Literature

Topics: Ecocriticism, Literature, Ecology Pages: 5 (1431 words) Published: August 8, 2013
Ecocriticism is the study of literature and environment from an interdisciplinary point of view where all sciences come together to analyze the environment and brainstorm possible solutions for the correction of the contemporary environmental situation. Ecocriticism was officially heralded by the publication of two seminal works,[citation needed] both published in the mid-1990s: The Ecocriticism Reader, edited by Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm, and The Environmental Imagination, by Lawrence Buell. In the United States, ecocriticism is often associated with the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE),[citation needed] which hosts biennial meetings for scholars who deal with environmental matters in literature. ASLE publishes a journal—Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment (ISLE)—in which current American scholarship can be found. Ecocriticism is an intentionally broad approach that is known by a number of other designations, including "green (cultural) studies", "ecopoetics", and "environmental literary criticism". Contents

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* 1 Evolution of ecocriticism in literary studies
* 2 Definition
* 3 See also
* 4 Sources
* 5 References
* 6 External links
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Evolution of ecocriticism in literary studies[edit]
Ecocritics investigate such things as the underlying ecological values, what, precisely, is meant by the word nature, and whether the examination of "place" should be a distinctive category, much like class, gender or race. Ecocritics examine human perception of wilderness, and how it has changed throughout history and whether or not current environmental issues are accurately represented or even mentioned in popular culture and modern literature. Other disciplines, such as history, philosophy, ethics, and psychology, are also considered by ecocritics to be possible contributors to ecocriticism. William Rueckert may have been the first person to use the term ecocriticism (Barry 240). In 1978, Rueckert published an essay titled Literature and Ecology: An Experiment in Ecocriticism. His intent was to focus on “the application of ecology and ecological concepts to the study of literature.” (Reprinted in The Ecocritism Reader on p. 107) Ecologically minded individuals and scholars have been publishing progressive works of ecotheory and criticism since the explosion of environmentalism in the late 1960s and 1970s. However, because there was no organized movement to study the ecological/environmental side of literature, these important works were scattered and categorized under a litany of different subject headings: pastoralism, human ecology, regionalism, American Studies etc. British Marxist critic Raymond Williams, for example, wrote a seminal critique of pastoral literature in 1973, The Country and the City, which spawned two decades of leftist suspicion of the ideological evasions of the genre and its habit of making the work of rural labour disappear even though Williams himself observed that the losses lamented in pastoral might be genuine ones, and went on to profess a decidedly green socialism. Another early ecocritical text, Joseph Meeker's The Comedy of Survival (1974), proposed a version of an argument that was later to dominate ecocriticism and environmental philosophy; that environmental crisis is caused primarily by a cultural tradition in the West of separation of culture from nature, and elevation of the former to moral predominance. Such anthropocentrism is identified in the tragic conception of a hero whose moral struggles are more important than mere biological survival, whereas the science of animal ethology, Meeker asserts, shows that a "comic mode" of muddling through and "making love not war" has superior ecological value. In the later, "second wave" ecocriticism, Meeker's adoption of an ecophilosophical position with apparent scientific sanction as a measure of literary value tended...
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