American Studies, Ecocriticism, and Citizenship: Thinking and Acting in the Local and Global Commons

1st Edition

Joni Adamson, Kimberly N. Ruffin

Routledge
Published December 18, 2015
Reference - 292 Pages
ISBN 9781138645561 - CAT# Y228056
Series: Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature

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Summary

This collection reclaims public intellectuals and scholars important to the foundational work in American Studies that contributed to emerging conceptions of an "ecological citizenship" advocating something other than nationalism or an "exclusionary ethics of place." Co-editors Adamson and Ruffin recover underrecognized field genealogies in American Studies (i.e. the work of early scholars whose scope was transnational and whose activism focused on race, class and gender) and ecocriticism (i.e. the work of movement leaders, activists and scholars concerned with environmental justice whose work predates the 1990s advent of the field). They stress the necessity of a confluence of intellectual traditions, or "interdisciplinarities," in meeting the challenges presented by the "anthropocene," a new era in which human beings have the power to radically endanger the planet or support new approaches to transnational, national and ecological citizenship. Contributors to the collection examine literary, historical, and cultural examples from the 19th century to the 21st. They explore notions of the common—namely, common humanity, common wealth, and common ground—and the relation of these notions to often conflicting definitions of who (or what) can have access to "citizenship" and "rights." The book engages in scholarly ecological analysis via the lens of various human groups—ethnic, racial, gendered, coalitional—that are shaping twenty-first century environmental experience and vision. Read together, the essays included in American Studies, Ecocriticism, and Citizenship create a "methodological commons" where environmental justice case studies and interviews with activists and artists living in places as diverse as the U.S., Canada, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and the Navajo Nation, can be considered alongside literary and social science analysis that contributes significantly to current debates catalyzed by nuclear meltdowns, oil spills, hurricanes, and climate change, but also by hopes for a common future that will ensure the rights of all beings--human and nonhuman-- to exist, maintain, and regenerate life cycles and evolutionary processes

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