My chapter in this collection, ‘Science, Wonder and New Nature Writing’ explores Rachel Carson’s ideas on these interlinked themes.
Writer, scientist and activist Rachel Carson proposed that wonder had a redeeming role to play during an age of escalating environmental destruction in the middle of the twentieth century. For her, wonder was an integral part of scientific inquiry. It was also a powerful check to what she called a lust for destruction. To pioneer any kind of new literature in the field of nature writing, she proposed, would require communicating wonder from beyond the privileged world of the scientist to a broader non-specialist audience. Rather than imitate esteemed predecessors such as Thoreau, she called on new nature writers to become ‘creators of a new type of literature as representative of our own day as was their own.’ Decades later this remains a stirring call.
‘This wonderful collection testifies to the ever-expanding transnational reach of environmental literature and other arts. The editors have compiled a vital volume of ecocritical thought, as their book brings into conversation an exciting array of new texts and new conceptual approaches.’ – Rob Nixon, Princeton University, author of Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor
‘This new anthology offers a brilliantly varied and international spectrum of perspectives on the overlapping concerns of ecocriticism and environmental communication, two areas of study that should have long been connected, but have rarely been considered together. A must-read for anyone interested in environmental storytelling and image-making, from news coverage to nonfiction, fiction, and film, and a gateway to exciting new paths of research in environmental expression and communication.’ – Usual K. Heise, UCLA, author of Imagining Extinction