Coming into Contact: New Essays in Ecocritical Theory and Practice

Coming into Contact book cover

I received a copy of Coming into Contact: New Essays in Ecocritical Theory and Practice (University of Georgia Press, 2007) in the mail early this week, several years after I wrote my contribution, “Composition and the Rhetoric of Eco-Effective Design,” an ASLE conference back in 2003. It’s bizarre to finally see it published after not thinking about it for so long. The more time I spend publishing content online, the longer the print cycle seems, especially for academic books. But it’s good to see the book published, and it looks like an interesting collection. 

Book Description
“A snapshot of ecocriticism in action, Coming into Contact collects sixteen previously unpublished essays that explore some of the most promising new directions in the study of literature and the environment.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.”


3 responses to “Coming into Contact: New Essays in Ecocritical Theory and Practice”

  1. Ken Liss Avatar

    Congrats on the book, even if your contribution is from your distant past. The book topic reminded me of this article — "'Hoods and the Woods: Rap Music as Environmental Literature" — that I came across while showing some things to the students in Popular Music & Identity. Here's what the author, Debra Rosenthal of John Carroll University, has to say at the start:

    "My title, with its irreverent rhyme linking the hip hop neighborhood to the green world of woods and forests, intends to suggest that juxtaposing rap lyrics to canonical environmental literature can extend our ecological literacy. Rap, with its bioregional emphasis on urban space and its attachment to locale, constitutes an urban environmental discourse hitherto overlooked by scholars of environmental literature. To read rap lyrics ecocritically is to position rap at the crossroads of African American literature and the predominantly white literary and critical field of environmental literature. Since the major studies of environmental literature pay little or no attention to African American writers, inserting rap as an African American literary production into an ecocritical conversation can open new directions for discussion of the interaction between humans and their nonhuman surroundings, particularly in the city."

  2. Thanks, Ken, It's great to have a librarian in the audience. If anyone is interested in this article, you can find the pdf here.