Search results for: the-environmental-imagination

The Environmental Imagination

Author : Lawrence Buell
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Intricate and challenging in its arguments, yet engagingly and elegantly written, The Environmental Imagination is a major work of scholarship, one that establishes a new basis for the reading of American nature writing.

The Environmental Imagination

Author : Dean Hawkes
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This title, from a well-regarded and established expert, explores the changing relationship between the poetic intentions and technical means of environmental design in architecture. Working thematically and chronologically from the eighteenth century to the present day, these essays reach beyond the narrow conventional view of the purely technical to encompass the poetics of architecture, redefining the historiography of environmental design. Through an assessment of the works of several leading figures throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Hawkes deftly shows the growth of environmental awareness and adds a consideration of the qualitative dimension of the environment to the existing, primarily technological, narratives. Essays on earlier buildings highlight the response of pioneering architects to the 'new' technologies of mechanical services and their influence on the form of buildings, while the late twentieth-century design is explored in particular depth to illustrate individual strands of the environmental diversity of modern practice.

Housing the Environmental Imagination

Author : Peter Quigley
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The last few decades have seen an explosion of interest in literature and the sense of place. Many essays, books and presentations have explored the aesthetics, politics, and urgency of understanding and appreciating the unique qualities of coasts, mountains, deserts, bioregions, and more. Little attention, however, has been given to the process of establishing residence in these special places and what it means to make a life there. Housing the Environmental Imagination focuses directly on this omission by examining the writing, houses, and lives of Thoreau, Robinson Jeffers, Gary Snyder, Wendell Berry, Scott Russell Sanders, Arne Naess, Mary Austin, Jack London, and many others. In addition to addressing the lack of study on this theme of living in place, Quigley adds a crucial additional element: living and writing in place. The unique aspect of this study is the selection of those writers whose writing project is inseparable from the living project. In other words, without the cabin at the pond, there would be no Walden. The same can be said of Snyder’s Kitkitdizze and Jeffers’ Tor House and Hawk Tower. Therefore, it’s Quigley’s intention to throw open the issue of the meaning of houses and to explore the role houses play in the lives of some of the more well-known nature writers. Thoreau is cited by Quigley as a good point of departure for examining the meaning and role of houses: “Most men appear never to have considered what a house is.” In this way, Quigley claims to have identified a new genre of writing and in the process pushes back against postmodern approaches. This writing, connected inseparably to house and region, depends on and is anchored in experience and to a world of natural processes and values. An interesting aspect of the book is the way Quigley takes this basic formula (place, house, writing) and examines how lifestyle and ritual are associated with place, house and writing. In addition, this triad also is seen to work its way forward in different historical times and pressures. Quigley examines the different political, social and architectural pressures felt by these writers in the 19th, and early and late 20th centuries. The conclusion of this study points forward, however, as the title of the last chapter suggests: “Alternative Futures.” Quigley takes as his guiding theme throughout, two polar thoughts from Thoreau that govern the writers under examination as well as Quigley’s approach. Thoreau championed the heroic virtue of the imagination in practical terms by urging folks to move “confidently in the direction of [one’s] dreams.” By doing so, if one “endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Again the practical and the imaginative are brought together with Thoreau’s other claim that it is “vain to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” Nature, war, individualism, love, family, stone, wood, glass, ocean, mountains, farming, community and more come together in this broad ranging discussion. This is a book about writers in place, but it also is about rethinking how we might live the best lives we can, every day. Essentially this book addresses the long standing question “And how shall we live?” http://housesinthepoeticwild.org/

Maine s Place in the Environmental Imagination

Author : Michael D. Burke
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The essays in Maine’s Place in the Environmental Imagination address – from a variety of perspectives – how Maine’s unique identity among the states of the United States has been formed, and what that identity is: A place that is still imagined by others primarily through its environmental associations, its “nature” and landscape, rather than through its social arrangements and human history. The collection attempts a foundational study, not of a regional literature, but of a state literature. In doing so, it makes the case that Maine was constructed imaginatively and environmentally through its literature, and that this image is the one that endures even now. The essays suggest how this identity was formed, by discussing writings ranging from the recently recovered work of Joseph Nicolar, a member of the Penobscot Nation in the late 19th century, to the contemporary Maine author Carolyn Chute; from Thoreau’s canonical essay, “Ktaadn,” to the modernist E.B. White, whose works have an under-appreciated environmental project. Contributors include scholars Nathaniel Lewis, Annette Kolodny, Linda Kornasky, Daniel Malachuk, Kent Ryden, and Lynn Wake

