Prismatic Ecology: Ecotheory beyond Green

Front Cover
Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
U of Minnesota Press, Dec 1, 2013 - Philosophy - 384 pages


Emphasizing sustainability, balance, and the natural, green dominates our thinking about ecology like no other color. What about the catastrophic, the disruptive, the inaccessible, and the excessive? What of the ocean’s turbulence, the fecundity of excrement, the solitude of an iceberg, multihued contaminations? Prismatic Ecology moves beyond the accustomed green readings of ecotheory and maps a colorful world of ecological possibility.

In a series of linked essays that span place, time, and discipline, Jeffrey Jerome Cohen brings together writers who illustrate the vibrant worlds formed by colors. Organized by the structure of a prism, each chapter explores the coming into existence of nonanthropocentric ecologies. “Red” engages sites of animal violence, apocalyptic emergence, and activism; “Maroon” follows the aurora borealis to the far North and beholds in its shimmering alternative modes of world composition; “Chartreuse” is a meditation on postsustainability and possibility within sublime excess; “Grey” is the color of the undead; “Ultraviolet” is a potentially lethal force that opens vistas beyond humanly known nature.

Featuring established and emerging scholars from varying disciplines, this volume presents a collaborative imagining of what a more-than-green ecology offers. While highlighting critical approaches not yet common within ecotheory, the contributions remain diverse and cover a range of topics including materiality, the inhuman, and the agency of objects. By way of color, Cohen guides readers through a reflection of an essentially complex and disordered universe and demonstrates the spectrum as an unfinishable totality, always in excess of what a human perceives.

Contributors: Stacy Alaimo, U of Texas at Arlington; Levi R. Bryant, Collin College; Lowell Duckert, West Virginia U; Graham Harman, American U in Cairo; Bernd Herzogenrath, Goethe U of Frankfurt; Serenella Iovino, U of Turin, Italy; Eileen A. Joy; Robert McRuer, George Washington U; Tobias Menely, Miami U; Steve Mentz, St. John’s U, New York City; Timothy Morton, Rice U; Vin Nardizzi, U of British Columbia; Serpil Oppermann, Hacettepe U, Ankara; Margaret Ronda, Rutgers U; Will Stockton, Clemson U; Allan Stoekl, Penn State U; Ben Woodard; Julian Yates, U of Delaware.

 

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Cutting edge environmental theory. By way of colour (each chapter corresponds to a different colour), the text is a reflection of an essentially complex and disordered universe. It demonstrates the spectrum as an unfinishable totality, always in excess of what a human perceives. Read full review

Contents

Foreword LAWRENCE BUELL
White BERND HERZOGENRATH
Red TOBIAS MENELY AND MARGARET RONDA
Maroon LOWELL DUCKERT
Pink ROBERT MCRUER
Orange JULIANYATES
Greener VIN NARDIZZI
Beige WILL STOCKTON
Blue EILEEN A
VioletBlack STACY ALAIMO
Ultraviolet BEN WOODARD
Grey JEFFREYJEROME COHEN
XRay TIMOTHY MORTON
Prismatic Visions SERENELLA IOVINO
Index
Copyright

Brown STEVE MENTZ

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About the author (2013)

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen is professor of English and director of the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute at George Washington University. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including Medieval Identity Machines; Of Giants: Sex, Monsters, and the Middle Ages; and Monster Theory: Reading Culture, all from Minnesota.

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