Crisis, collaboration and challenges in the environmental humanities

Environmental literary criticism, usually contracted to ecocriticism, has advanced considerably since the term was widely adopted in the 1980s and 1990s. This book considers examples of this advance across genres within literary studies and beyond into other creative forms. It explores the ecocritical implications of collaboration across genres in the humanities. The book also explores literary, artistic and performance production through direct collaboration between the creative disciplines and the sciences. It introduces the idea that the human denial of death has in part contributed to our approach to environmental crisis. The book argues that ecocriticism is a developing field, so attention must continue to be directed at reformulating thought in the (also) still unfolding aftermath of high theory. Examples of two poets' shared exploration show one's radical landscape poems side by side with the other's landscape drawings. Ecocritical ideas are integrated with the discussion of how this creative partnership has led to a body of work and the subsequent exhibitions and readings in which it has been taken to the public. One poet claims that to approach any art work ecocritically, it is necessary to bring to it some knowledge of current scientific thought regarding the biosphere. The book then explores poems about stones, on stones and stones which are the poem. The big environmental issues and Homo sapiens's problematic response to them evident in the mundane experience of day-to-day environments are discussed. Finally, the book talks about ecomusicology, past climate patterns, natural heritage interpretation, and photomontage in windfarm development.

Peter Barry and William Welstead

1 Ecocriticism extends its boundaries Peter Barry and William Welstead Environmental literary criticism, usually contracted to ecocriticism, has advanced considerably since the term was widely adopted in the 1980s and 1990s. The aim of this book is threefold: firstly to consider examples of this advance across genres within literary studies and beyond into other creative forms; secondly to explore the ecocritical implications of collaboration across genres in the humanities; and thirdly to explore literary, artistic and performance production through direct

in Extending ecocriticism
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Peter Barry

Ecocriticism or green studies? ‘Simply defined, ecocriticism is the study of the relationship between literature and the physical environment’ (Cheryll Glotfelty). But should we call it ‘ecocriticism’ or ‘green studies’? Both terms are used to denote a critical approach which began in the USA in the late 1980s, and in the UK in the early 1990s, and it is worth briefly setting out its institutional history to date. In the USA the acknowledged founder is Cheryll Glotfelty, co-editor with Harold Fromm of a key collection of helpful and definitive essays entitled

in Beginning theory (fourth edition)
William Welstead

relevance of this creative work in ecocritical discourse, both in collaboration with literary and other creative genres and considered in its own right. In The Wildlife Artist’s Handbook, Jackie Garner (2013) urges those aspiring to be wildlife artists to be ‘an artist first and a scientist second’. She stresses the twin pressure that these artists will face from ‘wildlife enthusiasts [who] can sometimes be very critical’ of images that do not convey a great deal of scientific information, and the dismissal of their work ‘by the art establishment as illustration at best

in Extending ecocriticism
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Notes on Ackroyd & Harvey ecocriticism and praxis
Eve Ropek

6 Nature matters: notes on Ackroyd & Harvey, ecocriticism and praxis Eve Ropek A small painting from the 1950s hangs on a friend’s wall. A Welsh landscape, little sky is visible; the bold black simplified shape of a train cuts across the painting, whooshing through the greens. One could describe the vigorous way the paint has been applied, or place the work in art-historical context. Considering what the work might reflect of Homo sapiens’s relationship to the land, sky and co-creatures – the ‘natural’ world we inhabit – brings another perspective. Ecocriticism

in Extending ecocriticism
Ecologies of writing and collaboration
Philip Gross

Wales that I saw on the page what my mind had not yet registered – that the writing itself kept looking away from the Valleys, back towards the estuary. Though a handful of poems in the previous book, The Egg of Zero (2006) had hinted at that direction, it was in The Water Table (2009) that a booklength meditation-cum-fantasia on the estuarine landscape took shape. That book was widely received in ecocritical terms, leaving me with a certain unease. Was I an eco-poet? An environmentalist? Really? That unease increased when subsequent collections, Deep Field (2011) and

in Extending ecocriticism
An ecocritical reading
William Welstead

13 On-site natural heritage interpretation: an ecocritical reading William Welstead Visitors to the countryside are increasingly faced with a variety of panels, interpretation centres and other interventions that convey selected narratives and ways of seeing our natural heritage. This chapter explores the scope for these cultural objects to be included in ecocritical enquiry. The ubiquity and undemanding nature of many displays makes for an accessible source of information about basic ecology as filtered through the viewpoint of site managers for national and

in Extending ecocriticism
Aaron S. Allen

11 Symphonic pastorals redux Aaron S. Allen Ecocriticism began as an endeavour rooted in text. Ecomusicology extends it to the realm of sound. For musicology, the genre or idea of the symphony is laden with prestige; for ecocriticism, the pastoral has similar stature and is a genre or mode central to the discipline. In the concise juxtaposition of these two terms, I illustrate ecomusicology, which connects ecocritical and musicological scholarship, and further outline a brief critical history of selected symphonies in relation to the pastoral. I argue that

in Extending ecocriticism
Contemporary environmental crisis fiction and the post-theory era
Louise Squire

Agreement.1 One of the challenges of eliciting a contemporary response to the crisis is that of its sheer scale alongside the fact that no singular narrative can cater to its complexities. This of course has implications for ecocriticism, posing certain risks. As Timothy Clark – referring to the disparate demands of various environmental questions – remarks: ‘I am not afraid to die’ 15 ‘Many of the tensions and intellectual fragilities of ecocriticism come from the drive to reconcile increasingly incompatible claims under one diagnostic framework, despite a context

in Extending ecocriticism
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The role of photomontage in the meaning-making of windfarm development
Jean Welstead

proposed new reality by the developer, the community, the regulators and the consenting body. This chapter explores the role of photomontage in the development of windfarms over the last quarter century in Britain, and how the production of such an image contributes to the meaning-making and ontology of a new windfarm. It links the trajectory of the development of windfarm photomontage with insights from ecocriticism, an academic discipline which reads environmental texts with and against literary and artistic works and has developed contemporaneously, gradually widening

in Extending ecocriticism