Sense of Place and Sense of Planet

Author : Ursula K. Heise
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Sense of Place and Sense of Planet analyzes the relationship between the imagination of the global and the ethical commitment to the local in environmentalist thought and writing from the 1960s to the present. Part One critically examines the emphasis on local identities and communities in North American environmentalism by establishing conceptual connections between environmentalism and ecocriticism, on one hand, and theories of globalization, transnationalism and cosmopolitanism, on the other. It proposes the concept of "eco-cosmopolitanism" as a shorthand for envisioning these connections and the cultural and aesthetic forms into which they translate. Part Two focuses on conceptualizations of environmental danger and connects environmentalist and ecocritical thought with the interdisciplinary field of risk theory in the social sciences, arguing that environmental justice theory and ecocriticism stand to benefit from closer consideration of the theories of cosmopolitanism that have arisen in this field from the analysis of transnational communities at risk. Both parts of the book combine in-depth theoretical discussion with detailed analyses of novels, poems, films, computer software and installation artworks from the US and abroad that translate new connections between global, national and local forms of awareness into innovative aesthetic forms combining allegory, epic, and views of the planet as a whole with modernist and postmodernist strategies of fragmentation, montage, collage, and zooming.

Anglo Saxon Literary Landscapes

Author : Heide Estes
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Landscapes, whether wild regions, seascapes, or urban areas, have typically been taken for granted by scholars as 'setting' for human actions, though perhaps functioning in metaphorical terms to echo human emotions or other themes. This study takes the natural world on its own terms, investigating how Anglo-Saxons interacted with their lived environments and how they imagined their relationships to it, as depicted in poems such as Beowulf, Judith, and the Exeter Book Riddles, in the context of more prosaic descriptions of natural events found in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and other documentary texts. While landscapes were assumed to be available for human use, they were not necessarily taken for granted. Anglo-Saxon ideologies taking nature as diametrically opposed to humans, and the natural world designed for human use, are deeply embedded in our cultural heritage and even in our language and affect technological developments that threaten our planet today.

German Culture and the Modern Environmental Imagination

Author : Sabine Wilke
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This book tells the story of the rise of the modern German environmental imagination with particular emphasis on its narrative and visual components.

Natural States

Author : Richard W. Judd,
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Richard Judd and Christopher Beach define the environmental imagination as the attempt to secure 'a sense of freedom, permanence, and authenticity through communion with nature.' The desire for this connection is based on ideals about nature, wilderness, and the livable landscape that are personal, variable, and often contradictory. Judd and Beach are interested in the public expression of these ideals in post-World War II environmental politics. Arguing that the best way to study the relationship between popular values and politics is through local and regional records, they focus on Maine and Oregon, states both rich in natural beauty and environmentalist traditions, but distinct in their postwar economic growth. Natural States reconstructs the environmental imagination from public commentary, legislative records, and other documents. Judd and Beach trace important divisions within the environmental movement, noting that they were balanced by a consistent, civic-minded vision of environmental goods shared by all. They demonstrate how tensions from competing ideals sustained the movement, contributed to its successes, but also limited its achievements. In the process, they offer insight into the character of the broader environmental movement as it emerged from the interplay of local, state, and national politics. The study ends in the 1970s when spectacular legislative achievements at the national level were masking a decline in mainstream civic engagement in state politics. The authors note the rise of the private ecotopia and the increasing complexity in the way Americans viewed their connections with the natural world. Yet, today, despite wide variations in beliefs and lifestyles, a majority of Americans still consider themselves to be environmentalists. In Natural States, environmental politics emerges less as a conflict between people who do and do not value nature, and more as a debate about the way people define and then chose to live with nature. In their attempt to place the passion for nature within a changing political and cultural context, Judd and Beach shed light on the ways that ideals unify and divide the environmental movement and act as the source of its enduring popularity.

Waymarking Italy s Influence on the American Environmental Imagination While on Pilgrimage to Assisi

Author : Robert Lawrence France
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Undertaking a peripatetic pilgrimage that is equal parts a daily description of a 200-kilometre walk from the wounded mountain of La Verna to the tortured river in Assisi, and an examination of the debt owed to Italy in terms of ecocultural and environmental scholarship, this book provides an innovative addition to the nascent field of ecocritical narrative scholarship. Through a process that has been referred to as “deep-travel“ or “mind-walking,” the text fulsomely reviews how time spent in Italy influenced the writings of notable North American environmental historians, geographers, scientists, nature writers, landscape architects, and restoration theorists about the conception and manipulation of the natural world. This literary field study highlights how the phenomenological co-traversing of texts and trails can be a valued methodology for undertaking environmental criticism.

