Literature and Ecofeminism: Intersectional and International Voices, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Literature and Ecofeminism

Intersectional and International Voices, 1st Edition

Edited by Douglas A. Vakoch, Sam Mickey


212 pages

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Bringing together ecofeminism and ecological literary criticism (ecocriticism), this book presents diverse ways of understanding and responding to the tangled relationships between the personal, social, and environmental dimensions of human experience and expression.

Literature and Ecofeminism explores the intersections of sexuality, gender, embodiment, and the natural world articulated in literary works from Shakespeare through to contemporary literature. Bringing together essays from a global group of contributors, this volume draws on American literature, as well as Spanish, South African, Taiwanese, and Indian literature, in order to further the dialogue between ecofeminism and ecocriticism and demonstrate the ongoing relevance of ecofeminism for facilitating critical readings of literature. In doing so, the book opens up multiple directions for ecofeminist ideas and practices, as well as new possibilities for interpreting literature.

This comprehensive volume will be of great interest to students and scholars of ecocriticism, ecofeminism, literature, gender studies, and the environmental humanities.


"Literature and Ecofeminism: Intersectional and International Voices is a narrative symbiosis of literary and scholarly voices converging on ecofeminist thought. Dealing with various themes, issues, and concerns of ecofeminism, the 13 chapters weave truly compelling connections across different literary voices. The international scholars who make up this collection bring forward the ecofeminist voices of Native American, African American, English, Scottish, American, Taiwanese, Caribbean, Spanish, Indian, and South African writers in powerful and dynamic ways. The topics are diverse and refreshing, covering Shakespeare’s Ophelia, 18th century British criticAnna Letitia Barbauld, Mary Austin, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Zora Neale Hurston, Ann Pancake, Peter Matthiessen, Linda Hogan, Jade Chen, and, surprisingly, T.S. Eliot. They all help expand the repertoire of ecofeminism in this skillfully prepared collection."Serpil Oppermann, Professor of English, Hacettepe University, Turkey and President of EASLCE

"Ever since its origins, ecofeminism has advocated for the dismantling of all the interweaved forms of oppression that encapsulate women, nonhuman animals, marginal humans, and whatever subject has been marked as "other" by dominants systems of power, including the earth. Merging with literary studies, these emancipatory stances have found their narratives and new critical landscapes. With its rich plurality of angles and visions, Literature and Ecofeminism: Intersectional and International Voices continues to enrich this seminal conversation, demonstrating the key role of feminist ecocriticism in shaping creative epistemologies of liberation that are essential to the imagination of our time."Serenella Iovino, Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Turin, Italy

Table of Contents

Editor’s Preface Sam Mickey; Foreword Greta Gaard; Introduction Patrick D. Murphy; 1. Like a creature native": Ophelia’s Death and Ecofeminism Lesley Kordecki 2. Anna Letitia Barbauld’s Ecological Sensibility Calley A. Hornbuckle 3. Mary Austin’s Proto-Ecofeminist Land Ethic in ‘The Ford’ (1917) and The Owens Valley Water Controversy Emine Geçgil 4. T.S. Eliot, ecofeminist Etienne Terblanche 5. Ecofeminist Philosophy and Issues of Identity in Sylvia Townsend Warner's ‘Lolly Willowes’ and ‘Mr. Fortune's Maggot’ Julia Tofantšuk 6. "Taking mighty strides across the world": Positioning Zora Neale Hurston in the Ecofeminist Tradition Nicole Anae 7. Ecofeminist Sensibilities and Rural Land Literacies in the Work of Contemporary Appalachian Novelist Ann Pancake Theresa L. Burriss 8. Essentialist Tropes in ‘At Play in the Fields of the Lord’ Karl Zuelke 9. Cyborg-goddesses, Linda Hogan’s ‘Indios’, and Jade Chen’s ‘Mazu’s Body-guards’ Peter I-min Huang 10. Wolves, Singing Trees, and Replicants: Ecofeminist Readings of Contemporary Spanish Novels Carmen Flys Junquera 11. Ecofeminist Moorings in Globalized India: Literary Discourse and Interpretations Swapna Gopinath, Sony Jalarajan Raj, and Soumya Jose 12. The Vocation of Healing: The Poetry of Malika Ndlovu Deirdre Byrne 13. Grace Nichols and Jackie Kay’s Corporeal Black Venus: Feminist Ecocritical Realignments Izabel F.O. Brandão; Afterword: Ecofeminism through Literary Activism, Hybridity, Connections, and Caring Anna Bedford

About the Editors

Douglas A. Vakoch is President of METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence), a nonprofit dedicated to transmitting intentional signals to nearby stars, as well as fostering sustainability of human civilization on multigenerational timescales—a prerequisite for a project that could take centuries or millennia to succeed.

