Tag Archives: Environmental Justice

AN EXPLORATION OF THE HERMENEUTICAL PHASES OF ECOCRITICISM (Published)

The trajectory of ecocritical hermeneutics is calibrated into phases. The phases, labeled as “waves” is not a strict consecutive sequence of one wave after another. It is a stretch of overlapping phases in the disciplinary development of the field. The perceptions of the waves are premised on the changing dynamics of nature in relation to human activities. Works that constituted the zero wave showed ecocritical hermeneutics suspected to be literary before the word “Eco criticism” was coined in 1978. The first wave rooted in deep ecology enjoins nature preservation and protection. If advocated the static stability of nature and its dialectical relationship with man. It privileged the Universalist perception of nature and the focus on nature writing/non-fiction texts in the United States of America, which accounted for the narrowness of the phase. The perception of the environment beyond the “ natural” consequent upon technological development and urbanization, thus, broadening the re-theorising of nature to incorporate vestiges of nature in cities and texts not necessarily interested in the natural environment set forth the phase of second wave. The wave creates awareness of ecological despoilation and the disproportionate effect of environment pollution on certain races (environmental injustice); and the gendered view that it is nature as women and nature of women to be exploited and subdued (ecofeminism). In the third wave, ethnic and national literatures are considered in view of their particularities and broadening beyond their geopolitical boundaries to attain global spectrum as they explore the environmental underpinning of every facets of man’s endeavour. This paper posits that since the essence of the changing phases is to avert the apocalyptic direction of the world, scholars are to engage their literary sensitivity to locate their efforts appropriately in any of the waves of the field to engender sustained mutual constitutiveness of man and nature.

Keywords: Ecocriticism, Ecofeminism, Environmental Justice, Nature, Waves