A snapshot of ecocriticism in action, ""Coming into Contact"" collects sixteen previously unpublished essays that explore some of the most promising new directions in the study of literature and the environment. They look to previously unexamined or underexamined aspects of literature's relationship to the environment, including swamps, internment camps, Asian American environments, the urbanized Northeast, and lynching sites. The authors relate environmental discourse to practice, including the teaching of green design in composition classes, the restoration of damaged landscapes, the persuasive strategies of environmental activists, the practice of urban architecture, and the impact of human technologies on nature. The essays also put ecocriticism into greater contact with the natural sciences, including elements of evolutionary biology, biological taxonomy, and geology. Engaging both ecocritical theory and practice, these authors more closely align ecocriticism with the physical environment, with the wide range of texts and cultural practices that concern it, and with the growing scholarly conversation that surrounds this concern.
Annie Merrill Ingram is an associate professor of English at Davidson College and former director of its Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. Ian Marshall, the author of Story Line and Peak Experiences, is a professor of English and coordinator of the environmental studies program at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona. Daniel J. Philippon, the author of Conserving Words (Georgia), is an associate professor of rhetoric at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Adam W. Sweeting, the author of Beneath the Second Sun and Reading Houses and Building Books, is an associate professor of humanities at Boston University, College of General Studies.