Sam Mickey is Adjunct Professor, Theology and Religious Studies and Environmental Studies, University of San Francisco, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Environmental Humanities

From microplastics in the sea to hyper-trends such as global climate change, mega-extinction, and widening social disparities and displacement, we live on a planet undergoing tremendous flux and uncertainty. At the center of this transformation is human culture, both contributing to the state of the world and responding to planetary change. The Routledge Environmental Humanities Series seeks to engage with contemporary environmental challenges through the various lenses of the humanities and to explore foundational issues in environmental justice, multicultural environmentalism, ecofeminism, environmental psychology, environmental materialities and textualities, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, environmental communication and information management, multispecies relationships, and related topics. The series is premised on the notion that the arts, humanities, and social sciences, integrated with the natural sciences, are essential to comprehensive environmental studies.

The environmental humanities are a multidimensional discipline encompassing such fields as anthropology, history, literary and media studies, philosophy, psychology, religion, sociology, and women’s and gender studies; however, the Routledge Environmental Humanities is particularly eager to receive book proposals that explicitly cross traditional disciplinary boundaries, bringing the full force of multiple perspectives to illuminate vexing and profound environmental topics. We favor manuscripts aimed at an international readership and written in a lively and accessible style. Our readers include scholars and students from across the span of environmental studies disciplines and thoughtful citizens and policy makers interested in the human dimensions of environmental change.

Please contact the Editor, Rebecca Brennan ([email protected]), to submit proposals.

Praise for A Cultural History of Climate Change (2016):

A Cultural History of Climate Change shows that the humanities are not simply a late-arriving appendage to Earth System science, to help in the work of translation. These essays offer distinctive insights into how and why humans reason and imagine their ‘weather-worlds’ (Ingold, 2010). We learn about the interpenetration of climate and culture and are prompted to think creatively about different ways in which the idea of climate change can be conceptualised and acted upon beyond merely ‘saving the planet’.

Professor Mike Hulme, King's College London, in Green Letters

Series Editors:

Professor Scott Slovic, University of Idaho, USA

Professor Joni Adamson, Arizona State University, USA

Professor YUKI Masami, Kanazawa University, Japan

Previous editors:

Professor Iain McCalman, University of Sydney Research Fellow in History; Director, Sydney University Environment Institute.

Professor Libby Robin, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra; Guest Professor of Environmental History, Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Sweden.

Dr Paul Warde, Reader in Environmental History, University of Cambridge, UK

Editorial Board

Christina Alt, St Andrews University, UK, Alison Bashford, University of New South Wales, Australia, Peter Coates, University of Bristol, UK, Thom van Dooren, University of New South Wales, Australia, Georgina Endfield, Liverpool UK, Jodi Frawley, University of Western Australia, Andrea Gaynor, The University of Western Australia, Australia, Christina Gerhardt, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, USA,□Tom Lynch, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA, Jennifer Newell, Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia , Simon Pooley, Imperial College London, UK, Sandra Swart, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Ann Waltner, University of Minnesota, US, Jessica Weir, University of Western Sydney, Australia

International Advisory Board

William Beinart,University of Oxford, UK, Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago, USA, Paul Holm, Trinity College, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Shen Hou, Renmin University of China, Beijing, Rob Nixon, Princeton University, USA, Pauline Phemister, Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, UK, Sverker Sörlin, KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, Helmuth Trischler, Deutsches Museum, Munich and Co-Director, Rachel Carson Centre, LMU Munich University, Germany, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University, USA, Kirsten Wehner, University of London, UK

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Women
NATURE / Ecology