1st Edition

Myth and Environmentalism Arts of Resilience for a Damaged Planet

Edited By Esther Sánchez-Pardo, María Porras Sánchez Copyright 2024
    272 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume traces the interconnections between myth, environmentalism, narrative, poetry, comics, and innovative artistic practice, using this as a framework through which to examine strategies for repairing our unhealthy relationship with the planet. Challenging late capitalist modes encouraging mindless consumption and the degradation of human–nature relations, this collection advocates a re-evaluation of the ethical relation to "living with" and sharing the Earth.

    Myth and the environment have shared a rich common cultural history travelling as far back as the times of storytelling and legend, with the environment often the central theme. Following a robust introduction, the book is organized into three main sections—Myth, Disaster, and Present-Day Views on Ecological Damage; Indigenous and Afro-diasporic Myths and Ecological Knowledge; Art Practices, Myth, and Environmental Resilience—and concludes with a Coda from Jeanette Hart-Mann. The methodology draws from diverse perspectives, such as ecocriticism, new materialism, and Anthropocene studies, offering a truly interdisciplinary discussion that reflects on the dialogue among environment and myth, and a broad range of contributions are included from Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, Ukraine, Japan, Morocco, and Brazil. The book joins a long line of approaches on the interrelations between ecological and mythical thinking and criticism that goes back to the early 20th century.

    This volume will be of interest to students, scholars, activists, and experts in environmental humanities, myth and myth criticism, literature and art on more-than human and nature interaction, ecocriticism, environmental activism, and climate change.

    Introduction: Myth and Environmentalism: Entanglements, Synergies, Openings

    Esther Sánchez-Pardo

    PART I: Myth, disaster and present-day views on ecological damage

    1. The afterlife of Chornobyl: apocalyptic mythology and environmentalism in the Exclusion Zone

    Haley Laurila

    2. Myths of wilderness and motherhood in postapocalyptic narratives of the Anthropocene

    Hope Jennings and Christine Junker

    PART II: Indigenous and Afro-diasporic myths and ecological knowledge

    3. Boundless water, boundless ice–Arctic cosmological concepts in times of melting horizons

    Sonja Ross

    4. Revisiting the wild: mythology and ecological wisdom in shalan joudry’s Waking Ground

    Leonor María Martínez Serrano

    5. Myth, Afrodiasporic spirituality, and the oceanic archive in independent comics

    Paul Humphrey

    PART III: Artistic practices, myth and environmental resilience

    6. "Giant by Thine Own Nature": Jean-Baptiste Débret and Antônio Parreiras’ mythic Brazilian land(scape)s through a transatlantic gaze

    Esther Lezra and Esther Sánchez-Pardo

    7. New cosmogonies of waste negotiated in the art of Mohamed Larbi Rahhali

    María Porras Sánchez and Lhoussain Simour

    8. Death is life is death is life: continual regeneration in myth and the art of Maki Ohkojima

    Keijiro Suga

    9. Coda: a radical evocation of seed

    Jeanette Hart-Mann



    Esther Sánchez-Pardo is Professor of English at Complutense University, Madrid, Spain.

    María Porras Sánchez is an Assistant Professor at Complutense University, Madrid, Spain, and a literary translator.