For over thirty years until 2009 I worked as an academic at the University of Bath. I contributed to the theory and practice of action research; developed innovative education programmes in responsible business practice; and led a series of action research projects exploring sustainability issues. Post-retirement I completed the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, with the aim of addressing the crisis of sustainability through creative writing. In this eco-literature, or “nature writing for an ecology in crisis,” I draw primarily on my experience of the sea through sailing and of planting and nurturing a small orchard in Bath, still informed by ideas that influenced me as an academic.
My major concern is with the devastating and unsustainable impact of modern human activities on the biosphere. I know there are all kinds of good ideas around about how to make our society more sustainable – how to change our economics, energy production, manufacturing, consumption, and so on. But I believe there is a deeper question: it’s not only about what we do but how we experience ourselves. I strongly believe that any significant change toward sustainability requires a fundamental shift in our sense of who we humans are in relation to the planet that sustains us. We are, after all, part of it all: just another species, an ordinary (and extraordinary) member of the community of life on earth. But we don’t think of ourselves like that very often. I want to explore and articulate how we might create an in-depth and almost taken-for-granted experience of ourselves as participants in the fabric and process of the planet.
I have published articles and reviews in Resurgence and elsewhere; and completed a book The Call of the Running Tide, for which I am looking for a publisher. I am Professor Emeritus at the University of Bath and Visiting Professor at the University of Bristol. A list of my academic publications can be found at www.peterreason.eu. I am also an active member of the Vala Publishing Co-operative.