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Under the Sign of Nature: Explorations in Ecocriticism


Out of the Shadow
Ecopsychology, Story, and Encounters with the Land Rinda West

In western culture, the separation of humans from nature has contributed to a schism between the conscious reason and the unconscious dreaming psyche, or internal human "nature." Our increasing lack of intimacy with the land has led to a decreased capacity to access parts of the psyche not normally... More


Daybooks of Discovery
Nature Diaries in Britain, 1770–1870 Mary Ellen Bellanca

Rooted in a thriving culture of amateur natural history, the keeping of nature journals and diaries flourished in late-eighteenth-and early-nineteenth-century Britain. As prescientific worldviews ceded to a more materialist outlook informed by an explosion of factual knowledge, lovers of nature... More


Westernness
A Meditation Alan Williamson

A first-person meditation on the literary and visual arts of the American West, Westernness: A Meditation explores how this region has developed its own distinct culture, in literature and painting, from the point of view of someone who has been, at different times in his life, both a westerner and... More


Topographies of the Sacred
The Poetics of Place in European Romanticism Kate Rigby

Although the British romantic poets—notably, Blake, Wordsworth, and Byron—have been the subjects of previous ecocritical examinations, Kate Rigby’s Topographies of the Sacred is the first book to compare English and German literary models of romanticism. Rigby treats not only canonical British... More


Topographies of the Sacred
The Poetics of Place in European Romanticism Kate Rigby

Although the British romantic poets—notably, Blake, Wordsworth, and Byron—have been the subjects of previous ecocritical examinations, Kate Rigby’s Topographies of the Sacred is the first book to compare English and German literary models of romanticism. Rigby treats not only canonical British... More


Eco-Man
New Perspectives on Masculinity and Nature Mark Allister, ed.

The paradoxical role nature plays in American myth and history grows in part from the male’s reverent fascination with the wilderness and his equally strong impulse to dominate it. Many canonical literary works—think of Thoreau, Melville, Hemingway, Faulkner—look to the wild as the site for... More


Mary Austin's Regionalism
Reflections on Gender, Genre, and Geography Heike Schaefer

Best known for The Land of Little Rain, a collection of natural-history essays about the California deserts, the Western writer Mary Austin (1868–1934) was a prolific literary figure in the first few decades of the twentieth century. In addition to her essays and short stories, Austin produced... More


Lines on the Land
Writers, Art, and the National Parks Scott Herring

The nineteenth-century photographer William Henry Jackson once complained of the skepticism with which early descriptions of Yellowstone were met: the place was too wondrous to be believed. The public demanded proof, and a host of artists and writers obliged. These early explorers possessed a... More


Practical Ecocriticism
Literature, Biology, and the Environment Glen A. Love

Practical Ecocriticismis the first book to ground environmental literature firmly in the life sciences, particularly evolutionary biology, and to attempt to bridge the ever-widening gulf between the "Two Cultures." Glen Love—himself one of the founders of ecocriticism—argues that literary studies... More


Peak Experiences
Walking Meditations on Literature, Nature, and Need Ian Marshall

Nature’s ability to satisfy deep human needs is familiar to anyone who has hiked up a mountain, canoed a river, or hung a bird feeder outside the kitchen window. In Story Line, his groundbreaking work of narrative ecocriticism, Ian Marshall explores how natural surroundings inspired works of... More


Visions of the Land
Science, Literature, and the American Environment from the Era of Exploration to the Age of Ecology Michael A. Bryson

The work of John Charles Fremont, Richard Byrd, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, John Wesley Powell, Susan Cooper, Rachel Carson, and Loren Eiseley represents a widely divergent body of writing. Yet despite their range of genres—including exploration narratives, technical reports, natural histories,... More


Going by Contraries
Robert Frost's Conflict with Science Robert Bernard Hass

One of the most vexing problems facing American modernist poets was how to find a place for poetry and religion in a culture that considered science its most reliable source of truth. By the time Robert Frost began writing, the Emersonian concept of nature as an analogue for a benevolent deity had... More


The Best and Worst Country in the World
Perspectives on the Early Virginia Landscape Stephen Adams

From its earliest days, the Virginia landscape has elicited dramatically contradictory descriptions. The sixteenth-century poet Michael Drayton exalted the land as "earth's onely paradise," while John Smith, in his reports to England, summarized the area around Jamestown as "a miserie, a ruine, a... More


Refiguring the Map of Sorrow
Nature Writing and Autobiography Mark Allister

Recent decades have witnessed an explosion of interest in both autobiography and environmental literature. In Refiguring the Map of Sorrow, Mark Allister brings these two genres together by examining a distinct form of grief narrative, in which the writers deal with mourning by standing explicitly... More


Beyond Nature Writing
Expanding the Boundaries of Ecocriticism Karla M. Armbruster and Kathleen R. Wallace, eds.

Ecocriticism, a field of study that has expanded dramatically over the past decade, has nevertheless remained—until recently—closely focused on critical analyses of nature writing and literature of wilderness. Karla Armbruster and Kathleen R. Wallace push well beyond that established framework with... More


The Nature Fakers
Wildlife, Science, and Sentiment Ralph H. Lutts

In 1903 John Burroughs published an Atlantic Monthly article attacking popular nature writers—among them William J. Long and Jack London—as "sham naturalists." The spirited "nature fakers" controversy that ensued reveals much about public attitudes toward nature at the time. Burroughs's argument... More


Back from the Far Field
American Nature Poetry in the Late Twentieth Century Bernard W. Quetchenbach

Many poets writing after World War II have found the individual focus of contemporary poetics poorly suited to making statements directed at public issues and public ethics. The desire to invest such individualized poetry with greater cultural authority presented difficulties for Vietnam-protest... More


Farther Afield in the Study of Nature-Oriented Literature
Patrick D. Murphy

In the 1990s, the emerging field of ecocriticism—nature-sensitive literary studies—began to establish and define itself. Arguing that the field has matured to the point where it requires a thorough critique and new theoretical underpinnings, Patrick D. Murphy suggests a variety of ways ecocriticism... More


Story Line
Exploring the Literature of the Appalachian Trail Ian Marshall

Many hikers on the Appalachian Trail take books as companions, in spite of the extra weight in their packs, but Ian Marshall carries the habit to new literary, ecological, and spiritual heights. In the more than twenty years he's been hiking the trail, Marshall, known on the AT as Evergreen, has... More


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