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The Cambridge Companion to Literature and the Environment
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Book description

The Cambridge Companion to Literature and the Environment is an authoritative guide to the exciting new interdisciplinary field of environmental literary criticism. The collection traces the development of ecocriticism from its origins in European pastoral literature and offers fifteen rigorous but accessible essays on the present state of environmental literary scholarship. Contributions from leading experts in the field probe a range of issues, including the place of the human within nature, ecofeminism and gender, engagements with European philosophy and the biological sciences, critical animal studies, postcolonialism, posthumanism, and climate change. A chronology of key publications and bibliography provide ample resources for further reading, making The Cambridge Companion to Literature and the Environment an essential guide for students, teachers, and scholars working in this rapidly developing area of study.


'… provides a wide-ranging overview of the first three decades of ecocriticism, gives both a thorough introduction of the field to the novice, as well as suggestions for those more familiar with the field on where ecocriticism is going next. Consequently, it is an important contribution to the development of the field, and a testimony to its growing importance as a mode of analysis.'

Astrid Bracke Source: English Studies

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Further Reading

General Sources

The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment,, ASLE’s website lists international affiliate members, upcoming conferences, online materials introducing ecocriticism, and resources including syllabi and an online ecocritical library and bibliography at:


AJE: Australasian Journal of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology (The official publication of the Association for the Study of Literature, Environment and Culture-Australia and New Zealand, ASLEC – ANZ),
The Goose (electronic journal of the Association for Literature, Environment and Culture in Canada, ALECC),
Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism (journal of the UK and Ireland affiliate of ASLE, published commercially by Taylor and Francis)

The Indian Journal of Ecocriticism

The Journal of Ecocriticism, J o E (open-access, peer-reviewed electronic review of ecocriticism and ecoliterature),
Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities (University of Nebraska Press)
Related non-literary journals: Environmental Ethics, Environmental History, Environmental Humanities, Environmental Philosophy, Environmental Politics, Environmental Values.


Bate, Jonathan, Romantic Ecology: Wordsworth and the Environmental Tradition (London and New York: Routledge, 1991).
Bate, Jonathan, The Song of the Earth (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000).
Buell, Lawrence, The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995).
Buell, Lawrence, Writing for an Endangered World: Literature, Culture, and Environment in the U.S. and Beyond (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001).
Buell, Lawrence, The Future of Environmental Criticism: Environmental Crisis and Literary Imagination (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2005).
Coupe, Laurence (ed.), The Green Studies Reader: From Romanticism to Ecocriticism (London: Routledge, 2000).
Fisher, Philip, Hard Facts: Setting and Form in the American Novel (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985).
Gaard, Greta (ed.), Ecofeminism: Woman, Animals, Nature (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993).
Glotfelty, Cheryl and Harold Fromm (eds.), The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996).
Kerridge, Richard and Neil Sammels (eds.), Writing the Environment: Ecocriticism and Literature (London: Zed Books, 1998).
Kolodny, Annette, The Lay of the Land: Metaphor as Experience and History in American Life and Letters (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1975).
Marx, Leo, The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964).
Meeker, Joseph, The Comedy of Survival: Studies in Literary Ecology (New York: Scribner, 1974).
Nash, Roderick, Wilderness and the American Mind (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967.
Nicolson, Marjorie, Mountain Gloom and Mountain Glory, orig. pub. 1959 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997).
Parham, John (ed.), The Environmental Tradition in English Literature (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002).
Snyder, Gary, The Practice of the Wild (New York: North Point Press, 1990).
Williams, Raymond, The Country and the City (London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1973).


