Veer Ecology: A Companion for Environmental Thinking (Paperback)
The words most commonly associated with the environmental movement—save, recycle, reuse, protect, regulate, restore—describe what we can do to help the environment, but few suggest how we might transform ourselves to better navigate the sudden turns of the late Anthropocene. Which words can help us to veer conceptually along with drastic environmental flux? Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Lowell Duckert asked thirty brilliant thinkers to each propose one verb that stresses the forceful potential of inquiry, weather, biomes, apprehensions, and desires to swerve and sheer. Each term is accompanied by a concise essay contextualizing its meaning in times of resource depletion, environmental degradation, and global climate change.
Some verbs are closely tied to natural processes: compost, saturate, seep, rain, shade, sediment, vegetate, environ. Many are vaguely unsettling: drown, unmoor, obsolesce, power down, haunt. Others are enigmatic or counterintuitive: curl, globalize, commodify, ape, whirl. And while several verbs pertain to human affect and action—love, represent, behold, wait, try, attune, play, remember, decorate, tend, hope—a primary goal of Veer Ecology is to decenter the human. Indeed, each of the essays speaks to a heightened sense of possibility, awakening our imaginations and inviting us to think the world anew from radically different perspectives. A groundbreaking guide for the twenty-first century, Veer Ecology foregrounds the risks and potentialities of living on—and with—an alarmingly dynamic planet.
Contributors: Stacy Alaimo, U of Texas at Arlington; Joseph Campana, Rice U; Holly Dugan, George Washington U; Lara Farina, West Virginia U; Cheryll Glotfelty, U of Nevada, Reno; Anne F. Harris, DePauw U; Tim Ingold, U of Aberdeen; Serenella Iovino, U of Turin; Stephanie LeMenager, U of Oregon; Scott Maisano, U of Massachusetts, Boston; Tobias Menely, U of California, Davis; Steve Mentz, St. John’s U; J. Allan Mitchell, U of Victoria; Timothy Morton, Rice U; Vin Nardizzi, U of British Columbia; Laura Ogden, Dartmouth College; Serpil Opperman, Hacettepe U, Ankara; Daniel C. Remein, U of Massachusetts, Boston; Margaret Ronda, U of California, Davis; Nicholas Royle, U of Sussex; Catriona Sandilands, York U; Christopher Schaberg, Loyola U; Rebecca R. Scott, U of Missouri; Theresa Shewry, U of California, Santa Barbara; Mick Smith, Queen’s U; Jesse Oak Taylor, U of Washington; Brian Thill, Golden West College; Coll Thrush, U of British Columbia, Vancouver; Cord J. Whitaker, Wellesley College; Julian Yates, U of Delaware.
About the Author
Jeffrey Jerome Cohen is professor of English and director of the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute at George Washington University. His books include Prismatic Ecology: Ecotheory beyond Green and Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman, both from Minnesota.
Lowell Duckert is assistant professor of English at West Virginia University. He is coeditor, with Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, of Elemental Ecocriticism: Thinking with Earth, Air, Water, and Fire and author of For All Waters: Finding Ourselves in Early Modern Wetscapes, both from Minnesota.
"Many of the themes and ideas described by the essayists are unique, deeply enriching the reader's understanding of the future possibilities of the dynamic Earth. Many essays deserve multiple reads; their perspectives widen and deepen one another in the context of the essays surrounding it. A powerful book worth owning, reflecting on, and rereading time and again."—Choice
"Veer Ecology is a sustained argument for the necessity of art and politics to make sense of environmental science." —Glasgow Review of Books
"Veer Ecology is a valuable contribution to efforts to make sense of the extraordinary transitions put in place by drastic environmental change. " —Radical Philosophy