1st Edition

Ecocriticism and the Anthropocene in Nineteenth-Century Art and Visual Culture

Edited By Maura Coughlin, Emily Gephart Copyright 2020
    292 Pages 14 Color & 52 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    284 Pages 14 Color & 52 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    284 Pages 14 Color & 52 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In this volume, emerging and established scholars bring ethical and political concerns for the environment, nonhuman animals and social justice to the study of nineteenth-century visual culture. They draw their theoretical inspiration from the vitality of emerging critical discourses, such as new materialism, ecofeminism, critical animal studies, food studies, object-oriented ontology and affect theory. This timely volume looks back at the early decades of the Anthropocene to query the agency of visual culture to critique, create and maintain more resilient and biologically diverse local and global ecologies.

    1. Introduction: Ecocriticism and the Anthropocene in Nineteenth Century Art and Visual Culture - Maura Coughlin and Emily Gephart; 2. "A Demonstration to the World:" Art, Political Ecology, and the Global American Civil War - Alan Braddock; 3. Crafting "Nature": Ecocriticism, Environmental Violence, and the Transnational Arts and Crafts Movement - Rosie Ibbotson; 4. An Ecolonial Reassessment of the Indian Craze: Elbridge Ayer Burbank and Standing Bear - Jessica Horton; 5. The Panama Canal Zone as Hybrid Landscape: A Case Study - Sarah Moore; 6. "A Gruesome Sight": Randolph Rogers’s Nydia in A Marble World - Laura Turner Igoe; 7. Cryoscapes: Snow and Fantasies of Freezing in the Art of George Henry Durrie - George Philip LeBourdais; 8. Picturing Industrial Landscapes: Ecocriticism in Constantin Meunier’s and Maximilien Luce’s Paintings of Belgium’s Black Country - Corina Weidinger; 9. Ruskin’s Storm-Cloud and Tyndall’s Blue Sky: New Materialist Diffractions of Nineteenth- century Atmospheres - Polly Gould; 10. Gilded Age Dining: Eco-Anxiety, Fisheries Management, and the Presidential China of Rutherford B. Hayes - Naomi Slipp; 11. Shifting Baselines, or Reading Art through Fish - Maura Coughlin; 12. "A Better Acquaintanceship with Our Fellows of the Wild": George Shiras and the Limits of Trap Camera Photography - Jessica Landau; 13. Petting Billy: Albert Laessle’s Significant Other(ness) - Annie Ronan; 14. Looking at Leviathan: The First Live Cetaceans in Britain - Kelly Bushnell; 15. How to Wear the Feather: Bird Hats and Ecocritical Aesthetics - Emily Gephart and Michael Rossi; 16. Visualizations of "Nature": Entomology and Ecological Envisioning in the art of Willem Roelofs and Vincent van Gogh - Joan Greer; 17. Coffee House Slip: Ecocriticism and Global Trade in Francis Guy’s Tontine Coffee House, N.Y.C. - Caroline Gillaspie; 18. "A Haunch of a Countess": John Constable and the Deer Park at Helmingham Hall - Kimberly Rhodes; 19. Cultivating Fruit and Equality: The Still-Life Paintings of Robert Duncanson - Shana Klein


    Maura Coughlin is Professor of Visual Studies at Bryant University, USA.

    Emily Gephart is Lecturer in the Department of Visual and Material Studies at Tufts University, USA.

    "The essayists in this volume find various oblique paths to an ecocritical horizon only just coming into view in period art historical scholarship...the power of the new ecocritical art history, embodied in this volume, to generate revelatory and original narratives, presenting to our view a global, material nineteenth century heretofore unimagined...a real virtue of the collection accordingly lies in redirecting our gaze away from the art museum wall to the workshops, plantations, streets, parlors, and dinner tables of the nineteenth century, where visual-cultural artifacts were actively consumed and the rituals of anthropocenic domination enacted through a dizzying, emergent array of secular icons and images of the natural world."

    --Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide

    "One of the great strengths of the collection lies in the authors’ multipronged approaches to their subjects. While they pose questions about the ecological agency of things and "the material-ecology of artmaking," they almost universally combine their ecocritical queries with theories and methods drawn from other domains: feminism, postcolonial theory, critical race theory, animal studies, food studies, affect studies, and more. This results in richly layered interpretations; it also feels apt that scholars invested in the intermeshed nature of all existence would take a similar intersectional approach to their methodologies...the writing throughout Ecocriticism and the Anthropocene in Nineteenth-Century Art and Visual Culture is concise, lucid, and relatively jargon-free, making these essays accessible to an undergraduate audience. This is a great boon to those of us seeking good examples of ecocritical art history to share with our students."

    --Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment