Welcome to The Stories We Live By: an online course in ecolinguistics by Arran Stibbe, Reader in Ecological Linguistics at the University of Gloucestershire. This course has been funded by the University of Gloucestershire for public benefit and is free to use for any purpose. To begin the course, please click The Course in the menu above. If you register then you will also be able to access discussion groups, webinars and additional materials. Registration is free, just click Register.
Introduction The social and ecological issues that humanity currently faces are so severe that they call into question the fundamental stories that societies are based on. Ecolinguistics provides tools for revealing the stories we live by, questioning them from an ecological perspective, and contributing to the search for new stories to live by. These are practical tools that can be used by students, researchers and anyone who wants to use language to make a difference.
Stories are the secret reservoir of values: change the stories that individuals or nations live by and you change the individuals and nations themselves (Ben Okri).
The Course The course is based on the Routledge book Ecolinguistics: language, ecology and the stories we live by. It describes eight ways that language encodes the stories that society is based on: ideologies, framings, metaphors, evaluations, identities, convictions, erasure and salience. The theory is illustrated by analysing the language of a wide range of texts from advertisements, lifestyle magazines, and economics to surfing, Native American sayings and Japanese animation. In each case, the question is whether the stories that underlie texts encourage us to care about people and the ecosystems that life depends on.
The University of Gloucestershire
The International Ecolinguistics Association