1st Edition

Blue Ecocriticism and the Oceanic Imperative

By Sidney I. Dobrin Copyright 2021
    254 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    254 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book initiates a conversation about blue ecocriticism: critical, ethical, cultural, and political positions that emerge from oceanic or aquatic frames of mind rather than traditional land-based approaches.

    Ecocriticism has rapidly become not only a disciplinary legitimate critical form but also one of the most dynamic, active criticisms to emerge in recent times. However, even in its institutional success, ecocriticism has exemplified an "ocean deficit." That is, ecocriticism has thus far primarily been a land-based criticism stranded on a liquid planet. Blue Ecocriticism and the Oceanic Imperative contributes to efforts to overcome ecocriticism’s "ocean-deficit." The chapters explore a vast archive of oceanic literature, visual art, television and film, games, theory, and criticism. By examining the relationships between these representations of ocean and cultural imaginaries, Blue Ecocriticism works to unmoor ecocriticism from its land-based anchors.

    This book aims to simultaneously advance blue ecocriticism as an intellectual pursuit within the environmental humanities and to advocate for ocean conservation as derivative of that pursuit.

     1. Unearthing Ecocriticism  2. Scaling the Ocean  3. Object Ocean  4. Seeing Ocean  5. Protein Economies  6. Blue Frontiers



    Sidney I. Dobrin is a Professor and Chair of the Department of English at the University of Florida.

    "Blue Ecocriticism and the Oceanic Imperative calls for ecocriticism to take to the sea, offering an indispensable guide to navigating between the many disciplinary and methodological currents arising in the blue humanities. The scope of the book, alone, is impressive--Dobrin assembles a vast archive of oceanic literature, visual art, television and film, games, theory and criticism, making this an invaluable resource and potent provocation for the environmental humanities, animal studies, and the emerging blue humanities." – Dr. Stacy Alaimo, Professor of English, Environmental Studies Core Faculty Member, University of Oregon, USA

    "As Ishmael might’ve said, it is the easiest thing in the world for a book to look as if it had a great secret in it. ‘Blue Ecocriticism’ actually does: its expansive, sophisticated and entertaining account of Ocean as a dominant, threatened material-semiotic actor on Earth offers a digestible remedy for ecocritics’ ‘ocean deficit disorder.’ Be it eco-cosmopolitanism, oceanography or Object Oriented Ontology, Dobrin knows the ropes."Greg Garrard, Professor of Environmental Humanities, Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, Canada

    "With the publication of Blue Ecocriticism and the Oceanic Imperative Sid Dobrin takes the stage of humanistic scholarship on the marine environment with a highly engaging introduction to the changing conditions and conceptions of the human relationship to the world’s oceans. Dobrin’s impassioned and insightful work ups the ante for current ecocritical scholarship by calling for (and demonstrating) an oceanic commitment that is both intellectual and personal as well as local, global, and ongoing. By going all in with his oceanic scholarship, Dobrin demonstrates why the rest of us should, too."Daniel Brayton, Julian W. Abernethy Chair of Literature, Director, Environmental Studies Program, USA

    Excerpt from review in Ecocene Cappadocia Journal of Environmental Humanities, 2.2, 2021

    "…Blue Ecocriticism and The Oceanic Imperative achieves more than it sets out to do in the first place, not only hitting blue ecocritical waves to the shores of earth-based ecoliteracies but also redirecting vegan studies’ and animal studies’ rivers into the deep waters of blue humanities. The imperative of rerouting critical interest is urgent for ecocriticism that seems to lack so far both a theoretical framework for and an unscaled interest towards the ocean, as the book aptly explains throughout its chapters. It is, I believe, urgent for vegan studies to join the blue frontier together with land-based ecocriticism and to set sail for blue-oriented representations of nonhuman world." -- Gülşah Göçmen, Aksaray University, Turkey