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Postcolonial Environments examines the relationship between contemporary environmental crises and culture by offering a series of provocative readings of key Indian novels in English, making an original and important contribution to the emerging theories of 'green postcolonialism'.
Postcolonial Environments examines the relationship between contemporary environmental crises and culture by offering a series of provocative readings of key Indian novels in English, making an original and important contribution to the emerging theories of 'green postcolonialism'.
Postcolonial Green brings together scholarship bridging ecocriticism and postcolonialism. Since its inception, ecocriticism has been accused of being inattentive to the complexities that colonialism poses for ideas of nature and environmentalism. Postcolonial discourse, on the other hand, has been so immersed in theoretical questions of nationalism and identity that it has been seen as ignoring environmental or ecological concerns. This collection demonstrates that ecocriticism and postcolonialism must be understood as parallel projects if not facets of the very same project—a struggle for global justice and sustainability. The essays in this collection span the globe, and cover such issues as international environmental policy, land and water rights, food production, poverty, women’s rights, indigenous activism, and ecotourism. They consider all manner of texts, from oral tradition to literary fiction to web discourse. Contributors bring postcolonial theory to literary traditions, such as that of the United States, not typically seen in this light, and, conversely, bring ecocriticism to literary traditions, such as those of India and China, that have seen little ecological analysis. Postcolonial Green boasts a global geographical breadth, diversity of critical approach, and increasing relevance to the issues we face on a world stage. Contributors Neel Ahuja, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill * Pavel Cenkl, Sterling College * Sharae Deckard, University College Dublin * Ursula K. Heise, Stanford University * Jonathan Highfield, Rhode Island School of Design * Alex Hunt, West Texas A&M University * Upamanyu Pablo Mukherjee, Warwick University * Patrick D. Murphy, University of Central Florida * Bonnie Roos, West Texas A&M University * Caskey Russell, University of Wyoming * Rachel Stein, Siena College * Sabine Wilke, University of Washington * Laura Wright, Western Carolina University * Sheng-yen Yu, National Taipei University of Technology * Gang Yue, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill/Xiamen University
This study examines how postcolonial landscapes and environmental issues are represented in fiction. Wright creates a provocative discourse in which the fields of postcolonial theory and ecocriticism are brought together. Laura Wright explores the changes brought by colonialism and globalization as depicted in an array of international works of fiction in four thematically arranged chapters. She looks first at two traditional oral histories retold in modern novels, Zakes Mda's The Heart of Redness (South Africa) and Ngugi wa Thiong'o's Petals of Blood (Kenya), that deal with the potentially devastating effects of development, particularly through deforestation and the replacement of native flora with European varieties. Wright then uses J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace (South Africa), Yann Martel's Life of Pi (India and Canada), and Joy Williams's The Quick and the Dead (United States) to explore the use of animals as metaphors for subjugated groups of individuals. The third chapter deals with India's water crisis via Arundhati Roy's activism and her novel, The God of Small Things. Finally, Wright looks at three novels--Flora Nwapa's Efuru (Nigeria), Keri Hulme's The Bone People (New Zealand), and Sindiwe Magona's Mother to Mother (South Africa)--that depict women's relationships to the land from which they have been dispossessed. Throughout Wilderness into Civilized Shapes, Wright rearticulates questions about the role of the writer of fiction as environmental activist and spokesperson, the connections between animal ethics and environmental responsibility, and the potential perpetuation of a neocolonial framework founded on western commodification and resource-based imperialism.
This book examines current trends in scholarly thinking about the new field of the Environmental Humanities, focusing in particular on how the history of globalization and imperialism represents a special challenge to the representation of environmental issues. Essays in this path-breaking collection examine the role that narrative, visual, and aesthetic forms can play in drawing attention to and shaping our ideas about long-term and catastrophic environmental challenges such as climate change, militarism, deforestation, the pollution and management of the global commons, petrocapitalism, and the commodification of nature. The volume presents a postcolonial approach to the environmental humanities, especially in conjunction with current thinking in areas such as political ecology and environmental justice. Spanning regions such as Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Australasia and the Pacific, as well as North America, the volume includes essays by founding figures in the field as well as new scholars, providing vital new interdisciplinary perspectives on: the politics of the earth; disaster, vulnerability, and resilience; political ecologies and environmental justice; world ecologies; and the Anthropocene. In engaging critical ecologies, the volume poses a postcolonial environmental humanities for the twenty-first century. At the heart of this is a conviction that a thoroughly global, postcolonial, and comparative approach is essential to defining the emergent field of the environmental humanities, and that this field has much to offer in understanding critical issues surrounding the creation of alternative ecological futures.
The first edited collection to bring ecocritical studies into a necessary dialogue with postcolonial literature, this volume offers rich and suggestive ways to explore the relationship between humans and nature around the globe, drawing from texts from Africa and the Caribbean, as well as the Pacific Islands and South Asia. Turning to contemporary works by both well- and little-known postcolonial writers, the diverse contributions highlight the literary imagination as crucial to representing what Eduoard Glissant calls the "aesthetics of the earth." The essays are organized around a group of thematic concerns that engage culture and cultivation, arboriculture and deforestation, the lives of animals, and the relationship between the military and the tourist industry. With chapters that address works by J. M. Coetzee, Kiran Desai, Derek Walcott, Alejo Carpentier, Zakes Mda, and many others, Postcolonial Ecologies makes a remarkable contribution to rethinking the role of the humanities in addressing global environmental issues.
“Death of a River Guide makes good on a truly soaring ambition and flirts with literary greatness. . . . An indelible vision of how surely the history of a land plays its part in shaping the interior landscape of the human beings who occupy it.” —The Chicago Tribune With Death of a River Guide, Richard Flanagan gives us an extraordinary novel as sprawling and compelling as the land and people it describes. Beneath a waterfall on a remote Tasmanian river, Aljaz Cosini is drowning. Beset by visions, he relives not just his own life but that of his family and forebears. He sees his father, Harry, burying his own father, Boy. He sees Boy himself as a young man, and his Auntie Ellie, chased by a cow she believes is a Werowa spirit. In the waters that rush over him Aljaz finds a world where his story connects to family stories that are Aboriginal, Celtic, Italian, English, Chinese, and East European—what he ultimately discovers in the flood of the past is the soul history of his country.

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