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Erina Harris


Graduate Fellow 2014-15

Research Activities: 

Erina Harris’s project begins as a contemporary adaptation of the ancient “Homeric Hymn to Demeter,” a Classical myth in which Demeter, the Goddess of Harvest, mourns over the abduction of her daughter Persephone who is taken into the Underworld by her uncle Hades, and there, seduced or coerced into eating a version of the forbidden fruit.  During her daughter’s absence, Demeter ravages the earth with drought in her grief.  When Persephone is returned, as a consequence of her consumption of pomegranate seeds, she is indebted to spend a portion of each ensuing year in the Underworld (during which time her mother inflicts the season of winter upon the earth, perhaps especially upon Calgary). Erina’s adaptation of this ancient myth is based on its re-interpretation as an ecological parable, one in which Persephone becomes indebted to futurity through consumption.  In addition to contending with an ethics of consumption, Persephone also models a condition of “intersubjectivity” or “interconnectedness” not only with her mother-figure Demeter, but also with the ecological others to whom she and humanity owe the honour of participating in futurity. 

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