Talk:Ecocriticism

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Relevance: Wilson, Thomas M. The Recurrent Green Universe of John Fowles. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2006.

Is not a major book in the canon, and was added to the "references" >section after any of the major edits to the article. Appears to have been listed for self-promotion. (see the guy's site to get a better idea >about this) 140.247.248.249 00:34, 4 February >2007 (UTC)

I agree. This should be removed.

This is a petty point really, but The Environmental Imagination was first published in 1995, and not 1996. That's what it says in the copy in my uni library anyway..?Turkeyplucker 11:10, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Since these matters have obviously been attended to, I removed the neutrality and close connection tags. Literature456 (talk) 18:52, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

I cleared up the rest of the page and removed all tags. Literature456 (talk) 19:15, 30 December 2009 (UTC)


Ecocritism in India[edit]

The material that was recorded here was historically invalid. it was biased and grossly misrepresented the growth and development of this particular branch of learning in the Indian subcontinent. Anyone with basic knowledge of these things could vouch for this. For further information please verify facts available elsewhere. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Harischandra (talkcontribs) 13:58, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Examples?[edit]

This talks a lot about criticism, but almost not at all about any works—I don't want an ontological debate, but practically speaking, any criticism only exists if works exist, and, as such, showing readers of this encyclopedia entry a practical example or two might be nice. Mention is made of Shakespeare, but only in passing—the word "Shakespearean" without any definite play or poem. Is there no Gawain and the Green Knight example published and ready to use, for example? --Akhenaten0 (talk) 21:34, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Our library at the University of Pennsylvania has 100 items cataloged under "Ecocriticism", so there's a fair number of works out there. I'm not familiar enough with the field to suggest major works, but I've added a Library resources box to help folks find some at their library, or in suitable academic libraries. JohnMarkOckerbloom (talk) 17:09, 20 February 2015 (UTC)


Evolution of Ecocriticism[edit]

Added a brief reference to highlight critical dimensions of the field, especially an interrogation of anthropocentrism, via the Cambridge Intro text. Meg Theory (talk) 15:12, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

@Meg Theory: Thanks for the addition! This article definitely needs a lot more work: as you probably are aware. If you have expertise in theory, and the broader conversations around eco-crit theory, it would be great to have someone working on this article and the topics more broadly. Wikipedians tend to be very good at writing more narrow tangible articles (like about novels or authors) and are not as good at doing broad swath concepts (like ecocriticism). Keep up the great work, and let me know if you need any help on this: I have a secondary interest in ecocriticsm. Sadads (talk) 15:57, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

@SadadsThank you so much for the feedback! I'm going to begin work on the article over the next few weeks. I'm currently gathering sources. How do you feel about reorganizing the page so that the definition section precedes the section on literary history? It seems to me like that definition is critical to the understanding of development of the field. I'd be happy to make this change as I'm developing the article. Looking forward to working together! Meg Theory (talk) 22:46, 26 May 2015 (UTC) 19:05, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

@Meg Theory: The reorg sounds great! I recently finished up substantial overhaul of the article Nautical Fiction, which might offer a good precedent/model for covering a substantive literary critical topic. Similarly, other examples for what you are doing might include Sea in culture, Dictator novel and LGBT themes in speculative fiction (as you can probably tell, we haven't had much work done on Wikipedia around theory itself, not a lot of Wikipedians who have enough interest/expertise to do it). I would recommend editing the page as early as possible, instead of waiting until you have gathered all of your sources. Editing in small spurts, gives other editors the opportunity to weigh in and collaborate, rather than trying to confront the whole thing at once.
Also, as a side note: its important to make sure that you are signed in when you account, so that your IP address doesn't get logged near your anonymous identity. If you fix your signature above by deleting, and rewriting it, I can wipe your IP from their for identity preservation reasons. Sadads (talk) 21:15, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Thankyou @ Sadads. I think I was able to fix the signature. Good point about editing in small bursts - I'll go ahead and do that as well as look to those sources as exemplars. New to editing here and I appreciate the help. Meg Theory (talk) 22:46, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Proposed Changes to the Article[edit]

I'm very interested in revising this article to bring up its quality. Here are some things I have been considering working on (admittedly it will take some time to get to all of these changes). I'd welcome any comments or suggestions as I'm working!

