On August 1, the University of Minnesota Press released Empirical Ecocriticism: Environmental Narratives for Social Change, a foundational volume for empirical ecocriticism. It is edited by Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, Alexa Weik von Mossner, W.P. Malecki and Frank Hakemulder.
The book is part manifesto, part toolkit, part proof of concept and part dialogue, containing chapters on the value and potential of empirical ecocriticism, methodologies, case studies—ranging from the impact of climate fiction on readers’ willingness to engage in activism to the political empowerment that results from participating in environmental theater—and reflections on empirical ecocriticism from senior scholars in both the environmental humanities and environmental social sciences. The contributors include humanists such as Ursula Heise, Greg Garrard, Mark Pedelty, Scott Slovic, Sara Warner and Alexa Weik von Mossner, social scientists such as Anthony Leiserowitz, Helena Bilandzic, Rebecca Dirksen, Abel Gustafson, David I. Hanauer, Jeremy Jimenez, David M. Markowitz, Jessica Gall Myrick, Mary Beth Oliver, Paul Slovic and Paul Sopcak, and empirical ecocritics Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, W.P. Malecki and Nicolai Skiveren.
Empirical Ecocriticism will be of interest to ecocritics, environmental humanists, environmental communication researchers, researchers in the empirical study of literature and media, as well as authors, filmmakers, journalists, and anyone else who is interested in effective and justice-oriented storytelling at a time of climate and nature crisis. It might also benefit researchers who are interested in the relationship between storytelling, popular culture, art, and social change more generally. Above all, we hope it stimulates a productive discussion about how scholars of narrative and media can contribute to the socio-environmental transition that is underway and help address the historic injustices that are already evident.
The introduction is available as a PDF on the book’s University of Minnesota Press website and the book can be ordered from the University of Minnesota Press and all major booksellers. If you’re interested in reviewing the book, please contact the University of Minnesota Press for a review copy.