Scholars of ecocriticism have long tried to articulate emotional relationships to environments. Only recently, however, have they begun to draw on the complex interdisciplinary body of research known as affect theory. Affective Ecocriticism takes as its premise that ecocritical scholarship has much to gain from the rich work on affect and emotion happening within social and cultural theory, geography, psychology, philosophy, queer theory, feminist theory, narratology, and neuroscience, among others. This vibrant and important volume imagines a more affective—and consequently more effective—ecocriticism, as well as a more environmentally attuned affect studies.
These interdisciplinary essays model a range of approaches to emotion and affect in considering a variety of primary texts, including short story collections, films, poetry, curricular programs, and contentious geopolitical locales such as Canada’s Tar Sands. Several chapters deal skeptically with familiar environmentalist affects like love, hope, resilience, and optimism; others consider what are often understood as negative emotions, such as anxiety, disappointment, and homesickness—all with an eye toward reinvigorating or reconsidering their utility for the environmental humanities and environmentalism. Affective Ecocriticism offers an accessible approach to this theoretical intersection that will speak to readers across multiple disciplinary and geographic locations.