Ireland and Ecocriticism : Literature, History and Environmental Justice book cover
1st Edition

Ireland and Ecocriticism
Literature, History and Environmental Justice

ISBN 9780415858830
Published October 12, 2015 by Routledge
290 Pages

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Book Description

This book is the first truly interdisciplinary intervention into the burgeoning field of Irish ecological criticism. Providing original and nuanced readings of Irish cultural texts and personalities in terms of contemporary ecological criticism, Flannery’s readings of Irish literary fiction, poetry, travel writing, non-fiction, and essay writing are ground-breaking in their depth and scope. Explorations of figures and texts from Irish cultural and political history, including John McGahern, Derek Mahon, Roger Casement, and Tim Robinson, among many others, enable and invigorate the discipline of Irish cultural studies, and international ecocriticism on the whole. This book addresses the need to impress the urgency of lateral ecological awareness and responsibility among Irish cultural and political commentators; to highlight continuities and disparities between Irish ecological thought, writing, and praxis, and those of differential international writers, critics, and activists; and to establish both the singularity and contiguity of Irish ecological criticism to the wider international field of ecological criticism. With the introduction of concepts such as ecocosmopolitanism, "deep" history, ethics of proximity, Gaia Theory, urban ecology, and postcolonial environmentalism to Irish cultural studies, it takes Irish cultural studies in bracing new directions. Flannery furnishes working examples of the necessary interdisciplinarity of ecological criticism, and impresses the relevance of the Irish context to the broader debates within international ecological criticism. Crucially, the volume imports ecological critical paradigms into the field of Irish studies, and demonstrates the value of such conceptual dialogue for the future of Irish cultural and political criticism. This pioneering intervention exhibits the complexity of different Irish cultural and historical responses to ecological exploitation, degradation, and social justice.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. ‘Listen to the Leaves’: Derek Mahon’s Evolving Ecologies  2. ‘things which can neither be written, nor spoken, nor read’: Ecopoetics and Ecofeminism in Paula Meehan and Moya Cannon  3. Essayist of Place: Landscape, Language and Scale in the work of Tim Robinson  4. Ecology, Memory and Speed in John McGahern’s Memoir  5. Walking and Storying: Travel, Time and Belonging in Rebecca Solnit’s A Book of Migrations  6. Everyday Epiphanies: Buddhism, Ecocriticism and Form in the Essays of Chris Arthur  7. "Protect us from our protectors": Roger Casement, Imperialism and Environmental Justice

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Eóin Flannery is Lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland.


"In this unprecedented encounter with Irish ecocriticism, Eóin Flannery invokes an astute theoretical framework to articulate the intersecting oppressive hierarchies that impact ecological systems. Achieving a graceful balance of philosophical breadth and depth, Flannery engages in close analysis of Irish cultural texts, and brings to the forefront the ways Irish ecocriticism must simultaneously respond to material specificity and global climate crises. This compelling study offers the first truly comprehensive navigation of what it means to practice Irish ecocriticism and paves a promising path for future interdisciplinary approaches to Irish Studies and beyond. Ecocritics who are committed to bridging scholarship to activism and to redefining the intellectual boundaries of the academy will do well to follow Flannery's provocative example of ecological praxis."

 --Professor Christine Cusick, Ed., Out of the Earth: Ecocritical Readings of Irish Texts

"What transpires is how crucial this new field of study is for shedding light on how ecological debates can enrich our understanding of Irish cultural history and literature. Flannery proves himself to be at the vanguard of a vital discourse with this impressive and persuasive critique."

- Lisa FitzGerald, Rachel Carson Center, Germany in Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism, September 2017