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Postcolonial Green

Environmental Politics and World Narratives

Bonnie Roos, Alex Hunt

Publication Year: 2010

This volume addresses one of American ecocriticism's signal shortcomings: insufficient attention to global issues and viewpoints. The essays come from scholars in a spectrum of disciplines, including literary studies, environmental studies, geography, cartography, and political science. The diversity of perspectives marks a bracing change of direction for ecocriticism.

Published by: University of Virginia Press


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p. xii

Our thanks to each of the scholars who contributed to this collection for their work, patience, and good spirit. Douglas Werden and Bonney MacDonald encouraged our progress and offered valuable advice. Institutional support from West Texas A & M came through the good offices...

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Introduction: Narratives of Survival, Sustainability, and Justice

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pp. 1-13

A recent television recruiting advertisement for the U.S. Navy calls viewers’ attention to the 2004 tsunami: 225,000 people were killed in eleven affected countries, with a million more left missing and homeless in a single day. Worst hit was Indonesia, where 130,736 were confirmed dead, ...


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Arundhati Roy: Environment and Uneven Form

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pp. 17-31

For most critics and commentators, the phenomenal global success of Arundhati Roy’s Booker Prize–winning debut novel, The God of Small Things, is largely due to Roy’s deft use of literary style that spins a moving tale of lost childhood innocence and doomed love. As a result, “Roy...

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Jungle Tide, Devouring Reef: (Post)colonial Anxiety and Ecocritique in Sri Lankan Literature

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pp. 32-48

Within the developing field of postcolonial ecocriticism, critics are increasingly exploring the efficacy of postcolonial literatures and literary criticism to formulate resistive discourses to the economic dispossession, social injustice, and environmental degradation resulting from the...

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Fragments of Shangri-La: "Eco-Tibet" and Its Global Circuits

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pp. 49-63

In a picture I took in summer 2003, a Tibetan monk wears a Nirvana T-shirt, featuring the grunge icon Kurt Cobain. I met the monk in a small village in southeastern Tibet, off the beaten track of commercial tourism in a two-day’s drive from Lhasa. This area is close to the disputed...

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Diggers, Strangers, and Broken Men: Environmental Prophecy and the Commodifcation of Nature in Keri Hulme's The Bone People

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pp. 64-79

Late in The Bone People (first published in 1985), New Zealand author Keri Hulme’s only novel to date, the Maori elder Tiaki Mira imparts a prophecy that requires that he “wait until the stranger came home or until the digger began planting, or until the broken man was found and...


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"Ravaging the Earth, Wasting Our Patrimony": Excess Hunting, Landscape Depletion, and Environmental Apocalypticism in J. M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians

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pp. 83-101

When debating Michel Foucault on Dutch television in 1971, Noam Chomsky observed that intellectuals need to take up two tasks to deal with class power: one is to envision “a future just society,” or, more precisely, to create “a humanistic social theory” predicated on “some firm...

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"Relations with Food": Agriculture, Colonialism, and Foodways in the Writing of Bessie Head

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pp. 102-117

While recognizing the centrality of agriculture in Head’s work, none of these books or essays looks directly at the way agriculture and farmers are represented in Head’s work and the implications of that representation. In this essay, I examine the portrayal of agriculture and foodways...

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Rhetorics of Endangerment: Cultural Difference and Development in International Ape Conservation Discourse

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pp. 118-134

The Great Ape Survival Project (GRASP)—a United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) partnership that includes twenty-three Great Ape range states, donor countries, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and private sector organizations—unveiled its first educational...


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Narrative Currency in a Changing Climate: Grounding the Arctic amid Shifting Terrain

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pp. 137-156

In late May, after having spent the latter half of a two-week field course camping out in the worst spring weather Iceland had experienced in years, my students and I found ourselves in a subterranean museum some four meters below street level in downtown Reykjav

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Wild Madness: The Makah Whale Hunt and Its Aftermath

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pp. 157-176

On May 17, 1999, the Makah Indians successfully hunted, harpooned, and shot a gray whale off the coast of their reservation in Washington State. For the Makah, the taking of the whale culminated five years of a public relations battle that began after the Makah petitioned the...

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Bad Seed: Imperiled Biological and Social Diversity in Ruth Ozeki's All Over Creation

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pp. 177-193

Expanding upon the politics of food and gender that she explored in her first novel My Year of Meats, Ruth Ozeki’s second novel All Over Creation represents overlapping struggles for biodiversity and social diversity, as transnational corporate enforcement of agricultural monocultures...


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Performing Tropics: Alexander von Humboldt's Ansichten der Natur and the Colonial Roots of Nature Writing

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pp. 197-212

In their essay “Performing the Wild: Rethinking Wilderness and Theater Spaces” Adam Sweeting and Thomas C. Crochunis examine the conventions of the realist stage and the rules of designated wilderness zones. They “find parallels that reveal how carefully constructed human...

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The Poetic Politics of Ecological Inhabitation in Neruda's Canto General and Cardenal's Cosmic Canticle

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pp. 213-228

Pablo Neruda’s Canto General and Ernesto Cardenal’s Cosmic Canticle are widely regarded as two of the greatest long poems of the Americas written in the twentieth century. In each book-length sequence, the author thematically develops the relationship of people to place and peoples...

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Rewriting Eden in Walcott's Omeros: A Sea Change of Stories in Visible Silence

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pp. 229-250

Derek Walcott’s high-profile protests against the building of the Jalousie Hilton Resort and Spa that halted local people’s access to the Pitons— peaks surrounded by the island’s largest and most spectacular wilderness areas—resulted in criticism against the Nobel Laureate for being out...

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Afterword: Postcolonial Ecocriticism and the Question of Literature

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pp. 251-258

In the first book-length introduction to ecocriticism, published in 2004, British scholar Greg Garrard argued that one of the two crucial challenges confronting this rapidly evolving area of studies is “the relationship between globalisation and ecocriticism, which has barely been...


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pp. 259-279

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Notes on Contributors

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pp. 281-284

Neel Ahuja is Assistant Professor of Postcolonial Studies in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina– Chapel Hill. His current book manuscript, Bioinsecurities: Embodiment, Disease Interventions, and the Cultural Politics of United States National...


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pp. 285-301

E-ISBN-13: 9780813930657
E-ISBN-10: 0813930650
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813930008
Print-ISBN-10: 0813930006

Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2010

OCLC Number: 755621586
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Postcolonial Green

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Subject Headings

  • Ecology in literature.
  • Environmental justice in literature.
  • Environmentalism in literature.
  • Colonies in literature.
  • Human ecology in literature.
  • Commonwealth literature (English) -- History and criticism.
  • Globalization -- Environmental aspects.
  • Imperialism -- Environmental aspects.
  • Ecocriticism.
  • Postcolonialism in literature.
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