Environmental Cultures: Day 4

By | April 28, 2016

Continuing the celebrations for our new open access Environmental Cultures series, today we hear from three members of the series’ international Editorial Board who tell us about their ambitions for the series and the forthcoming books they are looking forward to reading.


Professor Upamanyu Pablo Mukherjee, University of Warwick, UK:

 “Environmental Humanities is here to stay, and this distinctive series shows us why. The editors, themselves leading scholars in the field, have put together a fabulously rich and varied list of authors. Unlike many others, the series is genuinely interested in showcasing the works of innovative young researchers alongside those by more established ones. It is serious about being non-parochial – the list of forthcoming works includes authors from Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Australia, Sweden, and the US. Future titles will range further afield to consider Canadian, Australian, Polish, and Chinese literatures. It focuses on both canonical and non-canonical literary cultures – romanticism alongside ‘nerd culture’; British nature writing as well as climate fiction; postcolonial eco-criticism and digital humanities. While committed to the most exacting standards of scrutiny and peer-review, the series promises to reach a wide audience. It will provide a new and welcoming home for those writers who work collaboratively as well those who prefer non-traditional methods such as narrative scholarship. I am sure this series will be the preferred destination for a new generation of scholars, teachers and readers who are committed to the struggle to decide the future of our planet.”


Dr. Mandy Bloomfield, University of Plymouth, UK:

“It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be closely involved with Bloomsbury Academic’s new Environmental Cultures series. Promising to extend and expand the Environmental Humanities in fertile new directions, and to demonstrate the value of interdisciplinarity in this field, this series opens up vigorous and inventive avenues of scholarship and cultural enquiry. I’m pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to forming some of these trajectories.

It was very satisfying to receive the first title in the post the other day; Serenella Iovino’s wide-ranging study Ecocriticism and Italy immediately brings an international dimension to the series and sets the tone for original, rigorous and bold scholarship. I’m also looking forward to the wonderful array of forthcoming titles waiting in the wings, which include groundbreaking work by early career academics as well as more established figures. In particular, as somebody who works on modern and contemporary poetics, I’m eagerly awaiting the publication of Matthew Griffiths’s The New Poetics of Climate Change. This book reads modernist poetics, from the likes of T.S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens to contemporary poets such as Jorie Graham, in relation to the unsettling spatial and temporal scales of global climate change. Griffiths demonstrates how such writers’ modes of formal experimentation might offer models for negotiating these disorientating shifts. Having had many lively discussions with the author about his work as it has developed over the years, I’m so pleased to see this project come to fruition. Another title I’m really looking forward to is Anthony Lioi’s Nerd Ecology which looks way beyond the literary canon to works of ‘unpopular culture,’ arguing that cultural productions as diverse as Star Trek, X-Men and the novels of Haruki Murakami do valuable kinds of ecological thinking to which ecocritics should pay more attention. I feel sure that my students will find this title as compelling as I do! Lastly, I’m delighted that Kate Rigby is publishing her next book with us. Rigby’s reputation as an inventive and rigorous critical thinker is well established. Her forthcoming book Romantic Ecologies in Postcolonial Perspective sparks dialogues between canonical Romanticism, postcolonial theory and non-European ecological knowledge, bringing lively new ideas and debates to the field.

Titles such as these set exciting precedents for the series. In the future I hope and fully expect to see Environmental Cultures continuing to support and disseminate cutting-edge work; my particular aspirations are for us to publish new work that explores the nexus of literature and the environmental sciences, as well as more work on ecopoetics, particularly in relation to lesser-known and more experimental work. I have no doubt that this series will shape the future directions of the Environmental Humanities.”


Christa Grewe-Volpp, University of Mannheim, Germany:

As an ecocritic over the past 15 to 20 years, I am delighted to be a member of the advisory board for the Environmental Cultures series at Bloomsbury Academic. I have closely followed the development of ecocriticism (both in my research and in my teaching) from initially focusing on regional places and the pastoral imagination mostly in Anglo-American literature to developing a much broader conception of the natural environment.  These new impulses include the metropolis and global flows, as well as the human and the non-human body in the literature of Europe, South East Asia and Australia / New Zealand. Ecocriticism has become a theoretically diverse and sophisticated discipline, making use of interdisciplinary research from various academic fields (such as place studies, postcolonial studies, animal studies, environmental justice studies, gender studies, race studies, posthumanism) to further investigate the intricate interactions between humans and their physical environment. It has not only strongly diversified in its approaches over the years, but has also grown exponentially worldwide.

I am excited that the Environmental Cultures series reflects these developments and contributes to their further diversification internationally, thus playing a leading role in the future of the environmental humanities. The forthcoming titles by young and established scholars promise a fresh look at the imbrications of nature and culture from the perspective of the 21st century. I look forward to more titles on pressing contemporary issues such as climate change, migration, the ecological, economic and social consequences of resource depletion, issues of race, gender and the unequal distribution of environmental risk.

In my position as board member, I hope to include not only scholarly work on various literary genres, but also on film, art, architecture, landscape planning, and am eager to encounter new topics in this vibrant field . The Environmental Cultures series has the great potential to advance the debates in the environmental humanities in important and innovative ways and I am so happy to be a part of it!

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