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Professor Michael Gormley is QCC’s First Scholar in Residence

November 2021
December 2021
  • English Professor Michael Gormley is QCC's first Scholar in Residence.
    English Professor Michael Gormley is QCC's first Scholar in Residence.

English Professor Michael Gormley, known by many as “Gorm,” has become QCC’s very first Scholar in Residence. A lover of all things Stars Wars, Professor Gormley has taken that love of sci-fi a step further, publishing the groundbreaking book, “The End of the Anthropocene: Ecocriticism, the Universal Ecosystem, and the Astropocene.” The book offers a window into human impact on planetary ecology and is a combination of science fiction, science, ecology and mathematics, all rolled up into one intensely compelling read.

In his book, using ecocriticism and modern-science fiction, he speaks on what it means to be human when our species lives in an extraterrestrial environment. Professor Gormley analyzes literary images of human tracks on Earth, the Moon, and Mars to characterize the late-stage Anthropocene and to explore humanity’s role in the universal ecosystem.

“Humans have created a semi-apocalyptic environment that has become wild,” Professor Gormley said, alluding that soon it will secure our species survival. “We can alter the planetary landscape, but we cannot speak for nature. We are a product of the environment and all of a sudden our environment is a product of us.”

In his book, Professor Gormley discusses how the Anthropocene ends when there is no tie to our planet and the Astropocene begins. He uses Andy Weir’s book, “The Martian,” as a demonstrative way to give a clearer understanding of this concept. While The Martian is a science fiction book written in 2011, much of its premise is based on scientific realism.

“In the Astropocene we start to relate as humans to the laws in the realms of physics,” he said.

As the scholar in residence, Professor Gormley is already giving back to his fellow writers, hosting a Writer’s Group to support faculty who want to take their idea for a book from conception to a presentation/publication opportunity.

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