'Remembering what truly matters': nature, culture and autism
Year of award: 2019
Dr Anna Stenning
Bath Spa University, United Kingdom
Environmental wellbeing is an under-theorised yet useful term which relates to the premises of green therapy, green care and green exercise. It refers to the perception of life-enhancing experiences gained through our contact with the natural and man-made surroundings, and the opportunities for encounters with other people and other species.
I will explore the multiple meanings of environmental wellbeing as presented in the burgeoning field of autistic life writing, narrative scholarship and traditional nature writing. I will compare this with recent conventional and non-specialist narratives about the influence of non-human nature on human wellbeing.
The aim of this research is to demonstrate the benefits of understanding autism from the inside, widen participation in environmental activism and contribute to narrative studies. I also want to understand how public health measures might pay more attention to the fragility of our relationships with the natural world.