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Ecocriticism, Ecology, and the Cultures of Antiquity


Ecocriticism, Ecology, and the Cultures of Antiquity


Ecocritical Theory and Practice

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<span><span>Although current environmental debates lay the focus on the Industrial Revolution as a sociopolitical development that has led to the current environmental crisis, many ecocritical projects have avoided historicizing their concepts or have been characterized by approaches that were either pre-historic or post-historic: while the environmental movement has harbored the dream of restoring nature to a state untouched by human hands, there is also the pessimistic vision of a post-apocalyptic world, exhausted by humanity’s consumption of natural resources. Against this background, the decline of nature has become a narrative template quite common among the public environmental discourse and environmental scientists alike. The volume revisits Antiquity as an epoch which witnessed similar environmental problems and came up with its own interpretations and solutions in dealing with them. This decidedly historical perspective is not only supposed to fill in a blank in ecocritical discourse, but also to question, problematize, and inform our contemporary debates with a completely different take on “nature” and humanity’s place in the world. Thereby, a productive dialogue between contemporary ecocritical theories and the classical tradition is established that highlights similarities as well as differences. This volume is the first book to bring ecocriticism and the classical tradition into a comprehensive dialogue. It assembles recognized experts in the field and advanced scholars as well as young and aspiring ecocritics. In order to ensure a dialogic exchange between the contributions, the volume includes four response essays by established ecocritics which embed the sections within a larger theoretical and practical ecocritical framework and discuss the potential of including the pre-modern world into our environmental debates.</span></span>
<span>By focusing on ancient culture and its reception, this book integrates antiquity into our current ecocritical theory and practice to fill in a gap in our environmental debates. It aims at a re-evaluation of antiquity in the present-day environmental concerns and re-frames our modern outlook on the more-than-human world from different cultures.</span>
<span><span>Foreword: Before Nature?, Brooke Holmes</span></span>
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<span><span>Abbreviations</span></span>
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<span><span>Introduction, Christopher Schliephake</span></span>
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<span><span>Part I: Environmental (Hi)stories: Negotiating Human-Nature Interactions</span></span>
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<span><span>(1) Environmental Mosaics Natural and Imposed, J. Donald Hughes </span></span>
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<span><span>(2) Poseidon’s Wrath and the End of Helike: Notions about the Anthropogenic Character of Disasters in Antiquity, Justine Walter </span></span>
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<span><span>(3) Glades of Dread: The Ecology and Aesthetics of </span><span>loca horrida</span><span>, Aneta Kliszcz and Joanna Komorowska </span></span>
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<span><span> (4) Response: Hailed by the Genius of Ruins – Antiquity, the Anthropocene, and the Environmental Humanities, Hannes Bergthaller </span></span>
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<span><span>Part II: Close Readings: Literary Ecologies and the More-than-Human World</span></span>
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<span><span>(5) Eroticized Environments: Ancient Greek Natural Philosophy and the Roots of Erotic Ecocritical Contemplation, Thomas Sharkie and Marguerite Johnson </span></span>
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<span><span>(6) Interspecies Ethics and Collaborative Survival in Lucretius’ </span><span>De Rerum Natura</span><span>, Richard Hutchins </span></span>
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<span><span>(7) The Ecological Highway: Environmental Ekphrasis in Statius, </span><span>Silvae</span><span> 4.3, Christopher Chinn </span></span>
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<span><span>(8) Impervious Nature as a Path to Virtue: Cato in the Ninth Book of </span><span>Bellum Civile</span><span>, Vittoria Prencipe </span></span>
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<span><span>(9) Response: Re-Thinking Borderlines Ecologies – A Literary Ethics of Exposure, Katharina Donn </span></span>
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<span><span>Part III: ‘Green’ Genres: The Pastoral and Georgic Tradition</span></span>
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<span><span>(10) The Environmental Humanities and the Pastoral Tradition, Terry Gifford</span></span>
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<span><span>(11) “</span><span>How</span><span> / to make fields fertile”: Ecocritical Lessons from the History of Virgil’s </span><span>Georgics</span><span> in Translation, Laura Sayre </span></span>
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<span><span>(12) </span><span>Nec provident futuro tempori, sed quasi plane in diem vivant</span><span> – Sustainable Business in Columella’s </span><span>De Re Rustica</span><span>?, Lars Keßler and Konrad Ott </span></span>
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<span><span>(13) Response: Back to the Future – Rethinking Time in Precarious Times, Roman Bartosch </span></span>
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<span><span>Part IV: Classical Reception: Presence, Absence, and the Afterlives of Ancient Culture</span></span>
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<span><span>(14) The Myth of Rhiannon: An Ecofeminist Perspective, Anna Banks </span></span>
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<span><span>(15) Emblems and Antiquity: An Exploration of Speculative Emblematics, Lucy Mercer and Laurence Grove </span></span>
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<span><span>(16) The Sustainability of Texts: Transcultural Ecology and Classical Reception, Christopher Schliephake </span></span>
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<span><span>(17) Daoist Spiritual Ecology in the “Anthropocene”, Jingcheng Xu </span></span>
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<span><span>(18) Response: From Ecocritical Reception of the Ancients to the Future of the Environmental Humanities (with a detour via Romanticism), Kate Rigby </span></span>
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<span><span>Afterword: Revealing Roots – Ecocriticism and the Cultures of Antiquity, Serenella Iovino </span></span>
<span><span>Christopher Schliephake</span><span> is a cultural historian, ecocritic, and postdoc scholar at the University of Augsburg.</span></span>

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