This page provides a list of publications and websites in the field of empirical ecocriticism as well as information on journals and book series that are open to submissions and on relevant calls for papers.
This is a list of empirical ecocritical publications which combine ecocritical textual analysis with empirical research:
- Fetherston, Rachel, Emily Potter, Kelly Miller, and Devin Bowles. 2023. “Seeking Greener Pages: An Analysis of Reader Response to Australian Eco-Crime Fiction.” Australian Humanities Review 71 (May 2023).
- Fücker, Sonja, and Uwe Schimank. 2017. “Fiktionale Fakten: Wissenschaftskommunikation im Spiegel literarischer Rezeptionsprozesse.” In Knowledge in Action: Neue Formen der Kommunikation in der Wissensgesellschaft, edited by Eric Lettkemann, René Wilke, and Hubert Knoblauch, 49-72. Springer VS, 2018. (In German.)
- Iossifidis, Miranda Jeanne Marie. 2020. “Reading Parable of the Sower Online in a Pandemic: Collectively Imagining Different Futures with Octavia E. Butler’s Speculative Fiction.” Literary Geographies 6 (2) : 156-164.
- Iossifidis, Miranda Jeanne Marie, Lisa Garforth. 2021. “Reimagining climate futures: Reading Annihilation.” Geoforum 10.1016.
- Hiltunen, Kaisa and Minna Rainio. 2023. “Reflections of Hope and Anxiety in Audience Responses to Three Environmental Films.” Participations 19 (2): 45-75.
- Ivakhiv, Adrian. “What Can a Film Do? Assessing Avatar’s Global Affects.” In: Alexa Weik von Mossner, ed., Moving Environments: Affect, Emotion, Ecology, and Film. Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2014.
- Keller, A., Sommer, L., Klöckner, C. A., and Hanss, D. 2020. “Contextualizing Information Enhances the Experience of Environmental Art.” Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts 14(3), 264–275.
- Małecki, W.P., Alexa Weik von Mossner, Piotr Sorokowski, and Tomasz Frackowiak. 2021. “Extinction Stories Matter: The Impact of Narrative Representations of Endangered Species Across Media.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, 10.1093.
- Małecki, W.P., Alexa Weik von Mossner, and Małgorzata Dobrowolska. 2020. “Narrating Human and Animal Oppression: Strategic Empathy and Intersectionalism in Alice Walker’s ‘Am I Blue?’” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 27 (2): 365–384.
- Małecki, Wojciech, Bogusław Pawłowski, Piotr Sorokowski, and Anna Oleszkiewicz. 2019. “Feeling for Textual Animals: Narrative Empathy Across Species Lines.” Poetics 74 (June): 101334.
- Małecki, Wojciech, Piotr Sorokowski, Bogusław Pawłowski, and Marcin Cieński. 2019. Human Minds and Animal Stories: How Narratives Make Us Care About Other Species. New York and London: Routledge.
- Małecki, Wojciech, Bogusław Pawłowski, Marcin Cieński, and Piotr Sorokowski. 2018. “Can Fiction Make Us Kinder to Other Species? The Impact of Fiction on pro-Animal Attitudes and Behavior.” Poetics 66 (February): 54–63.
- Małecki, Wojciech, Bogusław Pawłowski, and Piotr Sorokowski. 2016. “Literary Fiction Influences Attitudes toward Animal Welfare.” PLoS ONE 11(12): e0168695.
- Monani, Salma, Sarah Principato, Dori Gorczyca, Elizabeth Cooper. 2017. “Loving Glacier National Park Online: Climate Change Communication and Virtual Place Attachment.” In The Handbook of Climate Change Communication, Vol 3, edited by Walter Leal Filho, Evangelos Manolas, Anabela Marisa Azul, Ulisses M. Azeiteiro, and Henry McGhie, 63-83. Springer.
- Morita, Keitaro. 2012. “Nature writing cultivates ecological identity: A case study of an environmental NGO in Japan.” Literature and Environment, 15, 17-27.
- Myren-Svelstad, Per Esben. 2023. “Exploring Poetry in Dialogue: Learning as Sustainable Development in the Literary Classroom.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment.
- Sabherwal, Anandita and Shreedhar, Ganga. 2021. “Stories of intentional action mobilise support for climate policy and action intentions.” Scientific Reports. ISSN 2045-2322
- Sommer, L. K., and Klöckner, C. A. 2021. “Does Activist Art Have the Capacity to Raise Awareness in Audiences?—A Study on Climate Change Art at the ArtCOP21 Event in Paris.” Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts 15(1), 60–75.
- Schneider-Mayerson, Matthew. 2018. “The Influence of Climate Fiction: An Empirical Survey of Readers.” Environmental Humanities 10 (2).
- Schneider-Mayerson, Matthew. 2020. “‘Just as in the Book’? The Influence of Literature on Readers’ Awareness of Climate Injustice and Perception of Climate Migrants.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 27 (2): 337–364.
- Schneider-Mayerson, Matthew, Abel Gustafson, Anthony Leiserowitz, Matthew H. Goldberg, Seth A. Rosenthal, and Matthew Ballew. 2020. “Environmental Literature as Persuasion: An Experimental Test of the Effects of Reading Climate Fiction.” Environmental Communication 10.1080/17524032.2020.1814377.
- Kabbinahithilu Venkataramana, Padmanabha, and Sathish Kumar. “Effectiveness of folk theatre in conveying environmental consciousness: a case study of Yakshagana.” Media Asia (2021): 1-19.
