Karen E. Waldron, Rob Friedman, "Toward a Literary Ecology: Places and Spaces in American Literature"

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Karen E. Waldron, Rob Friedman, "Toward a Literary Ecology: Places and Spaces in American Literature"

Karen E. Waldron, Rob Friedman, "Toward a Literary Ecology: Places and Spaces in American Literature"
Publisher: Scarecrow Pr | 2013 | ISBN: 0810891972 | English | PDF | 248 pages | 1.2 Mb

Scholarship of literature and the environment demonstrates myriad understandings of nature and culture. While some work in the field results in approaches that belong in the realm of cultural studies, other scholars have expanded the boundaries of ecocriticism to connect the practice more explicitly to disciplines such as the biological sciences, human geography, or philosophy. Even so, the field of ecocriticism has yet to clearly articulate its interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary nature.

In Toward a Literary Ecology: Places and Spaces in American Literature, editors Karen E. Waldron and Robert Friedman have assembled a collection of essays that study the interconnections between literature and the environment to theorize literary ecology. The disciplinary perspectives in these essays allow readers to comprehend places and environments and to represent, express, or strive for that comprehension through literature. Contributors to this volume explore the works of several authors, including Gary Snyder, Karen Tei Yamashita, Rachel Carson, Terry Tempest Williams, Chip Ward, and Mary Oliver. Other essays discuss such topics as urban fiction as a model of literary ecology, the geographies of belonging in the work of Native American poets, and the literary ecology of place in “new” nature writing.

Investigating texts for the complex interconnections they represent, Toward a Literary Ecology suggests what such texts might teach us about the interconnections of our own world.
This volume also offers a means of analyzing representations of people in places within the realm of an historical, cultural, and geographically bounded yet diverse American literature. Intended for students of literature and ecology, this collection will also appeal to scholars of geography, cultural studies, philosophy, biology, history, anthropology, and other related disciplines.
Editors Karen E. Waldron and Rob Friedman have brought together several authors in this collection of essays on ecocriticism, a rapidly growing field of literary studies. The book is divided into three parts. In part 1, 'Ecological Identities,' three chapters examine American authors and works of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including Gary Snyder, Sherman Alexie, Simon Ortiz, and Kimberly Blaeser. Part 2, 'Ecological Cityscapes,' examines urban semiotics and geography of two works: Walter Mosley’s Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned and Tei Yamashita’s The Tropic of Orange. In Part 3, 'Ecological Rhetoric,' examines texts such as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Virgil’s Georgics, as the authors explore the language and linguistic strategies used to discuss the environment and the cultural history in which it exists. There is an extensive works cited list at the back as well as information about the contributors to this volume. The chapters are well written and include a notes section at the end. This reviewer recommends this title for students interested in ecocriticism in literary studies, particularly for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students who are already well versed in the authors and texts discussed. (American Reference Books Annual)

Karen E. Waldron is Lisa Stewart Professor of Literature and Women’s Studies at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. She has published articles on multiple American writers, ranging from William Faulkner to Leslie Marmon Silko.

Robert Friedman teaches at the University of Washington Tacoma, where he is director of the Institute of Technology. He is the author of Collaborative Learning Systems: A Case Study (2008) and Hawthorne's Romances: Social Drama and the Metaphor of Geometry (2000).

Karen E. Waldron, Rob Friedman, "Toward a Literary Ecology: Places and Spaces in American Literature"