<b>Review Essay: Re-mapping Ecocriticism: New Directions in Literary and Urban Ecology</b> // Ensayo reseña: Re-trazando el mapa de la ecocrítica: Nuevas direcciones en la ecología literaria y urbana

  • Christopher Martin Schliephake University of Augsburg
Keywords: Urban ecocriticism, literary ecology, space, place,

Abstract

This review essay looks at two recent publications which represent a critical mass in the fields of literary and urban ecology, at once drawing on classical ecocritical notions of “space” and “place” as well as signaling new directions for future work. Their mutual emphasis on the interconnected nature of the place-world not only offers new ways of thinking about how places are connected to each other, but also how natural, cultural, social and scientific processes constantly interact to make and re-make the landscapes in which we live. Thereby, their focus on human habitats and built environments is a timely addition to a debate that is still very much focused on “natural” landscapes and helps to reflect on the way in which concepts like “nature”, “country”, or “wilderness” are not only culturally mediated, but also constructed with the contrasting image of the “city” in mind. Both books illustrate in a number of close readings how literary texts influence our spatial perceptions and mediate our experiences within an (urban) environment, showing how creative processes of the mind constantly interrelate with our (non-)human worlds.

 

Resumen

 

            Este ensayo reseña analiza dos publicaciones recientes que representan una masa crítica en los campos de la ecología literaria y urbana, recurriendo a las nociones ecocríticas clásicas de “espacio” y “lugar”, a la par que señalando nuevas direcciones para trabajos futuros. Su énfasis mutuo en la naturaleza interconectada del lugar-mundo no sólo ofrece nuevas formas de pensar en cómo los lugares están conectados unos a otros, sino también cómo los procesos naturales, culturales, sociales y científicos interactúan constantemente para hacer y re-hacer los paisajes en que vivimos. Así, su enfoque en los hábitats humanos y entornos construidos es una incorporación oportuna a un debate que aún está muy centrado en paisajes “naturales”, y ayuda a reflexionar sobre la forma en que conceptos como “naturaleza”, “país” o “lo salvaje” no sólo están mediados culturalmente, sino también construidos opuestos a la imagen de “ciudad” en mente. Ambos libros ilustran en varios análisis detallados cómo los textos literarios influyen en nuestras percepciones espaciales y median en nuestras experiencias dentro de un entorno (urbano), mostrando cómo los procesos de la mente se interrelacionan constantemente con nuestros mundos (no)humanos.

Author Biography

Christopher Martin Schliephake, University of Augsburg

University of Augsburg, Germany

cm.schliephake85@gmail.com

Christopher Schliephake is a historian and ecocritic at the University of Augsburg, who specializes in the fields of cultural ecology, cultural memory studies, and classical reception studies. His publications include Urban Ecologies. City Space, Material Agency, and Environmental Politics in Contemporary Culture, published in the Ecocritical Theory and Practice Series by Lexington Books, as well as a number of scholarly articles ranging from the interplay of memory and place over the New Materialisms to the reception of the Classical Tradition by African American and Caribbean authors.

Published
2015-02-17