Writing for an Endangered World

Author : Lawrence BUELL
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The environmental imagination does not stop short at the edge of the woods. Nor should our understanding of it, as Lawrence Buell makes powerfully clear in his new book that aims to reshape the field of literature and environmental studies. Emphasizing the influence of the physical environment on individual and collective perception, his book thus provides the theoretical underpinnings for an ecocriticism now reaching full power, and does so in remarkably clear and concrete ways. Writing for an Endangered World offers a conception of the physical environment--whether built or natural--as simultaneously found and constructed, and treats imaginative representations of it as acts of both discovery and invention. A number of the chapters develop this idea through parallel studies of figures identified with either "natural" or urban settings: John Muir and Jane Addams; Aldo Leopold and William Faulkner; Robinson Jeffers and Theodore Dreiser; Wendell Berry and Gwendolyn Brooks. Focusing on nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers, but ranging freely across national borders, his book reimagines city and country as a single complex landscape. Reviews of this book: Author of the widely influential The Environmental Imagination, Buell is a major figure in contemporary ecocriticism. Here, in broadening the scope of his earlier book, Buell blurs the usual distinction between natural and built environments. Exploring how a variety of texts imagine urban, rural, ocean, and desert places, he convincingly argues that literary imagination is powerfully shaped by--and shapes--a single, complex environment that is both found and constructed...Buell's book is important: it points ecocriticism in profoundly new and welcome directions. --W. Conlogue, Choice

Eco Joyce

Author : Robert Brazeau
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This collection introduces and examines the overarching ecological consciousness evinced in the writings of James Joyce. Reading Joyce with a keen attention to the manner in which the natural and built environment functions as context, horizon, threat, or site of liberation in Joyce{u2019}s writing offers an engaging and fruitful way into the dense, demanding, and usually encyclopedic formation of knowledge that comprises Joyce{u2019}s literary legacy. Scholars working within Irish studies draw on a wide variety of critical outlooks, including cultural studies, post-colonial studies, transnational studies, gender studies and, of course, modernist studies; this book will help that community become better acquainted with how ecocriticism elucidates the work of Irish writers, and will encourage further research in this direction. Even writers like Joyce, who are usually regarded as primarily urban, exhibit a strong ecological dimension in their work, and there are many other Irish writers who have produced work that directly engages issues in ecology and environmental studies. Eco-Joyce covers a multitude of disciplines in an attempt to serve as a point of entry into Joyce and ecocriticism, of course, but it will also suggest ways in which Irish studies and modernist studies could gain energy from this relatively new and vital approach --

The Future of Environmental Criticism

Author : Lawrence Buell
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Written by one of the world’s leading theorists in ecocriticism, this manifesto provides a critical summary of the ecocritical movement. A critical summary of the emerging discipline of “ecocriticism”. Written by one of the world’s leading theorists in ecocriticism. Traces the history of the ecocritical movement from its roots in the 1970s through to its diversification and proliferation today. Takes account of different ecocritical positions and directions. Describes major tensions within ecocriticism and addresses major criticisms of the movement. Looks to the future of ecocriticism, proposing that discourses of the environment should become a permanent part of literary and cultural studies.

Willa Cather s Ecological Imagination

Author : Susan J. Rosowski
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The wide-ranging essays collected in this volume of Cather Studies examine Willa Cather?s unique artistic relationship to the environment. Under the theoretical rubric of ecocriticism, these essays focus on Cather?s close observations of the natural world and how the environment proves, for most of these contributors, to be more than simply a setting for her characters. While it is certain that Cather?s novels and short stories are deeply grounded in place, literary critics are only now considering how place functions within her narratives and addressing environmental issues through her writing. ø These essays reintroduce us to a Cather who is profoundly identified with the places that shaped her and that she wrote about: Glen A. Love offers an interdisciplinary reading of The Professor?s House that is scientifically oriented; Joseph Urgo argues that My ?ntonia models a preservationist aesthetic in which landscape and memory are inextricably entangled; Thomas J. Lyon posits that Cather had a living sense of the biotic community and used nature as the standard of excellence for human endeavors; and Jan Goggans considers the ways that My ?ntonia shifts from nativism toward a ?flexible notion of place-based community.?

