Premodern Ecologies in the Modern Literary Imagination
Published: April 2019© 2019
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 360 Pages
Dimensions: 6.35 x 9.25
360 Pages, 6.35 x 9.25 x 0.90 in
Premodern Ecologies in the Modern Literary Imagination explores how the cognitive and physical landscapes in which scholars conduct research, write, and teach have shaped their understandings of medieval and Renaissance English literary "oecologies."
The collection strives to practice what Ursula K. Heise calls "eco-cosmopolitanism," a method that imagines forms of local environmentalism as a defense against the interventions of open-market global networks. It also expands the idea’s possibilities and identifies its limitations through critical studies of premodern texts, artefacts, and environmental history. The essays connect real environments and their imaginative (re)creations and affirm the urgency of reorienting humanity’s responsiveness to, and responsibility for, the historical links between human and non-human existence.
The discussion of ways in which meditation on scholarly place and time can deepen ecocritical work offers an innovative and engaging approach that will appeal to both ecocritics generally and to medieval and early modern scholars.
Environmental Reading: Premodern Literature in Its Places
Oecologies: Engaging the World, from Here
1. The Love of Life: Reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Close to Home
3. Bold Riparian Schemes: Imagining Water and the Hydrosocial Cycle across Time and Space
4. Distemperature in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
5. Biodynamic Viticulture, Natural Wine, and the Premodern
7. Consuming Debt
9. A Singular World: The Perils and Possibilities of the Bird’s Eye View
10. Liquids and Solids: Indigeneity as Capricious Matter in William Colenso’s Colonial Encounters
11. Ruined Medievalism
12. Tangled History: Nature, Nation, and Canadian Neomedievalism
Afterword: Environmentalism, Eco-Cosmopolitanism, and Premodern Thought
"Premodern Ecologies in the Modern Literary Imagination is an extremely well-edited and beautifully illustrated collection of ecocritical essays that is sure to make a powerful intervention in the lively and currently quite active interdisciplinary field of ecocriticism. This collection is a uniquely vibrant and features both informed conversations with theoretical work and intra-volume conversations that deepen the essays’ impact."Randy Schiff, Department of English, University at Buffalo, SUNY
"Premodern Ecologies in the Modern Literary Imagination is a searching and imaginative collection. The essays underline key points about our current environmental crises: that their dangers are a planetary condition formed out of a convergence of temporally varied and locally unique biohistories and that addressing this global threat demands changing our personal uses of the natural world. Premodern Ecologies in the Modern Literary Imagination brilliantly affirms the contemporary relevance of ecocritical literary and cultural history to these challenges, and it constitutes a significant cross-fertilizing advance in environmental research." Randall Martin, Department of English, University of New Brunswick