Books  General Natural History  Literary & Media Studies 

The Future of Environmental Criticism: Environmental Crisis and Literary Imagination

A critical summary of the emerging discipline of "ecocriticism"
Written by one of the world's leading theorists in ecocriticism
Traces the history of the ecocritical movement from its roots in the 1970s through to its diversification and proliferation today
Takes account of different ecocritical positions and directions
Describes major tensions within ecocriticism and addresses major criticisms of the movement
Looks to the future of ecocriticism, proposing that discourses of the environment should become a permanent part of literary and cultural studies

By: Lawrence Buell


Paperback | Jun 2005 | #159762 | ISBN: 1405124768
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £19.99 $24/€22 approx
Hardback | Dec 2005 | #159763 | ISBN: 140512475X
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £70.00 $86/€79 approx

About this book

Written by one of the world's leading theorists in ecocriticism, this manifesto provides a critical summary of the ecocritical movement.

Where did ecocriticism spring from? What directions has it taken on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond? What have been its key debates? What are its most radical strands that should take environmentally aware literary criticism into the future? Economically and elegantly, Lawrence Buell develops an astutely judged overview of a richly diverse but crucially important movement in literary studies. A leading practitioner in the field, Buell reveals how his own work has been influenced by the key debates and identifies the challenges for us all, writers and readers, local neighbours and global species, in facing the future our literary culture mediates and influences. Terry Gifford, author of Pastoral (1999) and The Unreliable Mushrooms (poetry, 2003). "A much needed overview of a vital new field, The Future of Environmental Criticism captures the ecocritical movement's present state of dynamic metamorphosis as it opens into post-humanism and ecofeminism, engages poststructural theory and environmental justice, and tests out alliances with various scientific fields and critical science studies in an increasingly international context. Nobody could accomplish this task better than Lawrence Buell, whose earlier books The Environmental Imagination and Writing for an Endangered World have become defining works for the environmental turn in literary scholarship. The previous works were primarily American in focus, while the new one begins in an Anglo-American context and broadens to a global literary scope. This latest volume completes an indispensable trilogy." Louise Westling, University of Oregon "Buell (Harvard) is one of the US's major voices on environmental criticism-.-a fairly recent area of literary and cultural studies known as "ecocriticism." Several recent works have offered suggestions about how this movement or approach can be defined, but none addresses the subject so broadly, so authoritatively, and in such precise and carefully considered terms as this one does- Buell helped establish the terms for humanistic environmental writing with The Environmental Imagination (CR, Sep'95, 33-0121) and Writing for an Endangered World (CH, Nov01., 39-1386), and he perceives the present study as a "roadmap of trends, emphases, and controversies within green literary studies more generally.' Comprising five brief chapters, all accessible and extraordinarily well informed, the book starts with a history of environmental criticism and writing; moves to a consideration of the relevant major writers involved in complicating its issues; considers its impact in terms of ethics and gender and of the judiciary and politics; and finally looks at its future, The glossary, full notes, and extended bibliography make it clear that the book's main thrust is definitional, though Buell sees the study as more 'essayistic" than definitive, Summing Up: Essential: All academic libraries." T. Loe, SUNY Oswego "Buell's survey, framed by chapters about the emergence and possible future development of ecocriticism, organizes its material through a focus on issues of literary realism and representation in their relation to nature (chapter 2); the central role of place, space, and imagination for ecocritical thought (chapter 3); and a discussion of politics and ethics in ecocriticism that ranges from deep ecology to ecofeminism and environmental justice (chapter 4). These broad but well chosen categories allow Buell to cover an enormous range of creative and theoretical material that he discusses with the encompassing mastery and insight that readers of his two earlier works on ecocriticism ... have come to expect."Contemporary Literature "This is an important beginning that shows how the future of the book lies in the past" Travis V. Mason, Canadian Literature 191


Preface.Acknowledgments. 1 The Emergence of Environmental Criticism. 2 The World, the Text, and the Ecocritic. 3 Space, Place, and Imagination from Local to Global. 4 The Ethics and Politics of Environmental Criticism. 5 Environmental Criticism's Future. Glossary of Selected Terms. Notes. Bibliography. Index.

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this product. Be the first to review this product!


Lawrence Buell is Professor of English at Harvard University. He is best known for his two previous books on environmental criticism, The Environmental Imagination (1995) and Writing for an Endangered World (2001). His book on Emerson (2003) was also widely admired.

Bestsellers in this subject

A Shakespearean Botanical

NHBS Price: £12.99 $16/€15 approx

Ecology and Modern Scottish Literature

NHBS Price: £65.00 $80/€73 approx

Monk Seals in Antiquity

NHBS Price: £34.99 $43/€39 approx

Monk Seals in Post-Classical History

NHBS Price: £34.99 $43/€39 approx