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Brave New Words

Author: Elizabeth Ammons
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1587299224
Size: 71.19 MB
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The activist tradition in American literature has long testified to the power of words to change people and the power of people to change the world, yet in recent years many professional humanists have chosen to distract themselves with a postmodern fundamentalism of indeterminacy and instability rather than engage with social and political issues. Throughout her bold and provocative call to action, Elizabeth Ammons argues that the responsibility now facing humanists is urgent: inside and outside academic settings, they need to revive the liberal arts as a progressive cultural force that offers workable ideas and inspiration in the real-world struggle to achieve social and environmental justice. Brave New Words challenges present and future literary scholars and teachers to look beyond mere literary critique toward the concrete issue of social change and how to achieve it. Calling for a profound realignment of thought and spirit in the service of positive social change, Ammons argues for the continued importance of multiculturalism in the twenty-first century despite attacks on the concept from both right and left. Concentrating on activist U.S. writers—from ecocritics to feminists to those dedicated to exposing race and class biases, from Jim Wallis and Cornel West to Winona LaDuke and Paula Moya and many others—she calls for all humanists to link their work to the progressive literature of the last half century, to insist on activism in the service of positive change as part of their mission, and to teach the power of hope and action to their students. As Ammons clearly demonstrates, much of American literature was written to expose injustice and motivate readers to work for social transformation. She challenges today’s academic humanists to address the issues of hope and purpose by creating a practical activist pedagogy that gives students the knowledge to connect their theoretical learning to the outside world. By relying on the transformative power of literature and replacing nihilism and powerlessness with conviction and faith, the liberal arts can offer practical, useful inspiration to everyone seeking to create a better world.

Fire And Snow

Author: Marc DiPaolo
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 1438470452
Size: 39.13 MB
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A broad examination of climate fantasy and science fiction, from The Lord of the Rings and the Narnia series to The Handmaid’s Tale and Game of Thrones. Fellow Inklings J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis may have belonged to different branches of Christianity, but they both made use of a faith-based environmentalist ethic to counter the mid-twentieth-century’s triple threats of fascism, utilitarianism, and industrial capitalism. In Fire and Snow, Marc DiPaolo explores how the apocalyptic fantasy tropes and Christian environmental ethics of the Middle-earth and Narnia sagas have been adapted by a variety of recent writers and filmmakers of “climate fiction,” a growing literary and cinematic genre that grapples with the real-world concerns of climate change, endless wars, and fascism, as well as the role religion plays in easing or escalating these apocalyptic-level crises. Among the many other well-known climate fiction narratives examined in these pages are Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games, The Handmaid’s Tale, Mad Max, and Doctor Who. Although the authors of these works stake out ideological territory that differs from Tolkien’s and Lewis’s, DiPaolo argues that they nevertheless mirror their predecessors’ ecological concerns. The Christians, Jews, atheists, and agnostics who penned these works agree that we all need to put aside our cultural differences and transcend our personal, socioeconomic circumstances to work together to save the environment. Taken together, these works of climate fiction model various ways in which a deep ecological solidarity might be achieved across a broad ideological and cultural spectrum. “This book is remarkably diverse in its literary, cinematic, journalistic, and graphics-media sources, and the writing is equally authoritative in all these domains. DiPaolo’s prose moves deftly from a work of fiction to its film avatar, to the political and societal realities they address, and back again into other cultural manifestations and then into and out of the deep theory of climate fiction, literary scholarship, ecofeminism, religious tradition, and authorial biographies. It contributes considerably to all of these fields, and is indispensable for climate and environmental literature classes. It’s also a must-have for general readers of the genre.” — Jonathan Evans, coauthor of Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J. R .R. Tolkien “I like it. No, I love it. This book is both broad and deep, and yet it remains both very readable and constantly interesting. It’s the sort of book that can only be written by someone who is a good reader of both books and culture. As I was reading it I thought, this is like being at a party and meeting someone brilliant and fun, and finding that I’m enjoying that person’s company so much that I don’t notice the time flying by. It’s not often that a scholarly book does that to me.” — David O’Hara, Augustana University

Toward A Literary Ecology

Author: Karen E. Waldron
Publisher: Scarecrow Press
ISBN: 0810891980
Size: 62.52 MB
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In this book, editors Karen E. Waldron and Robert Friedman have assembled a collection of essays that study the interconnections between literature and the environment to theorize literary ecology. The disciplinary perspectives in these essays allow readers to comprehend places and environments, and to represent, express, or strive for that comprehension through literature. Contributors to this volume explore the works of several authors, including Gary Snyder, Karen Tei Yamashita, Rachel Carson, Terry Tempest Williams, Chip Ward, and Mary Oliver. Other essays discuss such topics as urban fiction as a model of literary ecology, the geographies of belonging in the work of Native American poets, and the literary ecology of place in “new” nature writing. Investigating texts for the complex interconnections they represent, this book suggests what such texts might teach us about the interconnections of our own world.

