Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Elemental Ecocriticism: We Have a Cover

by J J Cohen

Elemental Ecocriticism: Thinking with Earth, Air, Fire and Water will be published by the University of Minnesota Press this autumn. The collection brings together medievalists and early modernists with contemporary ecotheorists in the hopes of a temporally capacious conversation about materialism, ecology and history. The book attempts what Lowell Duckert and I call in its introduction "re-activism," returning to supposedly superseded or discarded models of knowing matter to see what possibilities they might still offer for a renewed relation to contemporary environmentality. You'll find an overview of the volume's contents here, in a blog post about the symposium Sharon O'Dair organized to launch the project (scroll down to the bottom of that one for one of my favorite pictures of Eileen Joy) ... and of course this project has its origins in the Ecomaterialism issue of postmedieval, which is FREE TO DOWNLOAD during March.

This morning I want to share with you the cover Elemental Ecocriticism, which (Lowell and I think) offers a perfect visual materialization of what the book attempts. Jeff Clark, the designer who created the award winning cover for Prismatic Ecology, composed the image by combining public domain NASA satellite photography, details from a Turner painting, outtakes from the design of Prismatic Ecology, and a print of some flame. The book will be out by the time the MLA conference takes place in Austin so we hope to celebrate its release there. 

Here's the ToC:

Introduction: “Principles of the Elements”
Anne Harris, “Pyromena: Fire’s Doing”
Steve Mentz, “Phlogiston”
Valerie Allen, “Airy Something”
Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, “The Sea Above”
Sharon O'Dair, “Muddy Thinking”
Chris Barrett, “The Quintessence of Wit”
Julian Yates, “Wet?”
Karl Steel, “Creeping Things: Matter’s Endless Generation”
Lowell Duckert, “Earth’s Prospects”
Love and Strife
  1. Timothy Morton, “Elementality”
  2. Cary Wolfe, “Elemental Relations at the Edge”
  3. Stacy Alaimo, “Elemental Love in the Anthropocene”
Coda: Serpil Oppermann and Serenella Iovino, “Wandering Elements and Natures to Come”


Stephanie Trigg said...

That's a beautiful cover. Congratulations! can't wait to read this.

Jeffrey Cohen said...

Thanks Stephanie! After the intellectual jolt of writing 'Fire" with you, this turn at elemental essay writing seemed lonely!