Special Issue "Literature and Environment—The Cradle of Ecocriticism"

A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Doutora Isabel Ponce de Leão

Full-Professor, Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais, Departamento de Ciências Empresariais e da Comunicação, University Fernando Pessoa, 4100-305 Porto, Portugal
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Interests: Portuguese Literature; Literature and Other Arts; Theory of Literature
Guest Editor
Prof. Doutora Maria do Carmo Cardoso Mendes

Departamento de Estudos Portugueses, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
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Interests: Portuguese Literature; Cultural Studies; Compared Literature; Ecocriticism
Guest Editor
Prof. Doutor Sérgio Lira

CLEPUL, Universidade de Lisboa, 1600-214 Lisboa, Portugal
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Interests: Museum Studies; Heritage; Portuguese History; Medieval History

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For this special issue of Humanities articles will "return" to the essential meaning of ecocriticism: literature embracing nature. From novel to narrative and poetry, from children’s literature to ecothrillers, literature remains a crucial domain of ecocriticism. Major aspects of nowadays discussion focus on the evolution of ecocriticism since its appearance in the 1990's, i.e. the trends and research lines that have been open to discussion and the major ecocritical approaches that have arisen in different national literatures, from Latin America to the European context. The issue of anthropocentrism and the relationship between "mankind" and "the wilderness", as addressed in literature, constitutes another major topic of present debates. In sum, this special issue of Humanities will address Ecocriticism in its major and classical approaches, aiming at constituting a landmark in the field.

Prof. Doutora Isabel Ponce de Leão
Prof. Doutora Maria do Carmo Cardoso Mendes
Prof. Doutor Sérgio Lira
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • Ecocriticism
  • Lietrature and Environment
  • Nature&Wilderness

