Early Modern Écologies
Early Modern Écologies
Beyond English Ecocriticism
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1. Avant-Propos Bruno Latour 2. Introduction Pauline Goul (Cornell U.) and Phillip John Usher (New York U.) 3. Nonhuman Humanism Phillip John Usher (New York U.) 4. Off the Human Track: Montaigne, Deleuze, and the Materialization of Philosophy Hassan Melehy (U. of North Carolina) 5. Human and Vegetal Gestures: French Material Sympathies Antónia Szabari (U. of Southern California) 6. Du Bellay's Geological Time Victor Velázquez (Biola U.) 7. Is Ecology Absurd? Diogenes and the End of Civilization Pauline Goul (Cornell U.) 8. Weird Ecological Time: After Ronsard's Franciade (1572) Kat Addis (New York U.) 9. Nature/Culture: The Integrated Ecology of Renaissance "Climate Theories" Sara Miglietti (Johns Hopkins U.) 10. Olivier de Serres on Ecology and Economy Tom Conley (Harvard U.) 11. Du Bartas, Responding to Morton's Milton Stephanie Shifflett (Boston U.) 12. Is there Nature? Jean Bodin's Treasure Seekers Oumelbanine Zhiri (U. of California, San Diego) 13. Nature Without Theology: Montaigne's neither Deep, nor Dark, Ecology Richard E. Keatley (Georgia State U.) 14. Epilogue Louisa Mackenzie (U. of Washington)

Reviews and Features

"Early Modern Écologies is a welcome addition to dialogue on ecology and ecocriticism in early modern studies. It enriches contemporary ecocriticism with a sturdy array of essays, each offering a reading or readings of canonical texts of early modern French literature."
- Rebecca Zorach, Northwestern University, H-France Review, Vol. 21 (July 2021), No. 121

"Given the predominance of modern and contemporary British models in this critical field, focusing on early modern French texts represents a most welcome move. Through its many close readings, the volume demonstrates that early modern ecological thinking was much more than a simple meditation on environmental issues. [...] This is fascinating material."
- Giulia Pacini, William & Mary, L'Esprit Créateur, Spring 2021

Pauline Goul, Phillip John Usher (eds)

Early Modern Écologies

Beyond English Ecocriticism

Early Modern Écologies is the first collective volume to offer perspectives on the relationship between contemporary ecological thought and early modern French literature. If Descartes spoke of humans as being ‘masters and possessors of Nature’ in the seventeenth century, the writers taken up in this volume arguably demonstrated a more complex and urgent understanding of the human relationship to our shared planet. Opening up a rich archive of literary and non-literary texts produced by Montaigne and his contemporaries, this volume foregrounds not how ecocriticism renews our understanding of a literary corpus, but rather how that corpus causes us to re-think or to nuance contemporary eco-theory. The sparsely bilingual title (an acute accent on écologies) denotes the primary task at hand: to pluralize (i.e. de-Anglophone-ize) the Environmental Humanities. Featuring established and emerging scholars from Europe and the United States, Early Modern Écologies opens up new dialogues between ecotheorists such as Timothy Morton, Gilles Deleuze, and Bruno Latour and Montaigne, Ronsard, Du Bartas, and Olivier de Serres.

Pauline Goul

Pauline Goul is Assistant Professor of French Literature at The George Washington University. She specializes in early modern French literature and environmental criticism, and she has published pieces in the Forum for Modern Languages Studies and in volumes such as Global Garbage and French Ecocriticism. She is currently working on a monograph tentatively entitled The Anxiety of Waste: New World, Environment and Literature in Renaissance France.

Phillip John Usher

Phillip John Usher is Associate Professor of French Literature, Thought and Culture and of Comparative Literature at New York University, where he is also Chair of the Department of French Literature, Thought and Culture. He is the author, translator, or editor of nine volumes. His most recent monograph is Exterranean: Extraction in the Humanist Anthropocene (New York: Fordham University Press, 2019).