katherine f. chandler A review of Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010); and Isabelle Stengers, Cosmopolitics I, trans. Robert Bononno (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010). Cited in the text as VM and CI, respectively. Following relations between texts and environments, ecocriticism has typically examined how human cultures affect and are affected by the physical world, while at the same time pointing to the political stakes of these issues. In her introduction to The Ecocriticism Reader (1996), Cheryll Glotfelty observes that "most ecocritical work shares a common motivation: the troubling awareness that we have reached the age of environmental limits, a time when the consequences of human actions are damaging the planet's life support systems."1 By reflecting on key historical, aesthetic, and ethical concerns, ecocriticism provides crucial insights into the conceptualization of nature and the political implications of these views. Addressing ecological issues in this way, most ecocritical texts uphold a distinction between human action and cultural modes of perception, on the one hand, and the material environment, on the other. Even though ecocriticism pursues a dense web of connections that link texts and humans to natures, its political
Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences – University of Nebraska Press
Published: May 6, 2011
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