Drawing on the latest debates in ecocritical theory and sustainability studies, Literature as Cultural Ecology: Sustainable Texts outlines a new approach to the reading of literary texts. Hubert Zapf considers the ways in which literature operates as a form of cultural ecology, using language, imagination and critique to challenge and transform cultural narratives of humanity's relationship to nature. In this way, the book demonstrates the important role that literature plays in creating a more sustainable way of life. Applying this approach to works by writers such as Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Zakes Mda, and Amitav Ghosh, Literature as Cultural Ecology is an essential contribution to the contemporary environmental humanities.
Hubert Zapf is Professor and Chair of American Literature at the University of Augsburg, Germany. His recent books include, as co-editor, American Studies Today: New Research Agendas (2014) and English and American Studies: Theory and Practice (2012).
Part I: Cultural Ecology and Literary Studies 1. Introduction 2. The Ecocultural Potential of Literature 3. Sustainability and Literature 4. Literature as an Ecological Force in Poems by Emily Dickinson, Linda Hogan, and A.R. Ammons Part II: Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology 5. Ecocriticism in the 20th Century: The Return of Nature to Writing About Culture 6. Ecocriticism in the 21st Century: The Return of Culture to Writing About Nature 7. Politicized Ecocriticism: From Nature-Worship to Civilizational Critique 8. Ecological Thought and Critical Theory: From Antagonism to Alliance Part III: Literature As Cultural Ecology 9. From Natural Ecology to Cultural Ecology 10. Cultural Ecology and Material Ecocriticism 11. Literature As Cultural Ecology 12. Triadic Functional Models of Literature as Cultural Ecology: Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Melville's Moby Dick, Chopin's The Awakening, Faulkener's The Sound and The Fury, Morrison's Beloved. Part IV: Transdisciplinary Contexts of a Cultural Ecology of Literature 13. Text and Life 14. Order and Chaos 15. Connecting Patterns and Creative Energies 16. Matter and Mind 17. Solid and Fluid 18. Wound and Voice 19. Absence and Presence 20. Local and Global Bibliography Index