At the same time, ecocriticism has borrowed methodologies and theoretically informed approaches liberally from other fields of literary, social and scientific study. Cohen has observed, "if you want to be an ecocritic, be prepared to explain what you do and be criticized, if not satirized. Similarly, there has been a call to recognize the place of the Environmental Justice movement in redefining ecocritical discourse. Implementing the Gomides definition, Joseph Henry Vogel makes the case that ecocriticism constitutes an "economic school of thought" as it engages audiences to debate issues of resource allocation that have no technical solution.
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In , she and Harold Fromm co-edited The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology, a critical anthology that helped green the field of literary studies.
She is co-founder and past president of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment. Glotfelty has offered graduate seminars on ecocriticism and theory; regionalism and bioregionalism; literature of the wild; representing the other--animals in literature; environmental justice literature and theory; and ecofeminism.
Falling instantly in love with the Great Basin, and influenced by theories of bioregionalism and reinhabitation, Glotfelty has dedicated herself in recent years to "digging in" and "giving back" to the region.
Her most recent book, co-edited with Tom Lynch and Karla Armbruster, is The Bioregional Imagination: Literature, Ecology, and Place , which aims to think about place and planet from an ecological perspective. Essay on Ecocriticism Dr. Sreekumar At the beginning of the essay, Cherryl Glotfelty notes that English literary studies are in a constant flux.
Race, class and gender were the hot topics of the twentieth century. Literary criticism has not responded to the events mentioned above. The institution of literary studies was not aware of the environmental crisis.
There were no journals, no professional societies or discussion groups, and no conferences on literature and the environment. However, individual literary and cultural scholars have been developing ecological criticism and theory since the seventies though they did not organize themselves into an identifiable group. Each critic during this time was inventing an environmental approach to literature in isolation.
Birth of Environmental Literary Studies In the eighties, scholars began to undertake collaborative projects in the field of environmental literary studies. In F. Wagge edited Teaching Environmental Literature: Materials, Methods, Resources which included outputs from nineteen different scholars.
At the same time American Universities began to include literature courses in their environmental studies curricula, and some English departments began to offer a minor in environmental literature. Its mission was "to promote the exchange of ideas and information pertaining to literature that considers the relationship between human beings and the natural world" and to encourage "new nature writing, traditional and innovative scholarly approaches to environmental literature, and interdisciplinary environmental research".
Thus by , ecological literary study had emerged as a recognizable critical school. The formerly disconnected scholars joined forces with younger scholars and graduate students to become a strong interest group with aspirations to change the profession.
Definition of Ecocriticism Ecocriticism is the relationship between literature and the physical environment. It takes an earth-centered approach to literary studies. Ecocriticism asks questions like the following:-How is nature represented in this sonnet? What is the role of the physical setting in this novel? Are the values expressed in a work consistent with ecological wisdom? Do men write about nature differently than women do? What cross fertilization is possible between literary studies and environmental discourse in related disciplines such as history, philosophy, psychology, art history and ethics?
Ecocriticism takes as its subject the interconnections between nature and culture, specifically the cultural artifacts of language and literature. Taxonomy The taxonomic name of this green branch of literary study is still discussed. By ecocriticism he meant "the application of ecology and ecological concepts to the study of literature". Other terms in circulation include ecopoetics, environmental literary criticism, and green cultural studies. It implies interdependent communities, integrated systems, and strong connections among constituent parts.
The Humanities and the Environmental Crisis Most ecocritical works share a common motivation. It is the troubling awareness that we have reached the age of environmental limits. English departments cannot work as usual forgetting the looming environmental crisis. How can the English departments contribute to environmental restoration?
The answer lies in recognizing that current environmental problems are largely of our own making. It is a by-product of culture. Scholars in humanities are finding ways to add an environmental dimension to their respective disciplines. The Future of Ecocriticism An ecologically focused criticism takes us to matters that need our urgent attention. We can solve environmental problems only by thinking about them.
Glotfelty feels that ecocriticism would redraw the boundaries of literary studies. Strong voice in the profession will enable ecocritics to bring about important changes in the canon, the curriculum, and university policy. Students taking literature will be encouraged to think seriously about the relationship of humans to nature, about the ethical and aesthetic dilemmas posed by the environmental crisis, and about how language and literature transmit values with profound ecological implications.
Colleges and Universities will require that all students complete at least one interdisciplinary course in environmental studies. Glotfelty feels that ecocriticism has been predominantly a white movement. It will become a multi-ethnic movement when stronger connections are made between the environment and issues of social justice, and when divergent views are encouraged to contribute to the discussion.
She concludes her arguments in this section with the words of Loren Acton, a Montana ranch boy who flew on the Challenger Eight space shuttle as a payload specialist. There, contained in the thin, moving, incredibly fragile shell of the biosphere is everything that is dear to you, all the human drama and comedy.
Ecocriticism & Cultural Ecology
The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology Cheryll Glotfelty, Harold Fromm The Ecocriticism Reader is an illuminating entree into a field of study fully engaged with our most pressing contemporary problem--the global environmental crisis. Ecocriticism Greg Garrard Concise, clear, and authoritative, Ecocriticism offers the ideal introduction to this crucial subject for students of literary and cultural studies The Oxford Handbook of Ecocriticism Greg Garrard The Oxford Handbook of Ecocriticism explores a range of critical perspectives used to analyze literature, film, and the visual arts in relation to the natural environment. Handbook of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology Hubert Zapf In state-of-the-art contributions by leading international scholars in the field, this handbook maps some of the most important developments in contemporary ecocritical thought. Literature as Cultural Ecology: Sustainable Texts Hubert Zapf Drawing on the latest debates in ecocritical theory and sustainability studies, Literature as Cultural Ecology: Sustainable Texts outlines a new approach to the reading of literary texts. The book considers the postcolonial first from an environmental and then a zoocritical perspective. Handley Bringing ecocritical studies into a necessary dialogue with postcolonial literature, this volume offers rich and suggestive ways to explore the relationship between humans and nature around the globe, drawing from texts from Africa and the Caribbean, as well as the Pacific Islands and South Asia.
In , she and Harold Fromm co-edited The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology, a critical anthology that helped green the field of literary studies. She is co-founder and past president of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment. Glotfelty has offered graduate seminars on ecocriticism and theory; regionalism and bioregionalism; literature of the wild; representing the other--animals in literature; environmental justice literature and theory; and ecofeminism. Falling instantly in love with the Great Basin, and influenced by theories of bioregionalism and reinhabitation, Glotfelty has dedicated herself in recent years to "digging in" and "giving back" to the region.
Praise for The Ecocriticism Reader "A powerfully conceived, intelligently constructed collection of essays. I can imagine few critical anthologies that would have such wide appeal. It comes at just the right moment and will find a substantial and appreciative audience. It defines ecological literary discourse, sketches its development over the past quarter- century, and provides generally appealing and lucidly written examples of the range of ecological approaches to literature. Simply put, ecocriticism is the study of the relationship between literature and the physical environment. Just as feminist criticism examines language and literature from a gender-conscious perspective, and Marxist criticism brings an awareness of modes of production and economic class to its reading of texts, ecocriticism takes an earth-centered approach to literary studies. What role does the physical setting play in the plot of this novel?
The Ecocriticism Reader
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