Preliminary Proposed Changes to this Article


  1. In the current lead section, add a qualifier to the sentence about “brainstorming possible solutions,” as this is a hotly debated issue within ecocriticism. Many scholars argue that this is not and should not be the goal of ecocriticism, while a large community of scholars propose to do just this.
  2. Add that Ecocriticism has institutional connections to English departments and is often a secondary area of study in English literature as well as Rhetoric and Composition.
  3. Explain that ASLE does not only host American scholarship.
  4. Change the current organization of the page: move the “definition” section up to precede the “evolution in literary studies” section for better flow of information.
  5. Additions to the definition section: change the sentence about there being “relatively little dispute about the philosophical and moral aims of ecocriticism.” There is actually much contestation, with scholars such as Timothy Morton suggesting that “there is no nature” and other critics arguing the precise role of literary environmentalism, particularly from the standpoint that the West either has a moral responsibility to enact a leadership role because of its consumerism/materialism, or that this is a form of Eco-Imperialism.
  6. Discuss issues of class, race, and gender in connection to Ecocriticism and explain the subcategories, such as Ecofeminism, EcoMarxism, etc. Cite various examples of film and literature that make up these sub-genres.
  7. Much of the article focuses on ecocriticism as the study of “nature” and “natural” things, but these are contested terms in the field. Explain.
  8. Note the role of technology and manmade environments in eco-studies.
  9. Cite The Environmental Justice Reader to contextualize the sentence on environmental justice at the end of the definition section.
  10. In the “evolution” section: Make a distinction between romantic ecology and newer forms of ecocriticism, including Ursula K. Heise, Ulrich Beck, and Bruno Latour.
  11. Discuss Marx’s The Machine in the Garden and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. Show timeline of ideas from Romanticism in Britain to Transcendentalism in the U.S. as major factors in the current Ecocriticism.
  12. Add to bibliography (see source list)

Tentative Source List

Examples of Fiction

  • Austin, Mary. “The Scavengers” from Land of Little Rain (1903)
  • Ballard, J.G. The Drowned World
  • Bowen, Elizabeth. The Last September
  • Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street (Random House, 1984)
  • Danielewski, Mark. House of Leaves
  • DeLillo, Don. White Noise
  • Forster, E.M. A Passage to India
  • Hogan, Linda. Solar Storms
  • Lessing, Doris. The Golden Notebook
  • Morrison, Toni. A Mercy
  • Olsen, Tillie. Yonnondio
  • Rhys, Jean. Good Morning, Midnight
  • Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle
  • Spark, Muriel. The Driver’s Seat; The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
  • Toomer, Jean. Cane
  • Woolf, Virginia. Orlando; Mrs. Dalloway
  • Yamashita, Karen Tei. Tropic of Orange (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 1997)

Examples of Poetry

  • D. H. Lawrence, Robot Poems
  • Li-Young Li, The City In Which I Love You (1990)
  • ---, Behind My Eyes (2008)
  • Anne Fisher-Wirth and Laura Gray Street, eds., Ecopoetry Anthology (2013)
  • Countée Cullen, Helene Johnson, and Edward Silvera. From the Dark Tower: A Collection of Poetry
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Mont Blanc”
  • Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
  • William Wordsworth, Michael and The Prelude

Non-Fiction Ecocriticism

  • Wendell Berry, from The Gift of the Good Land
  • Rob Nixon, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (2011)
  • Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire (1968)
  • Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1962)
  • Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (1974)
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Essential Writings (2000)
  • John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra (1911)
  • ---, 1,000 Mile Walk to the Gulf
  • Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac (1949)
  • John Muir, from Our National Parks
  • Jeff Ripple and Susan Cerulean, The Wild Heart of Florida (1999)
  • Gary Snyder, from Turtle Island
  • Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854)
  • Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge (1992)
  • ---, Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert (2001)


