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EMPIRICAL ECOCRITICISM is a branch of ecocriticism that focuses on the empirically-grounded study of environmental narrative – in literature, film, television, etc. – and its influence on various audiences. The main objective of empirical ecocriticism is to empirically examine common claims made within ecocriticism, and the environmental humanities more generally, and to generate new questions, theories, and areas of study. Read More.


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Empirical Ecocriticism Workshop in Utrecht: The magic that happens when people get together and talk

On June 10th 2022, Karin Fikkers and Frank Hakemulder organized a networking workshop on empirical ecocriticism at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Their goal for the networkshop was to stimulate work in empirical ecocriticism by bringing together a select group of international researchers…

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On the Recent Emergence of Graduate Work in Empirical Ecocriticism

The field of empirical ecocriticism is gaining traction in graduate programs across the environmental humanities. Recently, two master’s theses have responded to the call to bridge the gap between ecocriticism and the social sciences, presenting new and insightful studies into the impact of climate fiction, both in literature and in film. Crisis, disaster, and dystopia…

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Does Climate Fiction Make a Difference?

Literary Hub has published a new article by Matthew Schneider-Mayerson that considers the potential of climate fiction to both reflect and shape our realities on a rapidly changing planet Entitled “Does Climate Fiction Make A Difference?,” the article argues that climate fiction does in fact have an influence on readers’ understanding of climate change, offering…

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Article on the Impact of Narrating Endangered Species Across Media

The journal ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment has published an article entitled “Extinction Stories Matter: The Impact of Narrative Representations of Endangered Species Across Media” by W P Malecki, Alexa Weik von Mossner, Piotr Sorokowski, and Tomasz Frackowiak. The article presents the results of a pioneering experimental study into how extinction stories impact…

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Blog Post on Synergy between the Environmental Humanities and Social Sciences

Seeing the Woods, the blog of The Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, published a post, “Why Ecocriticism Needs the Social Sciences (and Vice Versa).” Written by Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, Alexa Weik von Mossner, W.P. Małecki, and Frank Hakemulder, it argues that more collaboration and synergy between the environmental humanities and social sciences can lead to a better understanding of how compelling narratives are, how they work, and how they affect actual audiences.

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Article on the First Experimental Test of the Effects of Reading Climate Fiction

In September, the journal Environmental Communication published “Environmental Literature as Persuasion: An Experimental Test of the Effects of Reading Climate Fiction.” Written by Matthew Schneider-Mayerson (Yale-NUS College), Abel Gustafson (University of Cincinnati), Anthony Leiserowitz (Yale University), Matthew H. Goldberg (Yale University), Seth A. Rosenthal (Yale University) and Matthew Ballew (Chapman University), the article reports on…

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Cluster of Empirical Ecocriticism Published in ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment

In the Spring 2020 issue of ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, Alexa Weik von Mossner, and W.P. Małecki edited a thematic cluster of articles dedicated to introducing empirical ecocriticism. The introduction to the cluster, “Empirical Ecocriticism: Environmental Texts and Empirical Methods,” was co-authored by Schneider-Mayerson, Weik von Mossner, and Małecki. It…

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Empirical Ecocriticism Featured in Annual Review of Scholarship in Cultural Theory

The journal This Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory, published once a year by Oxford University Press, reports on the some of the most important publications and developments in literary and cultural criticism. In the recently-published 2018 version, the article covering developments in ecocriticism, written by John Charles Ryan, describes the “germination” of empirical…

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