Leslie Marmon Silko

Author: Mary Ellen Snodgrass
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 0786485981
Size: 62.73 MB
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This companion, appropriate for the lay reader and researcher alike, provides analysis of characters, plots, humor, symbols, philosophies, and classic themes from the writings and tellings of Leslie Marmon Silko, the celebrated novelist, poet, memoirist and Native American wisewoman. The text opens with an annotated chronology of Silko’s multiracial heritage, life and works, followed by a family tree of the Leslie-Marmon families that clarifies relationships of the people who fill her autobiographical musings. In the main text, 87 A-to-Z entries combine literary and cultural commentary with generous citations from primary and secondary sources and comparisons to classic and popular literature. Back matter includes a glossary of Pueblo terms and a list of 43 questions for research, writing projects, and discussion. This much-needed text will aid both scholars and casual readers interested in the work and career of the first internationally-acclaimed native woman author in the United States.

Otherwise Revolution

Author: Rebecca Tillett
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1623567874
Size: 80.14 MB
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Leslie Marmon Silko's 1991 novel Almanac of the Dead is a profound and challenging analysis of late capitalist society in America and more widely, and the ways in which powerful minority elites ensure that their power is never challenged nor shared, through the complicit discourses of imperialism, patriarchy, religion, medicine, science and technology. Almanac's exploration of multiple forms of dispossession and resistance is most fully embodied in the two Armies of Justice, who are devoted to overturning oppression in all forms and to the restoration of social and economic justice. Reading Almanac in the light of the global economic recession of 2008, this study assesses the ways in which Almanac's vision of oppressive capitalism continues to have absolute relevance. Perhaps most importantly, this study provides a groundbreaking reading of Almanac for the 21st century, comparing Silko's activist armies with recent international popular social justice activism such as the Arab Spring, the international Occupy movement, and the Indigenous Idle No More movement.

Cities Of Others

Author: Xiaojing Zhou
Publisher: University of Washington Press
ISBN: 0295805420
Size: 77.37 MB
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Asian American literature abounds with complex depictions of American cities as spaces that reinforce racial segregation and prevent interactions across boundaries of race, culture, class, and gender. However, in Cities of Others, Xiaojing Zhou uncovers a much different narrative, providing the most comprehensive examination to date of how Asian American writers - both celebrated and overlooked - depict urban settings. Zhou goes beyond examining popular portrayals of Chinatowns by paying equal attention to life in other parts of the city. Her innovative and wide-ranging approach sheds new light on the works of Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese American writers who bear witness to a variety of urban experiences and reimagine the American city as other than a segregated nation-space. Drawing on critical theories on space from urban geography, ecocriticism, and postcolonial studies, Zhou shows how spatial organization shapes identity in the works of Sui Sin Far, Bienvenido Santos, Meena Alexander, Frank Chin, Chang-rae Lee, Karen Tei Yamashita, and others. She also shows how the everyday practices of Asian American communities challenge racial segregation, reshape urban spaces, and redefine the identity of the American city. From a reimagining of the nineteenth-century flaneur figure in an Asian American context to providing a framework that allows readers to see ethnic enclaves and American cities as mutually constitutive and transformative, Zhou gives us a provocative new way to understand some of the most important works of Asian American literature.

Of Women Borne

Author: Cynthia R. Wallace
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231541201
Size: 74.47 MB
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The literature of Adrienne Rich, Toni Morrison, Ana Castillo, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie teaches a risky, self-giving way of reading (and being) that brings home the dangers and the possibilities of suffering as an ethical good. Working the thought of feminist theologians and philosophers into an analysis of these women's writings, Cynthia R. Wallace crafts a literary ethics attentive to the paradoxes of critique and re-vision, universality and particularity, and reads in suffering a redemptive or redeemable reality. Wallace's approach recognizes the generative interplay between ethical form and content in literature, which helps isolate more distinctly the gendered and religious echoes of suffering and sacrifice in Western culture. By refracting these resonances through the work of feminists and theologians of color, her book also shows the value of broad-ranging ethical explorations into literature, with their power to redefine theories of reading and the nature of our responsibility to art and each other.

Sharing The Earth

Author:
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820347701
Size: 64.25 MB
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The first of its kind, this anthology of eighty international primary literary texts—poems, short stories, personal essays, testimonials, activist statements, and group-authored visions—illuminates Environmental Justice as a concept and a movement worldwide in a way that is accessible to students, scholars, and general readers. Also included are historical selections that ground contemporary pieces in a continuum of activist concern for the earth and human justice, a much-needed but seldom available perspective. Arts and humanities are crucial in the ongoing effort to achieve an ecologically sustainable and just world. Works of the human imagination provide analyses, articulations of experience, and positive visions of the future that no amount of statistics, data, charts, or graphs can offer because literature speaks not only to the intellect but also to our emotions. Creative literary work, which records human experience both past and present, has the power to warn, to persuade, and to inspire. Each is critical in the shared struggle for Environmental Justice.

Brave New Words

Author: Jeff Prucher
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 0195305671
Size: 61.52 MB
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The shared language of science fiction is covered in this historical dictionary that shows how science-fiction words and their associated concepts have developed over time and includes more than three thousand terms and an analysis of the influence of science fiction on the English language.