Important Theory and Criticism

  • Adamson, Joni, Mei Mei Evans, and Rachel Stein. The Environmental Justice Reader (Intro; “Toward an Environmental Justice Ecocriticism”; “From Environmental Justice Literature to the Literature of Environmental Justice”; “Nature’ and Environmental Justice”) (2002)
  • Alaimo, Stacy. Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self
  • Arendt, Hannah. “Labor, Work, Action”
  • Auge, Marc. Non-places: An Introduction to Supermodernity.
  • Adams, Carol J., and Josephine Donovan, Women and Animals: Feminist Theoretical Examinations
  • Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space
  • Bate, Jonathan. from Romantic Ecology: Wordsworth and the Environmental Tradition
  • Beck, Ulrich. “Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity”
  • Bryson, Scott, and John Elder. Ecopoetry: A Critical Introduction (Intro) (2002)
  • Buell, Lawrence. The Future of Environmental Criticism
  • Darwin, Charles. from The Origin of Species
  • DeLoughrey, Elizabeth. Postcolonial Ecologies (2011)
  • Clark, Timothy. The Cambridge Introduction to Literature and the Environment (2011)
  • Coetzee, J.M. from The Lives of Animals
  • Cresswell, Tim. In Place/out of Place: Geography, Ideology, and Transgression; Place: A Short Introduction
  • Cronon, William. “The Trouble with Wilderness”
  • De Certeau, Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life; “Spatial Stories”; “Walking in the City”
  • Derrida, Jacques. “The Animal That Therefore I Am”
  • Diamond, Irene, and Gloria Feman Orenstein. Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism
  • Dumont, Rene. “Manifesto for an Alternative Culture”
  • Engels, Friedrich. from The Conditions of the Working Class
  • Evans, Mei Mei. “’Nature’ and Environmental Justice”
  • Foucault, Michel. The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the College de France, 1978-1979
  • Foerster, Norman. Nature in American Literature
  • Foster, John Bellamy. Marx’s Ecology (2000)
  • Gaard, Gretta. Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature
  • Garrard, Greg. Ecocriticism (2011)
  • Gatta, John. Making Nature Sacred: Literature, Religion, And Environment in America
  • Gifford, Terry. “The Social Construction of Nature” (ISLE) 13.2 (1996): 27-35.; “Three Kinds of Pastoral” form Pastoral
  • Glotfelty, Cheryll and Harold Fromm. The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology (1996)
  • Gray, Elizabeth Dodson. Green Paradise Lost (1979)
  • Heise, Ursula. Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global (2008); “The Hitchiker’s Guide to Ecocriticism”; “Local Rock and Global Plastic”
  • Halberstam and Livingston. Posthuman Bodies
  • Haraway, Donna. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature; “The Cyborg Manifesto”; “Situated Knowledges”; The Haraway Reader
  • Hayles, N. Katherine. How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics
  • Heidegger, Martin. “The Question Concerning Technology”; “Building, Dwelling, Thinking”
  • Huggan, Graham and Helen Tiffan, Postcolonial Ecocriticism
  • Huggan, Graham. “‘Greening’ Postcolonialism: Ecocritical Perspectives” in Modern Fiction Studies
  • Ishimure, Michiko. “Paradise in the Sea of Sorrow”
  • Jameson, Fredric. Archeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fiction (2005)
  • Kant, Immanuel. from The Third Critique of Judgment
  • Kerridge, Ricahrd. “Environmentalism and Ecocriticism”
  • LaDuke, Winona. All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life
  • Latour, Bruno. Remodelling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory. (2007); “Why Political Ecology Has Let Go of Nature”
  • Leach, Neil. Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory. New York: Routledge, 1997.
  • Lehan, Richard Daniel. The City in Literature: An Intellectual and Cultural History. Berkeley: U of California P, 1998.
  • LeGuin, Ursula K. “Buffalo Gals and Other Animal Presences”; “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction”
  • Lippard, Lucy R. The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentered Society. New York: New, 1997.
  • Locke, John. from An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
  • Love, Glen A. Practical Ecocriticism. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2003.
  • Lovejoy, Arthur. “Some Meanings of Nature”; “Nature as Aesthetic Norm”
  • Marx, Leo. The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in American Culture
  • McKinnen, Bill. from The End of Nature
  • Meeker, Joseph. The Comedy of Survival
  • Merchant, Carolyn. Radical Ecology
  • Mumford, Lewis. The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1961
  • Naess, Arne. “The Deep Ecological Movement” and “The Deep Ecology ‘Eight Points’ Revisited”
  • Nash, Roderick. Wilderness and the American Mind
  • Nichols, Ashton. Beyond Romantic Ecocriticism: Toward Urbanatural Roosting. NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
  • Outka, Paul. Race and Nature From Transcendentalism to the Harlem Renaissance
  • Plant, Edith. Healing the Wounds: The Promise of Ecofeminism
  • Phillips, Dana. from The Truth of Ecology: Nature, Culture, and Literature in America
  • Pollan, Michael. from Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education
  • Ramachandra, Guha. Varieties of Environmentalism: Essays North and South (1997)
  • Rousseau, Jean Jacques. from A Dissertation on the Origin and Foundation of the Inequality of Mankind
  • Shepard, Paul. “Ecology and Man – A Viewpoint”
  • Shiva, Vandana. from Biopiracy
  • Schama, Simon. Landscape and Memory. New York: Vintage, 1996.
  • Silko, Leslie Marmon. “Landscape, History, and the Pueblo Imagination”
  • Spinoza, Baruch. from the Ethics
  • Rose, Gillian. Feminism and Geography: The Limits of Geographical Knowledge. Cambridge: Polity, 1993.
  • Thrift, Nigel J. Non-representational Theory: Space, Politics, Affect. Milton Park: Routledge, 2008.
  • Tsing, Anna. Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection (Chapters 3-5, Section II, “Knowledge”)
  • Tuan, Yi-Fu. Topohilia (1974)
  • White, Lynn, Jr. “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis”
  • Williams, Raymond. The Country and the City; “Ideas of Nature” from Culture and Materialism
  • ---. “Key Terms in Ecocriticism and New Historicism”
  • Zimmerman, Michael. “Rethinking the Heidegger – Deep Ecology Relationship”

I plan to cite many of these works and include links where appropriate. Meg Theory (talk) 16:08, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Looks like quite a list! Definitely, you are looking in the places, and your suggested changes will probably work well. One thing to be wary of: you list a lot of primary texts as "Sources": instead, you should be citing the important theory and criticism per WP:Verifiability: remember we want the best opinions about the topic, from the best secondary authorities on the topic, not your interpretation of belongs in the genre that is often treated as part of the critique. Sadads (talk) 16:17, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

@ Sadads Thanks for the feedback! I will keep it all in mind as I'm working and I appreciate the clarification on secondary sources. Looking forward to editing! Meg Theory (talk) 19:50, 2 June 2015 (UTC)