Ecocriticism is a mode of interdisciplinary critical inquiry into the relationship between cultural production, society, and the environment. The field advocates for the more-than-human realm as well as for underprivileged human and non-human groups and their perspectives. Taiwan is one of the earliest centers for promoting ecocriticism outside the West and has continued to play a central role in shaping ecocriticism in East Asia. This is the first English anthology dedicated to the vibrant development of ecocriticism in Taiwan. It provides a window to Taiwan’s important contributions to international ecocriticism, especially an emerging “vernacular” trend in the field emphasizing the significance of local perspectives and styles, including non-western vocabularies, aesthetics, cosmologies, and political ideologies. Taiwan's unique history, geographic location, geology, and subtropical climate generate locale-specific, vernacular thinking about island ecology and environmental history, as well as global environmental issues such as climate change, dioxin pollution, species extinction, energy decisions, pollution, and environmental injustice. In hindsight, Taiwan's industrial modernization no longer appears as a success narrative among Asia's “Four Little Dragons,” but as a cautionary tale revealing the brute force entrepreneurial exploitation of the land and the people. In this light, this volume can be seen as a critical response to Taiwan's postcolonial, capitalist-industrial modernity, as manifested in the scholars’ readings of Taiwan's "mountain and river," ocean, animal, and aboriginal (non)fictional narratives, environmental documentaries, and art installations. This volume is endowed with a mixture of ecocosmopolitan and indigenous sensitivities. Though dominated by the Han Chinese ethnic group and its Confucian ideology, Taiwan is a place of complicated ethnic identities and affiliations. The succession of changing colonial and political regimes, made even more complex by the island’s sixteen aboriginal groups and several diasporic subcultures (South Asian immigrants, Western expatriates, and diverse immigrants from the Chinese mainland), has led to an ongoing quest for political and cultural identity. This complexity urges Taiwan-based ecoscholars to pay attention to the diasporic, comparative, and intercultural dimensions of local specificity, either based on their own diasporic experience or the cosmopolitan features of the Taiwanese texts they scrutinize. This cosmopolitan-vernacular dynamic is a key contribution Taiwan has to offer current ecocritical scholarship.
Southeast Asian Ecocriticism presents a timely exploration of the rapidly expanding field of ecocriticism through its devotion to the writers, creators, theorists, traditions, concerns, and landscapes of Southeast Asian countries. While ecocritics have begun to turn their attention to East and South Asian contexts and, particularly, to Chinese and Indian cultural productions, less emphasis has been placed on the diverse environmental traditions of Southeast Asia. Building on recent scholarship in Asian ecocriticism, the book gives prominence to the range of theoretical models and practical approaches employed by scholars based within, and located outside of, the Southeast region. Consisting of twelve chapters, Southeast Asian Ecocriticism includes contributions on the ecological prose, poetry, cinema, and music of Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The authors emphasize the transnational exchanges of materials, technologies, texts, motifs, and ideas between Southeast Asian countries and Australia, England, Taiwan (Formosa), and the United States. From environmental hermeneutics, postcolonial studies, indigenous studies, and ecofeminism to critical plant studies, ecopoetics, and ecopedagogy, the edited collection embodies the dynamic breadth of interdisciplinary environmental scholarship today. Southeast Asian Ecocriticism foregrounds the theories, practices, and prospects of ecocriticism in the region. The volume opens up new directions and reveals fresh possibilities not only for ecocritical scholarship in Southeast Asia but for a comparative environmental criticism that transcends political boundaries and national canons. The volume highlights the important role of literature in heightening awareness of ecological issues at local, regional, and global scales.
East Asian Ecocriticisms presents original essays from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China that define and characterize trends in East Asian ecocriticism. Drawing on diverse theoretical perspectives in environmental thought and scholarship, this volume presents valuable and original contributions to global conversations.
As we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century, environmental concerns dominate the media headlines, from rampant poverty in the developing world to nuclear accidents in industrialized nations. How did human civilization arrive at its current predicaments, and what can we do to temper our habits of mind and mitigate society’s environmentally (and socially) destructive behaviors? The field of ecocriticism (also sometimes called “environmental criticism”) attempts to grapple with such issues. A branch of literary and cultural studies that essentially began in North America in the 1970s, ecocriticism is currently one of the most quickly developing areas of environmental research and teaching. The Future of Ecocriticism: New Horizons brings together thirty-two of the latest articles in the field, including work by some of the leading scholars from around the world. Although ecocriticism has been particularly active in North America, Western Europe, and East Asia, important studies of traditional environmental thought, environmental communication strategies, and environmental aesthetics have begun to emerge in every region of this world. This new book, co-edited by three prominent Turkish scholars and a leading American ecocritic, offers a special cluster of Turkish ecocriticism, with a focus on environmental stories and ideas in this culture that bridges Europe and Asia. Another unique feature of The Future of Ecocriticism: New Horizons is the concluding dialogue among the four editors about the current state of the field.
Embodied Memories, Embedded Healing foregrounds the East Asian cultural beliefs and practices that shape the environmental consciousness of the twenty-first century. In highlighting such influences, this anthology also foregrounds the closely related new and exciting directions in ecocriticism.