Abram, David, “Philosophy on the Way to Ecology,” The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (New York: Pantheon Books, 1996), pp. 31–72.
Biro, Andrew (ed.), Critical Ecologies: The Frankfurt School and Contemporary Environmental Crises (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011).
Brown, Charles S. and Ted Toadvine (eds.), Eco-Phenomenology: Back to the Earth Itself (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003).
Goodbody, Axel and Kate Rigby (eds.), Ecocritical Theory: New European Approaches (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011).
Heise, Ursula, Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global (New York: Oxford, 2008).
Luke, Timothy, Ecocritique: Contesting the Politics of Nature, Economy, and Culture (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997).
Mazel, David, American Literary Environmentalism (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2000).
Morton, Timothy, The Ecological Thought (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010).
Morton, Timothy, Ecology without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007).
Plumwood, Val, Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason (London: Routledge, 2002).
Plumwood, Val, Feminism and the Mastery of Nature (London: Routledge, 1993).
Sandilands, Cate, The Good-Natured Feminist: Ecofeminism and the Quest for Democracy (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999).
Soper, Kate, What Is Nature? Culture, Politics, and the Nonhuman (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995).

Interdisciplinary Engagements

Basso, Keith, Wisdom Sits in Places: Language and Landscape among the Western Apache (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996).
Beer, Gillian, Darwin’s Plots: Evolutionary Narrative in Darwin, George Eliot, and Nineteenth-Century Fiction (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983).
Buell, Frederick, From Apocalypse to Way of Life: Environmental Crises in the American Century (New York: Routledge, 2003).
Campbell, SueEllen, Alex Hunt, Richard Kerridge, and Ellen Wohl, The Face of the Earth: Natural Landscapes, Science, and Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011).
Hoffmeyer, Jesper, Signs of Meaning in the Universe (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1996).
Love, Glen, Practical Ecocriticism: Literature, Biology, and the Environment (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2003).
Phillips, Dana, The Truth of Ecology: Nature, Culture, and Literature in America (New York: Oxford, 2003).
Walls, Laura Dassow, The Passage to Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Shaping of America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009).
Walls, Laura Dassow, Seeing New Worlds: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Natural Science (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995).
Wheeler, Wendy, The Whole Creature: Complexity, Biosemiotics, and the Evolution of Culture (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 2006).

Applied Environmental Approaches

Adamson, Joni, American Indian Literature, Environmental Justice, and Ecocriticism (Tuscon: Arizona University Press, 2001).
Carruth, Allison, Global Appetites: American Power and the Literature of Food (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
Gifford, Terry, Green Voices: Understanding Contemporary Nature Poetry (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995).
Goodbody, Axel, Nature, Technology, and Cultural Change in Twentieth-Century German Literature (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
Harrison, Robert Pogue, Forests: The Shadow of Civilization (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992).
Hiltner, Ken, Milton and Ecology (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003).
Hiltner, Ken, What Else Is Pastoral? Renaissance Literature and the Environment (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011).
Huhndorf, Shari, Going Native: Indians in the American Cultural Imagination (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001).
Hutchings, Kevin, Imagining Nature: Blake’s Environmental Poetics (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2002).
Hutchings, Kevin, Romantic Ecologies and Colonial Cultures in the British Atlantic World 1750–1850 (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2009).
Knickerbocker, Scott, Ecopoetics: The Language of Nature, the Nature of Language (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2012).
Mellor, Leo, Reading the Ruins: Modernism, Bombsites, and British Culture (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011).
Parham, John, Green Man Hopkins: Poetry and the Victorian Imagination (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2010).
Rigby, Kate, Topographies of the Sacred: The Poetics of Place in European Romanticism (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2004).
Siewers, Alfred, Strange Beauty: Ecocritical Approaches to Early Medieval Landscape (London: Palgrave McMillan, 2009).
Slovic, Scott, Seeking Awareness in American Nature Writing (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1998).
Stein, Rachel, Shifting the Ground: American Women Writers’ Revisions of Nature, Gender, and Race (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1997).
Wardi, Anissa J., Water and African-American Memory: An Ecocritical Perspective (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2011).
Watson, Robert N., Back to Nature: The Green and the Real in the Late Renaissance (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006).
Westling, Louise, The Green Breast of the New World: Landscape, Gender, and American Fiction (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996).

