.

March 14
6:00 pm - 7:45 pm EDT
Greensburg-Decatur County Public Library
1110 E Main St.
Greensburg, IN 47240 United States

Event Details

Plants and vegetal life have long been positioned as antagonistic to humans in popular literature and film. We find examples of this in Macbeth, The Happening, Swamp Thing, Little Shop of Horrors, and countless others. But why is it that we find plant life to be a useful contrast to human “progress”? Using Scott Smith’s horror novel The Ruins as an example, Jim Coby addresses the ways in which authors have constructed confrontations between humankind and the environment as a means of grappling with climate change, the Anthropocene (a new geological epoch dominated by humans), and legacies of colonialism.

This program is open to all adults; prior familiarity with Scott Smith’s work is suggested, but not required. Please RSVP at the link above beginning in January 2024.

A native of Guntersville, AL, Jim Coby moved to Indiana in the spring of 2020 to begin teaching at Indiana University Kokomo. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and his research primarily revolves around literature of the American South, environmental literature, comics and graphic novels, and American realism. His scholarship and reviews have been published in numerous popular and academic forums, and he is currently coediting a collection of essays entitled BOOM! SPLAT!: Comics and Violence! for the University Press of Mississippi. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, running, baking, and exploring the state.