Christina Rossetti’s Environmental Consciousness takes a cognitive ecocritical approach to Rossetti’s writing as it developed throughout her career. This study provides a unique understanding of Rossetti’s identity as an artist through a cognitive model while also engaging significantly with her spiritual relationship to the nonhuman world. Rossetti was a deliberate and conscious creator who used her writing for therapeutic purposes to create, contemplate, maintain, verify, and, revise her identity. Her understanding of her autobiographical self and her place in the world often comes through observations and poetic treatments of the nonhuman. Rossetti, her speakers, and her characters seek spiritual knowledge in the natural world and share this knowledge with an audience. In nature, Rossetti finds evidence for and guidance from a loving God who offers salvation. Her work places a high value on nature from a Christian perspective that puts conservation over renunciation. She frequently uses strategies that have now been identified by Christian environmentalist such as retrieval, ecojustice, stewardship, and ecological spirituality. With new readings of popular works like "Goblin Market" and "A Birthday," along with treatments of largely neglected works like Verses (1847) and Rossetti’s devotional writings, Christina Rossetti’s Environmental Consciousness offers an understanding of Rossetti’s processes and purposes as a writer and displays new potential for her work in the face of twenty-first-century environmental issues.
Since the dawn of human artistic and cultural expression, the natural world and our complex and often vexed relationships with the other-than-human have been essential themes in such expression. This series seeks to offer an encompassing approach to literary explorations of environmental experiences and ideas, reaching from the earliest known literatures to the twenty-first century and accounting for vernacular approaches throughout the world. In recent decades, it has become clear that highly localized, non-Western forms of literary expression and scholarly analysis have much to contribute to ecocritical understanding—such studies, as well as examinations of European and North American literatures, are encouraged. Comparative treatments of literary works from different cultures, cultural expression in various media (including literature and connections with visual and performing arts, ecocinema, music, videogames, and material culture), and interdisciplinary scholarly methodologies would be ideal contributions to the series. What are the lessons regarding human-animal kinship that can be gleaned from indigenous songs in Africa, Amazonia, Oceania, the Americas, and other regions of the world? Which discourses of toxicity in the urban centers of contemporary East Asia and the post-industrial brownscapes of Europe and America might gain traction as we seek to balance human and ecological health and robust economies? What are some of the Third World expressions of postcolonial ecocriticism, posthumanism, material ecocriticism, gender-based ecocriticism, ecopoetics, and other avant-garde trends? How do basic concepts such as "wilderness" or "animal rights" or "pollution" find expression in diverse environmental voices and become imbricated with questions of caste, class, gender, politics, and ethnicity? The global circulation of culturally diverse texts provides resources for understanding and engaging with the environmental crisis. This series aims to provide a home for projects demonstrating both traditional and experimental approaches in environmental literary studies.
Scott Slovic, University of Idaho, USA
Swarnalatha Rangarajan, Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Matthew Wynn Sivils, Iowa State University, USA