Nature in Literary and Cultural Studies

Transatlantic Conversations on Ecocriticism

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Volume Editors: Catrin Gersdorf and Sylvia Mayer
Nature in Literary and Cultural Studies is a collection of essays written by European and North American scholars who argue that nature and culture can no longer be thought of in oppositional, mutually exclusive terms. They are united in an effort to push the theoretical limits of ecocriticism towards a more rigorous investigation of nature’s critical potential as a concept that challenges modern culture’s philosophical assumptions, epistemological convictions, aesthetic principles, and ethical imperatives. This volume offers scholars and students of literature, culture, history, philosophy, and linguistics new insights into the ongoing transformation of ecocriticism into an innovative force in international and interdisciplinary literary and cultural studies.

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Catrin Gersdorf teaches American literature at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Free University Berlin, Germany. The author of The Poetics and Politics of the Desert: Landscape and the (Re-) Construction of America (forthcoming), she co-edited Natur-Kultur-Text: Beiträge zu Ökologie und Literaturwissenschaft (2005).
Sylvia Mayer teaches American literature and culture at the English Department of Münster University, Germany. She is the author of a monograph on the environmental ethical dimension of New England Regionalist Writing 1865-1918 ( Naturethik und Neuengland-Regionalliteratur, 2004), editor of Restoring the Connection to the Natural World: Essays on the African American Environmental Imagination (2003), and co-editor of Natur-Kultur-Text: Beiträge zu Ökologie und Literaturwissenschaft (2005).
Catrin GERSDORF and Sylvia MAYER: Nature in literary and cultural studies: defining the subject of ecocriticism – an introduction
Theorizing the nature of ecocriticism
Louise WESTLING: Literature, the environment, and the question of the posthuman
Hubert ZAPF: The state of ecocriticism and the function of literature as cultural ecology
Christa GREWE-VOLPP: Nature “out there” and as “a social player”: some basic consequences for a literary ecocritical analysis
Simone Birgitt HARTMANN: Feminist and postcolonial perspectives on ecocriticism in a Canadian context: toward a ‘situated’ literary theory and practice of ecofeminism and environmental justice
Sylvia MAYER: Literary studies, ecofeminism and environmentalist knowledge production in the humanities
Locating nature in language, literature, and everday culture
Beatrix BUSSE: (Historical) ecolinguistics and literary analysis
Hannes BERGTHALLER: “Trees are what everyone needs:” The Lorax, anthropocentrism, and the problem of mimesis
Ursula K. HEISE: Afterglow: Chernobyl and the everyday
Christine GERHARDT: “Syllabled to us for names”: Native American echoes in Walt Whitman’s green poetics
Tonia L. PAYNE: “We are dirt: we are earth”: Ursula Le Guin and the problem of extraterrestrialism
Christian Krug: Virtual tourism: the consumption of natural and digital environments
Andrew A. LISTON: Gertrud Leutenegger’s metanoic narrative Kontinent
Nature, literature and the space of the national
Irena RAGAIŠIENĖ: Nature/place, memory, and identity in the poetry of Lithuanian émigré Danutė Paškevičiūtė
Colin RIORDAN: German literature, nature and modernity before 1914
Caroline DELPH: Nature and nationalism in the writings of Ernst Moritz Arndt (1769-1860)
Simon MEACHER: It was shown in the way they stepped in the woods: nature in Hermann Löns and Edward Thomas
Katharine GRIFFITHS: The aesthetic appreciation of nature as a reaction to dictatorship: disjunction and dissidence in the Inner Emigration
Axel GOODBODY: From egocentrism to ecocentrism: nature and morality in German writing in the 1980s
Ethics of nature
Patrick D. MURPHY: Grounding anotherness and answerability through allonational ecoliterature formations
Thomas CLAVIEZ: Ecology as moral stand(s): environmental ethics, Western moral philosophy, and the problem of the Other
Timo MARAN: Where do your borders lie? Reflections on the semiotical ethics of nature
Notes on contributors
Index