Restricted Access

The Nature Essay

Ecocritical Explorations

Simone Schröder

The Nature Essay: Ecocritical Explorations is the first extended study of a powerful literary form born out of the traditions of Enlightenment and Romanticism. It traces the varied stylistic paradigms of the ‘nature essay’ down to the present day. Reading essays as platforms for ecological discourse, the book analyses canonical and marginalised texts, mainly from German, English and American literature. Simone Schröder argues that the essay’s environmental impact is rooted in its negotiation of scientific, poetic, spiritual, and ethical modes of perceiving nature. Together, the chapters on these four aspects form a historical panorama of the nature essay as a genre that continues to flourish in our time of ecological crisis.

Authors discussed include: Alexander von Humboldt, Henry David Thoreau, Virginia Woolf, Robert Musil, Ernst Jünger, W.G. Sebald, Kathleen Jamie, and David Foster Wallace.
Restricted Access

From Ego to Eco

Mapping Shifts from Anthropocentrism to Ecocentrism

Series:

Edited by Sabine Lenore Müller and Tina-Karen Pusse

From Ego to Eco – Mapping Shifts from Anthropocentrism to Ecocentrism investigates philosophical, political and aesthetic formations of ecocentrism. Representing a variety of disciplines and testing a broad scope of critical approaches, the contributors of this volume argue that anthropocentrism is not - as often claimed - a predominant world view but, rather, a widely contested concept. Within various historical and national contexts, the individual contributors of this book discuss the significance and relevance of ecocentrism and offer new avenues to emerging discourses in the humanities.

Contributors are: Darrell Arnold, Roman Bartosch, Aengus Daly, Gearoid Denvir, Elisabeth Jütten, Karla McManus, Sabine Lenore Müller, Maureen O’ Connor, Lillis Ó Laoire, Helen Phelan, Tina-Karen Pusse, and Christian Schmitt-Kilb.
Restricted Access

Series:

Sabine Lenore Müller and Tina-Karen Pusse

Restricted Access

Series:

Edited by Sabine Lenore Müller and Tina-Karen Pusse

Restricted Access

Series:

Edited by Sabine Lenore Müller and Tina-Karen Pusse

Restricted Access

Series:

Edited by Sabine Lenore Müller and Tina-Karen Pusse

Restricted Access

Series:

Edited by Sabine Lenore Müller and Tina-Karen Pusse

Restricted Access

Series:

Maureen O’Connor

Abstract

Using Joseph Meeker’s comic ecological aesthetic and Timothy Morton’s work on “dark ecology,” this chapter reads Irish author Patrick McGinley’s 1983 novel, Foggage, as questioning, to bleakly comic effect, the categories of nature and the natural as well as the sustainability of morality based on presumed human superiority over the nonhuman. According to Meeker, diversity and equilibrium are the evolutionary gifts aligned to a comic vision that is enabled by a truly “eco” position, one that releases us from the tragic prison of the “ego.” Morton similarly endorses a radical humility as necessary to a revised relationship to the non-human.

Restricted Access

Series:

Darrell Arnold

Abstract

While there is no guarantee that democratic forms of government will embody a green ethos, this article argues that the best hope for environmental politics is the radicalisation and greening of democracy. The article surveys alternative models of green governance—ecoauthoritarianism, expert administrative rationalism, bioregionalism, ecoanarchism—and argues that critical political ecology best addresses the need for local, regional, state, and global action that is required to provide an adequate political voice for voiceless nature. To green our democracy, action is needed within civil society and government that transcends the concerns of traditional, narrowly understood anthropocentrism.

Restricted Access

Series:

Christian Schmitt-Kilb

Abstract

The essay discusses the potential of poetry in general and ecopoetry in particular to make a political stance in a world on the brink of environmental catastrophe. Does it make sense to consider the non-instrumental and non-pragmatic characteristics of ecopoetry as an antidote to destructive forms of instrumental reasoning? Can the discourse of (eco)poetry provide a language which bridges the gap between the linguistic sign and the referent out there, between human thought and the materiality of the world? The essay argues that contemporary poems by the Scottish poets Kathleen Jamie and John Burnside fathom the “hidden resources of language” (Timothy Clark) to fundamentally question anthropocentric modes of thought.