The Eco-Humanities as Literature: A New Genre?


The rise of new ecological and environmental concerns demands a holistic engagement with knowledge, simultaneous understanding of science and politics, and perhaps, above all, a sense of human engagement with the natural world. The ideas of 'world literature', 'world history' and 'global change' are interrelated, and increasingly recurrent themes in public intellectual initiatives (Robin and Steffen 1695-96; Allardyce 23). In this essay, I want to consider the ways in which we write the literature of humans and nature in a world where these are more interdependent than ever before. I began with the global because global concerns drive political pressure and many of the big stories of our times. Those of us with expertise in the humanities—in the issues that make human life matter—have an interest in a literary genre that works on the human scale, but is also inclusive of both the global and the local.

The full text of this essay is available to ALS subscribers

Please sign in to access this article and the rest of our archive.

Published 1 October 2008 in Volume 23 No. 3. Subjects: Environmental conservation, Literary forms & genres, Natural environment - Literary portrayal, Ecocriticism.

Cite as: Robin, Libby. ‘The Eco-Humanities as Literature: A New Genre?.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 23, no. 3, 2008, doi: 10.20314/als.fe22dcfb0a.