1st Edition

Ecological Exile Spatial Injustice and Environmental Humanities

By Derek Gladwin Copyright 2018
    214 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    226 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Ecological Exile explores how contemporary literature, film, and media culture confront ecological crises through perspectives of spatial justice – a facet of social justice that looks at unjust circumstances as a phenomenon of space. Growing instances of flooding, population displacement, and pollution suggest an urgent need to re-examine the ways social and geographical spaces are perceived and valued in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Maintaining that ecological crises are largely socially produced, Derek Gladwin considers how British and Irish literary and visual texts by Ian McEwan, Sarah Gavron, Eavan Boland, John McGrath, and China Miéville, among others, respond to and confront various spatial injustices resulting from fossil fuel production and the effects of climate change.

    This ambitious book offers a new spatial perspective in the environmental humanities by focusing on what the philosopher Glenn Albrecht has termed 'solastalgia' – a feeling of homesickness caused by environmental damage. The result of solastalgia is that people feel paradoxically ecologically exiled in the places they continue to live because of destructive environmental changes. Gladwin skilfully traces spatially produced instances of ecological injustice that literally and imaginatively abolish people’s sense of place (or place-home). By looking at two of the most pressing social and environmental concerns – oil and climate – Ecological Exile shows how literary and visual texts have documented spatially unjust effects of solastalgia.

    This interdisciplinary book will appeal to students, scholars, and professionals studying literary, film, and media texts that draw on environment and sustainability, cultural geography, energy cultures, climate change, and social justice.



    Introduction: Decoding Spaces of Ecological Injustice

    I Space

    1 Spatial In/Justice and Place

    2 Solastalgia and the Environmental Humanities 

    II Oil

    3 Petrospaces

    4 Speed of Petrodrama

    5 Sullom Voe

    6 Pipelines of Injustice

    III Climate

    7 Climate Injustice

    8 Cli-Fi

    9 Irony of Catastrophe



    Derek Gladwin is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia, Canada. He was an Environmental Humanities Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, UK, and at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. His authored and co-edited books include Contentious Terrains (2016), Unfolding Irish Landscapes (2016), and Eco-Joyce (2014). Please visit derekgladwin.com.

    "Derek Gladwin’s Ecological Exile is a smart intervention that emerges brightly from the ‘energy humanities’, a fast-rising area of study which is focusing on the power of contemporary literature, film, and media culture to reveal how human societies produce corrosive infrastructures that, currently, tend to deny the contribution of carbon-based energy systems to social, spatial, and ecological injustices.  Engagingly, the book illustrates why the arts and humanities are crucial to scientific and technical debates surrounding fossil fuel production and to stimulating imagination of human behaviors and activities that might be transformed to ensure a thriving, just and survivable future."Joni Adamson, Professor of Environmental Humanities, Department of English, & Director, Environmental Humanities Initiative, Arizona State University

    "In Ecological Exile, Derek Gladwin uses a dynamic, transdisciplinary approach in bringing together the environmental humanities, spatial justice, and cultural studies more broadly. Gladwin shows how modern literary and visual texts respond to ecological crises, altering the ways we imagine ourselves and our environment, and helping us map the shifting terrain of our world system. The result is a significant contribution to contemporary cultural theory and environmental criticism."Robert T. Tally Jr., Professor of English at Texas State University, USA, author of Spatiality