The Wealth of Nature

Author : Donald Worster
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Hailed as "one of the most eminent environmental historians of the West" by Alan Brinkley in The New York Times Book Review, Donald Worster has been a leader in reshaping the study of American history. Winner of the prestigious Bancroft Prize for his book Dust Bowl, Worster has helped bring humanity's interaction with nature to the forefront of historical thinking. Now, in The Wealth of Nature, he offers a series of thoughtful, eloquent essays which lay out his views on environmental history, tying the study of the past to today's agenda for change. The Wealth of Nature captures the fruit of what Worster calls "my own intellectual turning to the land." History, he writes, represents a dialogue between humanity and nature--though it is usually reported as if it were simple dictation. Worster takes as his point of departure the approach expressed early on by Aldo Leopold, who stresses the importance of nature in determining human history; Leopold pointed out that the spread of bluegrass in Kentucky, for instance, created new pastures and fed the rush of American settlers across the Appalachians, which affected the contest between Britain, France, and the U.S. for control of the area. Worster's own work offers an even more subtly textured understanding, noting in this example, for instance, that bluegrass itself was an import from the Old World which supplanted native vegetation--a form of "environmental imperialism." He ranges across such areas as agriculture, water development, and other questions, examining them as environmental issues, showing how they have affected--and continue to affect--human settlement. Environmental history, he argues, is not simply the history of rural and wilderness areas; cities clearly have a tremendous impact on the land, on which they depend for their existence. He argues for a comprehensive approach to understanding our past as well as our present in environmental terms. "Nostalgia runs all through this society," Worster writes, "fortunately, for it may be our only hope of salvation." These reflective and engaging essays capture the fascination of environmental history--and the beauty of nature lost or endangered--underscoring the importance of intelligent action in the present.

Disability and the Environment in American Literature

Author : Matthew J. C. Cella
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The essays in Disability and the Environment in American Literature contribute new insights into the fields of literary disability studies and ecocriticism by placing the two fields in dialogue. The book offers readings of American literary narratives of place that expose the deep relationship between embodiment and emplacement and that explore the ways in which a scrutiny of this relationship might open up our understanding of disability.

Nature in Literary and Cultural Studies

Author : Catrin Gersdorf
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Nature in Literary and Cultural Studies is a collection of essays written by European and North American scholars who argue that nature and culture can no longer be thought of in oppositional, mutually exclusive terms. They are united in an effort to push the theoretical limits of ecocriticism towards a more rigorous investigation of nature's critical potential as a concept that challenges modern culture's philosophical assumptions, epistemological convictions, aesthetic principles, and ethical imperatives. This volume offers scholars and students of literature, culture, history, philosophy, and linguistics new insights into the ongoing transformation of ecocriticism into an innovative force in international and interdisciplinary literary and cultural studies.

The Green Challenge to Consumer Culture

Author : Marcy Darnovsky
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Though many environmentalists and political activists dismiss everyday environmentalism as ineffective and self-deluding, this dissertation argues that it is firmly embedded in the environmental imagination, and that it harbors fertile seeds of opposition to the culture of consumer capitalism and the fundamental economic arrangements that support it.

Knots like Stars

Author : Roberto Forns-Broggi
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Knots like Stars: The ABCs of the Ecological Imagination in Our Americas is an encyclopedia of essays and aphorisms, at times personal, at times speculative and analytical, that invites readers to understand and enjoy an ecological perspective on Latin American literature and arts. It is simultaneously a summons to join creative forces with the non-human world. Through 43 key, interdependent entries from diverse environmental traditions, writing becomes a meditation on the poetry, films, and visual artistic traditions that sustain life, while opposing the actual destruction of Mesoamerican, Andean, and Amazonian biodiversity. The book will appeal to all people wanting to understand how poetic, artistic, and critical endeavors can enrich, rather than impoverish, the imperiled world around us. Since the Hispanic population and influence have increased dramatically in recent years, a better understanding of the complexity of this diverse culture will be an important asset for a sustainable and more interconnected future. This book invites its readers to expand their horizons and enjoy connections in order to build a sustainable community by integrating ecological perspectives in literature, film, and other arts.

Wild Things

Author : Adkins, Kaye
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The first book-length study of the relationship between children's literature and ecocriticism.

Restoring the Connection to the Natural World

Author : Sylvia Mayer
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Since its emergence in the second half of the nineteenth century, American environmentalism has predominantly been a white, middle-class pursuit, being preoccupied with notions of wilderness and wildlife preservation. Only fairly recently, with the advent of the environmental justice movement in the 1980s, has American environmentalism broadened its definition of "environment" to include the concerns relevant to a community's way of living. Of particular disproportionate importance are the concerns of poor urban communities of color, which have been exposed to environmental hazards. This volume--one of the first collections of ecocritical essays devoted exclusively to African American texts--shows that African Americans have contributed to the efforts of the environmental justice movement, not only as political activists, but also as writers. The essays range from studies of nineteenth-century slave narratives to twentieth-century texts by Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, Richard Wright, Charles Johnson, Toni Cade Bambara, Audre Lorde, and Octavia Butler. Employing a variety of theoretical and methodological premises, they provide insight into the texts' various conceptualizations of "nature," "culture," and "humanness" and their implications for environmental ethics. Sylvia Mayer teaches at the Department of English Literature at the University of Mnster, Germany.