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Post-War Ecosophic Intuition: About the (Im)Possibility of Ecological Coexistence in Marcovaldo, or The Seasons in the City by Italo Calvino
Humanities 2018, 7(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7030064
Received: 1 May 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 21 June 2018 / Published: 23 June 2018
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Abstract
Taking in consideration, alongside Cheryll Glotfelty, that “ecocriticism seeks to evaluate text ideas in terms of their coherence and usefulness in the responses to environmental crisis” (Glotfelty and Fromm 1996, p. 5), and that crisis refers not only to the ecology of the
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Taking in consideration, alongside Cheryll Glotfelty, that “ecocriticism seeks to evaluate text ideas in terms of their coherence and usefulness in the responses to environmental crisis” (Glotfelty and Fromm 1996, p. 5), and that crisis refers not only to the ecology of the environment but also to that of social relations and the psyche, as proposed by Félix Guattari (1990), understanding that there is a lack of equilibrium among the three registries that provoke the crisis lived by the contemporary individual, in a broad spectrum, this work intends to understand how the character Marcovaldo, from Italo Calvino’s Marcovaldo, or The Seasons in the City (1963), articulates modes of being, dwelling and surviving in a great metropolis, through the adoption of postures coherent with what we would call, later, ecosophy. In addition to the two aforementioned theorists, the ideas of Garrard (2006) and Serres (1991) will be used. Also, we intend to show how much the stories in the collection hold great potential for ecocritical reading and, therefore, for a response to the level of awareness about the ecological crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Literature and Environment—The Cradle of Ecocriticism)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Nomadic Life on the Steppes: An Ecocinematic Exploration of Tulpan and Cave of the Yellow Dog
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020062
Received: 30 April 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
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Abstract
Ecocinema: (1) analyzes the role of visual media in responding to the environmental crisis; (2) has explicit interest in environmental justice; (3) includes a variety of genres and modes of production; (4) informs viewers of issues of ecological importance; (5) promotes ecocentric ways
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Ecocinema: (1) analyzes the role of visual media in responding to the environmental crisis; (2) has explicit interest in environmental justice; (3) includes a variety of genres and modes of production; (4) informs viewers of issues of ecological importance; (5) promotes ecocentric ways of framing the world; and (6) has an activist agenda. Ecocinema examines films produced by/with historically marginalized communities underrepresented in film. Using Ecocinema and Fourth Cinema (Barclay), I examined two fictional films featuring nomadic peoples of the Central Asian Steppes whose culture and ecologically low impact lifestyle are threatened and fragile in the global order. Tulpan, a 2008 Kazakh/Russian production by Kazakh-born Sergei Dvortsevoy, tells the story of Asa, a young Kazakh man, returning to his home in the Steppes to establish himself as a shepherd with his own flock. Tulpan features the long takes and slow pacing needed to “retrain the perception” of viewers. Tulpan’s biocentric focus on landscape and animals is equivalent to the focus on the human, reconsidering the human/non-human relationship. Tulpan shows one young man dreaming of a meaningful life rooted in his cultural traditions, struggling to locate himself within contemporary economic, political and cultural realities in a region underrepresented in world film. The Cave of the Yellow Dog, 2005, by Mongolian filmmaker Byambasuren Davaa, tells the story of a Mongolian nomadic family. Davaa, similar to Dvortsevoy, works in documentary and fictional films, uses professional and non-professional actors, and relies on Western funding to make her films. These two films suggest that non-commercial fictional films are an important vehicle for addressing global environmental concerns as they present stories of marginalized people and help us imagine solutions to global problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Literature and Environment—The Cradle of Ecocriticism)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle An Eco-Critical Analysis of Climate Change and the Unthinkable in Amitav Ghosh’s Fiction and Non-Fiction
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020059
Received: 26 April 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
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Abstract
In his work of non-fiction The Great Derangement (2016), Amitav Ghosh examines the inability of the present generation to grasp the scale of climate change in the spheres of Literature, History and Politics. The central premise in this work of non-fiction is based
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In his work of non-fiction The Great Derangement (2016), Amitav Ghosh examines the inability of the present generation to grasp the scale of climate change in the spheres of Literature, History and Politics. The central premise in this work of non-fiction is based on the statement that literature will one day be accused of its complicity with the great derangement and of blind acceptance of the climate crisis. This paper will study how Ghosh’s fictional and non-fictional enterprise voices a call for more imaginative and cultural forms of fiction that articulate resistance against materialism that can destroy our planet. We shall see how Ghosh’s fictional enterprise falls within the sphere of postcolonial eco-criticism that considers the phenomenon of “material eco-criticism”. I shall also reveal Ghosh’s environmental advocacy in his works of fiction, The Ibis Trilogy and The Hungry Tide. This paper will analyze how the Ibis Trilogy is not just an exploration of the particularly heinous operation of imperial power leading up to the Opium Wars but is also an eco-critical narrative that articulates resistance against the violence of climate change. A study of The Hungry Tide will also reveal how this hybrid literary text is both a historical account of the Marichjhapi massacre and a plea to preserve the eco-system of our time. I shall thus consider the challenges that climate change poses for the postcolonial writer and the evolving grid of literary forms that shape the narrative imagination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Literature and Environment—The Cradle of Ecocriticism)
Open AccessArticle Revisiting Japan’s Fictional Gardens: An Ecocritical Reading of Nature Imagery in Contemporary Architectural Essays
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020058
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 5 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 3 June 2018
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Abstract
This paper inspects editorial production in the field of Japanese contemporary architecture, screening the contents of essays written during the last decade (2007–2010) by four selected authors in which a recurring interplay with nature-related subjects is noticeable. This analysis highlights the diversity and
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This paper inspects editorial production in the field of Japanese contemporary architecture, screening the contents of essays written during the last decade (2007–2010) by four selected authors in which a recurring interplay with nature-related subjects is noticeable. This analysis highlights the diversity and intrinsic individual originality of these books by relating their specific approach with the overall work themes of each architect and discussing the existence of a common ground among them. While investigating their philosophical and conceptual standpoints, the paper also attempts to contextualize these discourses both within the larger context of architectural theory—particularly of early postmodern ecological approaches—sustainable construction, and in the milieu of Japan, where an imprinted notion of harmonious coexistence between nature and culture has long been mystified from abroad and from within. By assessing its motives and influence and finally questioning the existence of a paradox amidst the multiple existing forms of paraenvironmental architecture, it is discussed whether these narratives and practices manage to communicate ecoliteracy with their audience. Architecture’s inherent traits as a visual, perceptive, and cognitive discipline to reflect contemporary environmental conflicts and encourage paradigm change are also highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Literature and Environment—The Cradle of Ecocriticism)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Rethinking the Essence of Human and Other-Than-Human Communication in the Anthropocene Epoch: A Biosemiotic Interpretation of Edgar Morin’s “Complex Thought”
Humanities 2018, 7(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020057
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 2 June 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this essay is to explore the philosophical and linguistic implications of the French philosopher Edgar Morin’s “complex thought.” In stark contrast to standard communicative models which profess that Homo sapiens are the only organisms that are capable of engaging in
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The purpose of this essay is to explore the philosophical and linguistic implications of the French philosopher Edgar Morin’s “complex thought.” In stark contrast to standard communicative models which profess that Homo sapiens are the only organisms that are capable of engaging in semiosis, Morin unequivocally proves that other-than-human communication is laden with significance and purpose. Living on an imperiled planet that is increasingly defined by an anthropogenic, ecological calamity that is spiraling further out of control with each passing day, Morin persuasively argues that we must transcend our myopic, anthropocentric frame of reference and adopt a more ecocentric view of communication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Literature and Environment—The Cradle of Ecocriticism)
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