Carbon Footprints as Cultural-Ecological Metaphors: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Carbon Footprints as Cultural-Ecological Metaphors

1st Edition

By Anita Girvan

Routledge

200 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Description

Through an examination of carbon footprint metaphors, this books demonstrates the ways in which climate change and other ecological issues are culturally and materially constituted through metaphor.

The carbon footprint metaphor has achieved a ubiquitous presence in Anglo-North American public contexts since the turn of the millennium, yet this metaphor remains under-examined as a crucial mediator of political responses to the urgent crisis of climate change. Existing books and articles on the carbon footprint typically treat this metaphor as a quantifying metric, with little attention to the shifting mediations and practices of the carbon footprint as a metaphor. This gap echoes a wider gap in understanding metaphors as key figures in mediating more-than-human relations at a time when such relations profoundly matter. As a timely intervention, this book addresses this gap by using insights from environmental humanities and political ecology to discuss carbon footprint metaphors in popular and public texts.

This book will be of great interest to researchers and students of environmental humanities, political ecology, environmental communication, and metaphor studies.

Reviews

"Few ecological tropes have achieved as much cultural currency as the carbon footprint. Girvan undertakes to explain why as she traces carbon footprint metaphors through a series of case studies captivatingly posed as "tales". This book does crucial work recalling that footprints are metaphors with profound material and political stakes. As Girvan shows, struggles over the power of metaphor will help determine the ecological futures of humans and non-humans in a time of global climate change." — Nicole Shukin, author of Animal Capital: Rendering Life in Biopolitical Times, and Associate Professor of English, the University of Victoria

"There is an urgent need to review the economy of metaphor in this time of heightened climatic and ecological instability, particularly as we seek to better attune to cultural and material meanings for they consequentially shape nuanced approaches to climate change. The carbon footprint and its affective mediation is innovatively linked to the behaviour of carbon subjects and the geopolitics of energy development in this study’s unique contribution to a newly climatic understanding of the materiality of cultural inscription."Tom Bristow, Department of English Studies, Durham University

Table of Contents

List of figures

Acknowledgments

Introduction – How Big is Yours?

PART I

  1. Cultural-Material Resonances of ‘Carbon’ and ‘Footprint’ and the Emergence of a new Compound Metaphor
  2. Mise-en-Scene: Metaphor, Affect, Politics, Ecology

PART II – A Tale of Three Footprints 

  1. Carbon Subjectivity
  2. Carbon Citizenship
  3. Carbon Vitality

CONCLUSION - Fostering Critical Eco-Aesthetic Literacies

About the Author

Anita Girvan is a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Global Studies and teaches in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria in Canada.

About the Series

Routledge Environmental Humanities

From microplastics in the sea to hyper-trends such as global climate change, mega-extinction, and widening social disparities and displacement, we live on a planet undergoing tremendous flux and uncertainty. At the center of this transformation is human culture, both contributing to the state of the world and responding to planetary change. The Routledge Environmental Humanities Series seeks to engage with contemporary environmental challenges through the various lenses of the humanities and to explore foundational issues in environmental justice, multicultural environmentalism, ecofeminism, environmental psychology, environmental materialities and textualities, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, environmental communication and information management, multispecies relationships, and related topics. The series is premised on the notion that the arts, humanities, and social sciences, integrated with the natural sciences, are essential to comprehensive environmental studies.

The environmental humanities are a multidimensional discipline encompassing such fields as anthropology, history, literary and media studies, philosophy, psychology, religion, sociology, and women’s and gender studies; however, the Routledge Environmental Humanities is particularly eager to receive book proposals that explicitly cross traditional disciplinary boundaries, bringing the full force of multiple perspectives to illuminate vexing and profound environmental topics. We favor manuscripts aimed at an international readership and written in a lively and accessible style. Our readers include scholars and students from across the span of environmental studies disciplines and thoughtful citizens and policy makers interested in the human dimensions of environmental change.

Please contact the Editor, Rebecca Brennan (Rebecca.Brennan@tandf.co.uk), to submit proposals.

Praise for A Cultural History of Climate Change (2016):

A Cultural History of Climate Change shows that the humanities are not simply a late-arriving appendage to Earth System science, to help in the work of translation. These essays offer distinctive insights into how and why humans reason and imagine their ‘weather-worlds’ (Ingold, 2010). We learn about the interpenetration of climate and culture and are prompted to think creatively about different ways in which the idea of climate change can be conceptualised and acted upon beyond merely ‘saving the planet’.

Professor Mike Hulme, King's College London, in Green Letters

Series Editors:

Professor Scott Slovic, University of Idaho, USA

Professor Joni Adamson, Arizona State University, USA

Professor YUKI Masami, Kanazawa University, Japan

Previous editors:

Professor Iain McCalman, University of Sydney Research Fellow in History; Director, Sydney University Environment Institute.

Professor Libby Robin, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra; Guest Professor of Environmental History, Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Sweden.

Dr Paul Warde, Reader in Environmental History, University of Cambridge, UK

Editorial Board

Christina Alt, St Andrews University, UK, Alison Bashford, University of New South Wales, Australia, Peter Coates, University of Bristol, UK, Thom van Dooren, University of New South Wales, Australia, Georgina Endfield, Liverpool UK, Jodi Frawley, University of Western Australia, Andrea Gaynor, The University of Western Australia, Australia, Christina Gerhardt, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, USA,□Tom Lynch, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA, Jennifer Newell, Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia , Simon Pooley, Imperial College London, UK, Sandra Swart, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Ann Waltner, University of Minnesota, US, Jessica Weir, University of Western Sydney, Australia

International Advisory Board

William Beinart,University of Oxford, UK, Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago, USA, Paul Holm, Trinity College, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Shen Hou, Renmin University of China, Beijing, Rob Nixon, Princeton University, USA, Pauline Phemister, Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, UK, Deborah Bird Rose, University of New South Wales, Australia, Sverker Sörlin, KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, Helmuth Trischler, Deutsches Museum, Munich and Co-Director, Rachel Carson Centre, LMU Munich University, Germany, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University, USA, Kirsten Wehner, University of London, UK

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUS072000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
BUS099000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Environmental Economics
POL044000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
SCI026000
SCIENCE / Environmental Science