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The Cambridge Introduction to Literature and the Environment


Part of Cambridge Introductions to Literature

  • Date Published: January 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521720908

£ 23.99

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About the Authors
  • The degrading environment of the planet is something that touches everyone. This 2011 book offers an introductory overview of literary and cultural criticism that concerns environmental crisis in some form. Both as a way of reading texts and as a theoretical approach to culture more generally, 'ecocriticism' is a varied and fast-changing set of practices which challenges inherited thinking and practice in the reading of literature and culture. This introduction defines what ecocriticism is, its methods, arguments and concepts, and will enable students to look at texts in a wholly new way. Boxed sections explain key critical terms and contemporary debates in the field with 'hands-on' examples and comparisons. Timothy Clark's thoughtful approach makes this an ideal first encounter with environmental readings of literature.

    • Relates environmental studies to literature, showing how texts can be read with green issues in mind
    • Offers practical models to students for reading and writing environmental criticism and theory
    • Boxed sections map out the current theoretical debates in the field in an accessible way
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'The challenge Clark faces comes [from] … the assertion that literary studies can make a significant contribution to the rapidly evolving ecological debate … This challenge makes the depth and breadth of Clark's penetrating survey all the more impressive.' The Times Literary Supplement

    'Clark guides the student reader to ask good, difficult questions of environmental justice, eco-postcolonial criticism, and phenomenology. I must pronounce [his] book an outstanding introduction to ecocriticism.' Greg Garrard, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment

    'In this superb book, Timothy Clark has achieved what the best introductions for students achieve: brief, accurate and readable summaries of the main positions in a field, combined with a series of provocative and stimulating questions to be explored in class. Clark has done this and more - he has written a book that any ecocritic should read.' Richard Kerridge, Green Letters

    'Far from a pedestrian college textbook, Clark's Introduction to Literature and the Environment is an erudite survey of ecocriticsm accessible to both scholar and student, as well as a practical tool for demonstrating literature's representation of and engagement with environmental issues of all kinds … I can think of no better intellectual map of ecocriticism's present state or future prospects than this book.' Modern Philology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521720908
    • length: 267 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • contains: 18 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the challenge
    Part I. Romantic and Anti-Romantic:
    1. Old World Romanticism
    2. New World Romanticism
    3. Genre and the ethics of nonfiction
    4. Language beyond the human?
    5. The inherent violence of Western thought?
    6. Posthumanism and the 'end of nature'
    Part II. The Boundaries of the Political:
    7. Thinking like a mountain?
    8. Environmental justice and the move 'beyond nature writing'
    9. European eco-justice
    10. Liberalism and Green moralism
    11. Ecofeminism
    12. 'Postcolonial' eco-justice
    13. Questions of scale: the local, the national and the global
    Part III. Science and the Struggle for Intellectual Authority:
    14. Science and the crisis of authority
    15. Science studies
    16. Evolutionary theories of literature
    17. Interdisciplinarity and science: two essays on human evolution
    Part IV. The Animal Mirror:
    18. Ethics and the nonhuman animal
    19. Anthropomorphism
    20. The future of ecocriticism
    Further reading

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • American Experiences and Constitutional Change
    • American Literature and the Environment
    • Animals and Animality: Topic in Lit and the Environment
    • Critical Reading and Composition
    • Ecocriticism
    • Environment and Pre-Modern Literature
    • Environmental Literature
    • Environmental and Animal Studies
    • Ethics and Education
    • Freshman Composition
    • Interdisciplinary Humanities Seminar: Literature and the Environment
    • Introduction to Composition ll
    • Literary Themes: Nature and Place in Literature
    • Literature & Society: Poetry, Fiction, and the Environment
    • Literature and Ecology
    • Literature and its Response to the Environment
    • Literature and the Environment
    • Literature, social justice and the environment
    • Medieval Studies: The Romance of Medieval Nature
    • Proposed course: Literature and the Environment
    • Religion and Environmental Literature
    • The Grimm Truth
    • Thematic Approaches to Literature
    • Writing About Literature (Environmental Studies focus)
  • Author

    Timothy Clark, University of Durham
    Timothy Clark is Professor of English at Durham University.

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