Taking up the idea that teaching is a political act, this collection of essays reflects on recent trends in ecocriticism and the implications for pedagogy. Focusing on a diverse set of literature and media, the book also provides background on historical and theoretical issues that animate the field of postcolonial ecocriticism. The scope is broad, encompassing not only the Global South but also parts of the Global North that have been subject to environmental degradation as a result of colonial practices. Considering both the climate crisis and the crisis in the humanities, the volume navigates theoretical resources, contextual scaffolding, classroom activities, assessment, and pedagogical possibilities and challenges. Essays are grounded in environmental justice and the project to decolonize the classroom, addressing works from Africa, New Zealand, Asia, and Latin America and issues such as queer ecofeminism, disability, Latinx literary production, animal studies, interdisciplinarity, and working with environmental justice organizations.
The book presents aspects of cross-currents of theorizing of self, culture and society in the contemporary Taiwan. Social theorizing has been addressed critically, reflectively and creatively by the philosophical, religious, psychological and literary traditions of one of the world’s great civilizations Theorizing is a dynamic movement of self, culture, society and the world as it is related to our actions, reflections, meditations to understand the world more meaningfully and holistically as well as to transform it. But much of social theorizing in the modern world is primarily Euro-American and despite the socalled globalization of knowledge, this condition of one-sided Euro-American valorization of knowledge and neglect of others continues unabated. There is very little attention to theorizing about the human condition emerging from other parts of the world such as Taiwan and its global implication. This book transforms this condition by mapping the field of theorizing in a wider spectrum of philosophy, psychology, religions, social sciences and humanities in contemporary Taiwan.
Owing to Taiwan's multi-ethnic nature and palimpsestic colonial past, Taiwanese literature is naturally multilingual. Although it can be analyzed through frameworks of Japanophone literature and Chinese literature, and the more provocative Sinophone literature, only through viewing Taiwanese literature as world literature can we redress the limits of national identity and fully examine writers' transculturation practice, globally minded vision, and the politics of its circulation. Throughout the colonial era, Taiwanese writers gained inspiration from global literary trends mainly but not exclusively through the medium of Japanese and Chinese. Modernism was the mainstream literary style in 1960s Taiwan, and since the 1980s Taiwanese literature has demonstrated a unique trajectory shaped jointly by postmodernism and postcolonialism. These movements exhibit Taiwanese writers' creative adaptations of world literary thought as a response to their local and trans-national reality. During the postwar years Taiwanese literature began to be more systematically introduced to world readers through translation. Over the past few decades, Taiwanese authors and their translated works have participated in global conversations, such as those on climate change, the "post-truth" era, and ethnic and gender equality. Bringing together scholars and translators from Europe, North America, and East Asia, the volume focuses on three interrelated themes – the framing and worlding ploys of Taiwanese literature, Taiwanese writers' experience of transculturation, and politics behind translating Taiwanese literature. The volume stimulates new ways of conceptualizing Taiwanese literature, demonstrates remarkable cases of Taiwanese authors' co-option of world trends in their Taiwan-concerned writing, and explores its readership and dissemination.
Linda Hogan and Contemporary Taiwanese Writers forges links between an author whose work belongs to indigenous literature, Native American literature, and Taiwanese literature. It does so by focusing on content that critically relates to the work of ecocritics, ecofeminists, ecojustice scholars, postcolonial ecocritics, and animal studies scholars.
The Human–Animal Boundary shifts the traditional anthropocentric focus of philosophy and literature by combining the question “what is human?” with the question “what is animal?” The objective is to expand the imaginative scope of human–animal relationships by combining perspectives from different disciplines, traditions, and cultural backgrounds.
Chinese Environmental Humanities showcases contemporary ecocritical approaches to Chinese culture and aesthetic production as practiced in China itself and beyond. As the first collaborative environmental humanities project of this kind, this book brings together sixteen scholars from a diverse range of disciplines, including literary and cultural studies, philosophy, ecocinema and ecomedia studies, religious studies, minority studies, and animal or multispecies studies. The fourteen chapters are conceptually framed through the lens of the Chinese term huanjing (environment or “encircling the surroundings”), a critical device for imagining the aesthetics and politics of place-making, or “the practice of environing at the margin.” The discourse of environing at the margins facilitates consideration of the modes, aesthetics, ethics, and politics of environmental inclusion and exclusion, providing a lens into the environmental thinking and practices of the world’s most populous society.
The South African literature of iimbongi, the oral poets of the amaXhosa people, has long shaped understandings of landscape and history and offered a forum for grappling with change. Of Land, Bones, and Money examines the shifting role of these poets in South African society and the ways in which they have helped inform responses to segregation, apartheid, the injustices of extractive capitalism, and contemporary politics in South Africa. Emily McGiffin first discusses the history of the amaXhosa people and the environment of their homelands before moving on to the arrival of the British, who began a relentless campaign annexing land and resources in the region. Drawing on scholarship in the fields of human geography, political ecology, and postcolonial ecocriticism, she considers isiXhosa poetry in translation within its cultural, historical, and environmental contexts, investigating how these poems struggle with the arrival and expansion of the exploitation of natural resources in South Africa and the entrenchment of profoundly racist politics that the process entailed. In contemporary South Africa, iimbongi remain a respected source of knowledge and cultural identity. Their ongoing practice of producing complex, spiritually rich literature continues to have a profound social effect, contributing directly to the healing and well-being of their audiences, to political transformation, and to environmental justice.