1st Edition

Ecological Approaches to Early Modern English Texts A Field Guide to Reading and Teaching

    274 Pages
    by Routledge

    274 Pages
    by Routledge

    Ecocriticism has steadily gained footing within the larger arena of early modern scholarship, and with the publication of well over a dozen monographs, essay collections, and special journal issues, literary studies looks increasingly ’green’; yet the field lacks a straightforward, easy-to-use guide to do with reading and teaching early modern texts ecocritically. Accessible yet comprehensive, the cutting-edge collection Ecological Approaches to Early Modern English Texts fills this gap. Organized around the notion of contact zones (or points of intersection, that have often been constructed asymmetrically-especially with regard to the human-nonhuman dichotomy), the volume reassesses current trends in ecocriticism and the Renaissance; introduces analyses of neglected texts and authors; brings ecocriticism into conversation with cognate fields and approaches (e.g., queer theory, feminism, post-coloniality, food studies); and offers a significant section on pedagogy, ecocriticism and early modern literature. Engaging points of tension and central interest in the field, the collection is largely situated in the 'and/or' that resides between presentism-historicism, materiality-literary, somatic-semiotic, nature-culture, and, most importantly, human-nonhuman. Ecological Approaches to Early Modern English Texts balances coverage and methodology; its primary goal is to provide useful, yet nuanced discussions of ecological approaches to reading and teaching a range of representative early modern texts. As a whole, the volume includes a diverse selection of chapters that engage the complex issues that arise when reading and teaching early modern texts from a green perspective.

    Forward Carla Freccero

    Introduction Jennifer Munroe, Lynne Bruckner, and Edward J. Geisweidt

    Section I Theoretical Approaches

    1 Tell Inconvenient Truths, But Tell Them Slant Robert N. Watson

    2 Reading the Present in Our Environmental Past Ken Hiltner

    3 Is It Really Ecocritical If It Isn't Feminist?: The Dangers of "Speaking For" in Ecological Studies and Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus  Jennifer Munroe

    Section II Reading Ecologically: Texts and Methodologies

    4 Roses in Winter: Recipe Ecologies and Shakespeare's Sonnets Rebecca Laroche

    5 Poetic Language, Practical Handbooks, and the "vertues" of Plants Jessica Rosenberg

    6 The Beasts of Belmont and Venice Keith M. Botelho

    7 Shakespeare and Slime: Notes on the Anthropocene Dan Brayton

    8 Queerly Green: From Meaty to Meatless Days and Nights in Timon of Athens  Simon C. Estok

    9 "Bare and desolate now": Cultural Ecology and "The Description of Cookham" Louise Noble

    10 The Ecology of Eating in Jonson's "To Penshurst" Amy Tigner

    11 The Bastard Bomb: Illegitimacy and Population in Thomas Middleton's A Chaste Maid in Cheapside  Edward J. Geisweidt

    12 Ecocritical Milton Leah S. Marcus

    Section III Approaches to Teaching Ecologically: Texts and Methodologies

    13 Spenser's Moral Economy as Political Ecology: Teaching the Bower of Bliss Hillary Eklund

    14 Reprocentric Ecologies: Pedagogy, Husbandry and A Midsummer Night's Dream  Lynne Bruckner

    15 Teaching Timon of Wolden  Todd A. Borlik

    16 "Th'Earth's Great Altar": Teaching Milton's Spiritual Ecology Mary (Mimi) C. Fenton

    17 Marvell's "Upon Appleton House" and Tree-Felling: A Political Woodpecker  Jeffrey Theis

    Afterword: Post-script Karen Raber


    Jennifer Munroe is Associate Professor of English at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, USA. Edward J. Geisweidt is Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of New Haven, USA. Lynne Bruckner is Professor of English at Chatham University, USA.

    'Moving from Shakespeare and Milton to logging and perfume distillation, the contributors to this collection valuably trace the lines of association that connect early modern English literary and cultural activity to our current global ecological condition. The result is a stimulating and readable anthology of early modern ecostudies, offering valuable resources for teaching and future scholarship alike.' - Bruce Boehrer, Florida State University, USA

    'With the essays collected in this book, Munroe (Univ. of North Carolina, Charlotte), Geisweidt (Univ. of New Haven), and Bruckner (Chatham Univ.) make a valuable contribution to the literature on ecocriticism...This volume will benefit those new to the subject, scholars already working in the field, and experienced academics seeking ways to bring ecocriticism into the classroom. Summing Up: Highly recommended.' - J. D. Sharpe, University of Houston, CHOICE