New Directions

Environmental Justice

Adamson, Joni, Mei Mei Evans, and Rachel Stein (eds.), The Environmental Justice Reader: Politics, Poetics, and Pedagogy (Tuscon: Arizona University Press, 2002).
Stein, Rachel, New Perspectives on Environmental Justice: Gender, Sexuality, and Activism (Rutgers, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2004).
Westerman, Jennifer and Christina Robertson (eds.), Working on the Earth: The Intersection of Working-Class Studies and Environmental Justice (New York: Lexington Books, 2011).

New Nature Writing

Lopez, Barry, Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape (New York: Scribner, 1986).
McFarlane, Robert, The Wild Places (London: Penguin, 2008).
Nabhan, Gary Paul, The Desert Smells Like Rain: A Naturalist in Papago Indian Country (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1982).
Ortiz, Simon, “Our Homeland, a National Sacrifice Area,” Woven Stone (Tuscon, University of Arizona Press, 1992), pp. 337–363.
Robinson, Tim, Connemarra: The Last Pool of Darkness (London: Penguin, 2009).
Solnit, Rebecca, Savage Dreams: A Journey into the Landscape Wars of the American West (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000).


Christensen, Laird, Mark C. Long, and Fred Waage (eds.), Teaching North American Environmental Literature (New York: The Modern Language Association, 2008).
Garrard, Greg (ed.), Teaching Ecocriticism and Green Cultural Studies (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).


DeLoughrey, Elizabeth M. and George B. Handley, Postcolonial Ecologies: Literatures of the Environment (New York: Oxford, 2011).
Huggan, Graham and Helen Tiffin, Postcolonial Ecocriticism: Literature, Animals, Environment (London: Routledge, 2009).
Roos, Bonnie and Alex Hunt, Postcolonial Green: Environmental Politics and World Narratives (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010).

Animal Studies

Armstrong, Philip, What Animals Mean in the Fiction of Modernity (New York: Routledge, 2008).
Daston, Lorraine and Gregg Mitman (eds.), Thinking with Animals: New Perspectives on Anthropomorphism (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005).
Derrida, Jacques, The Animal That Therefore I Am (New York: Fordham, 2008).
Henninger-Voss (ed.), Animals in Human Histories: The Mirror of Nature and Culture (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2002).
Malamud, Randy, Reading Zoos: Representations of Animals and Captivity (New York: New York University Press, 1998).
McFarland, Sarah and Ryan Hediger (eds.), Animals and Agency: An Interdisciplinary Exploration (Boston: Brill, 2009).
McHugh, Susan, Animal Stories: Narrating across Species Lines (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011).
Midgley, Mary, Animals and Why They Matter (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1998).
Rothfels, Nigel (ed.), Representing Animals (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002).
Westling, Louise, The Logos of the Living World: Merleau-Ponty, Animals, and Language (New York: Fordham University Press, 2013).
Wolfe, Cary, Animal Rites: American Culture, the Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003).
Wolfe, Cary(ed.), Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003).

Climate Change

Bhaskar, Roy, Cheryl Frank, Karl Georg Høyer, Peter Naess, and Jenneth Parker (eds.), Interdisciplinarity and Climate Change (London and New York: Routledge, 2010).
Diamond, Jared, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (New York: Viking, 2005).
Kolbert, Elizabeth, Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change (New York: Bloomsbury USA, 2006).
Lovelock, James, The Revenge of Gaia: Earth’s Climate Crisis and the Fate of Humanity (New York: Basic Books, 2007).
Maxwell, Anne, “Postcolonial Criticism, Ecocriticism, and Climate Change: A Tale of Melbourne under Water in 2035,” Journal of Postcolonial Writing 45 (2009), 1526.

Media Studies

Brereton, Pat, Hollywood Utopia: Ecology in Contemporary American Cinema (Bristol, UK: Intellect Ltd., 2004).
Cubitt, Sean, EcoMedia (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2005).
Ingram, David, Green Screen: Environmentalism and Hollywood Cinema (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2000).
Lu, Sheldon and Jiayan Mi (eds.), Chinese Ecocinema: In the Age of Environmental Challenge (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2010).
MacDonald, Scott, The Garden in the Machine: A Field Guide to Independent Films about Place (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001).
Mitman, George, Reel Nature: America’s Romance with Wildlife on Film (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999).
Murrary, Robin L. and Joseph K Heumann, Ecology and Popular Film: Cinema on the Edge (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2009).
Murrary, Robin L. and Joseph K Heumann, That’s All Folks: Ecocritical Readings of American Animated Features (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2011).
Rust, Stephen, Salma Monani, and Sean Cubitt (eds.) Ecocinema Theory and Practice (New York: Routledge, 2012).
Willoquet-Maricondi, Paula (ed.), Framing the World: Explorations in Ecocriticism and Film (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010).

Material Ecocriticism

Alaimo, Tracy, Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010).
Opermann, Serpil and Serenella Iovino (eds.), Material Ecocriticism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013).

General Anthologies

Armbruster, Karla, and Kathleen R. Wallace (eds.), Beyond Nature Writing: Expanding the Boundaries of Ecocriticism (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2001).
Becket, Fiona and Terry Gifford (eds.), Culture, Creativity, and Environment: New Environmentalist Criticism (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2007).
Bennett, Michael and David W. Teague (eds.), The Nature of Cities: Ecocriticism and Urban Environments (Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 1999).
Cranston, C. A. and Robert Zeller (eds.), The Littoral Zone: Australian Contexts and Their Writers (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2007).
Cusick, Christine (ed.), Out of the Earth: Ecocritical Readings of Irish Texts (Cork: Cork University Press, 2010).
DeLoughrey, Elizabeth, George Handley, and Renee K. Gosson (eds.), Caribbean Literature and the Environment: Between Nature and Culture (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005).
Dixon, Terrell (ed.), City Wilds (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2002).
Fuchs, Eleanor and Una Chaudhuri (eds.), Land/scape/theater (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002).
Gaard, Greta and Patrick D. Murphy (eds.), Ecofeminist Literary Criticism: Theory, Interpretation, Pedagogy (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1998).
Gersdorf, Catrin and Sylvia Mayer (eds.), Nature in Literary and Cultural Studies: Transatlantic Conversations on Ecocriticism (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2006).
Kane, Adrian Taylor (ed.), The Natural World in Latin American Literatures: Ecocritical Essays on Twentieth-Century Writings (Jefferson, NC: McFarland Publishing, 2010).
LeMenager, Stephanie, Teresa Shewry, and Ken Hiltner (eds.), Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century (New York: Routledge, 2012).
Lu, Shuyuan (ed.), Nature and Culture: A Sourcebook of Ecocriticism (Shanghai: XueLin Press, 2006).
Lu, Shuyuan (ed.), Nearing the Primeval Forest: Ecodiscourses of Forty Humanities Scholars (Shanghai: Shanghai Literary and Artistic Publishing House, 2008).
Lynch, Tom, Cheryll Glotfelty, and Karla Armbruster (eds.), The Bioregional Imagination: Literature, Ecology, and Place (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2012).
Mazel, David (ed.), A Century of Early Ecocriticism (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2001).
Mortimer-Sandilands, Catriona and Bruce Erickson (eds.), Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010).
Murali, S. (ed.), Nature and Human Nature: Literature, Ecology, Meaning (New Delhi: Prestige Books, 2008).
Murphy, Patrick, Terry Gifford, and Katsunori Yamazato (eds.), Literature of Nature: An International Sourcebook (Chicago: Fitzroy, Dearborn, 1998).
Oppermann, Serpil, Ufuk Özdağ, Nevin Özkan, and Scott Slovic (eds.), The Future of Ecocriticism: New Horizons (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2011).
Selvamony, Nirmal, Nirmaldasan, and Rayson K. Alex (eds.), Essays in Ecocriticism (Chennai and New Delhi: OSLE-India and Sarup & Sons, 2007).
Volkmann, Laurenz, Nancy Grimm, Ines Detmers, and Katrin Thomson (eds.), Local Natures, Global Responsibilities: Ecocritical Perspectives on the New English Literatures (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010).
Wylie, Dan (ed.), Toxic Belonging? Identity and Ecology in Southern Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008).


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