Ecological Form brings together leading voices in nineteenth-century ecocriticism to suture the lingering divide between postcolonial and ecocritical approaches. Together, these essays show how Victorian thinkers used aesthetic form to engage problems of system, interconnection, and dispossession that remain our own. The authors reconsider Victorian literary structures in light of environmental catastrophe; coordinate “natural” questions with sociopolitical ones; and underscore the category of form as a means for generating environmental—and therefore political—knowledge. Moving from the elegy and the industrial novel to the utopian romance, the scientific treatise, and beyond, Ecological Form demonstrates how nineteenth-century thinkers conceptualized the circuits of extraction and violence linking Britain to its global network. Yet the book’s most pressing argument is that this past thought can be a resource for reimagining the present.
The editors have organized Ecological Form in a way that makes it into a syllabus: the categories of Method, Form, Scale, and Futures could structure a semester, and the range of literary forms—the novel, poetry, drama, and non-fiction prose--and earthly objects—indigo, water, coal, electricity--would take students across a startling range of Victorian texts and eco-political issues. A brilliant collection for researchers as well, the essays in this collection avoid the clichés of the “Anthropocene” to take a much harder look at what nineteenth-century texts and their authors were thinking about the earth and its possible and impossible futures.', Elaine Freedgood, New York University
Karen Pinkus (Afterword By) Karen Pinkus is Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at Cornell University. Nathan K. Hensley (Edited By) Nathan K. Hensley is Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University. Philip Steer (Edited By) Philip Steer is Senior Lecturer in English at Massey University.
Fordham University Press
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