Interested scholars might also consult the following ecocritical works that draw on empirical research to address similar questions about the influence of environmental narrative:
- Bulfin, Ailise. 2017. “Popular Culture and the “New Human Condition”: Catastrophe Narrative and Climate Change.” Global and Planetary Change 156: 140–146.
- Morita, Keitaro. 2018. “Ecomedia Nurture Japanese Ecological Identity.” Routledge Handbook of Ecocriticism and Environmental Communication, edited by Scott Slovic, Swarnalatha Rangarajan, and Vidya Sarveswaran. London: Routledge. 351-362.
- Schneider-Mayerson, Matthew. 2013. “Disaster Movies and the ‘Peak Oil’ Movement: Does Popular Culture Encourage Eco-Apocalyptic Beliefs in the U.S.?” Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature & Culture 7.3: 289-314.
- Schneider-Mayerson, Matthew. 2015. Peak Oil: Apocalyptic Environmentalism and Libertarian Political Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Chapter 4.
- Schneider-Mayerson, Matthew, Alexa Weik von Mossner, and W.P. Małecki. 2020. “Empirical Ecocriticism: Environmental Texts and Empirical Methods.” Introduction to a thematic cluster of articles on “Empirical Ecocriticism,” guest-edited by Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, Alexa Weik von Mossner and Wojciech Małecki. ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 27.2: 327–336.
- Slovic, Scott and Paul Slovic, eds. 2015. Numbers and Nerves: Information, Emotion, and Meaning in a World of Data. Eugene: Oregon State University Press.
- Weik von Mossner, Alexa. 2017. Affective Ecologies: Empathy, Emotion, and Environmental Narrative. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.
- Weik von Mossner, Alexa. 2017. “Touching the Senses: Environments and Technologies at the Movies.” Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities. Jon Christensen, Ursula K. Heise, and Michelle Niemann, 337-345. New York: Routledge.
These social science studies might also be helpful to ecocritics who are interested in the influence of environmental narratives:
- Appel, M., & Mara, M. 2013. “The persuasive influence of a fictional character’s trustworthiness.” Journal of Communication, 63(5), 912-932.
- Babb, Yeyoung May, Janine McBurnie & Kelly K. Miller. 2018. “Tracking the Environment in Australian Children’s Literature: The Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Awards 1955-2014.” Environmental Education Research 24 (5).
- Baden, Denise. “Solution-Focused Stories Are More Effective Than Catastrophic Stories in Motivating Proenvironmental Intentions.” Ecopsychology 11 (4).
- Bieniek-Tobasco, Ashley, Sabrina McCormick, Rajiv N. Rimal, Cherise B. Harrington, Madelyn Shafer, and Hina Shaik. 2019. “Communicating climate change through documentary film: imagery, emotion, and efficacy.” Climatic Change 154 (1-2): 1-18.
- Bilandzic, Helena & Freya Sukalla. 2019. “The Role of Fictional Film Exposure and Narrative Engagement for Personal Norms, Guilt and Intentions to Protect the Climate.” Environmental Communication, 1-18. DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2019.1575259
- Brittany A. Bondi, Salma B. Monani, Sarah Principato and Christopher Barlett. 2020. “Examining the Impact of Climate Change Film as an Educational Tool.” Applied Environmental Education and Communication. Advance publishd online. https://doi.org/10.1080/1533015X.2020.1780997
- Clayton, Susan and Susan Opotow, eds. 2003. Identity and the Natural Environment: The Psychological Significance of Nature. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Cooper, K. E., & Nisbet, E. C. 2016. “Green narratives: How affective responses to media messages influence risk perceptions and policy preferences about environmental hazards.” Science Communication, 38(5), 626-654.
- Curtis, D. J., Reid, N., & Reeve, I. 2014. “Towards ecological sustainability: observations on the depiction of environment through art.” SAPIENS (7.1).
- Ebersbach, M., & Brandenburger, I. 2020. “Reading a short story changes children’s sustainable behavior in a resource dilemma.” Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 191: 104743.
- Enschot, Renske van, Karin Fikkers, Judith Prins, and Christian Roth. 2023. “Changing Your Future? An Experimental Study on the Persuasive Effects of an Interactive Climate Change Documentary.” Proceedings of the 2023 ACM Conference on Information Technology for Social Good.
- Griffin, Lauren N. “Audience Reactions to Climate Change and Science in Disaster Cli-fi Films: A Qualitative Analysis.” The Journal of Public Interest Communications 1, no. 2 (2017): 133-133.
- Howell, Rachel A. 2011. “Lights, Camera. Action? Altered Attitudes and Behaviour in Response to the Climate Change film The Age of Stupid.” Global Environmental Change 21 (1): 177–87.
- Hofman, Karen and Karen Hughes. 2018. “Protecting the great barrier reef: Analysing the impact of a conservation documentary and post-viewing strategies on long-term conservation behaviour.” Environmental Education Research, 24(4), 521–536.
- Howell, Rachel A. 2014. “Investigating the Long-Term Impacts of Climate Change Communications on Individuals’ Attitudes and Behavior.” Environment and Behavior 46 (1): 70–101.
- Janpol, Henry and Rachel Dilts. 2016. “Does Viewing Documentary Films Affect Environmental Perceptions and Behaviors?” Applied Enviornmental Education & Communication 15: 90-98.
- Leiserowitz, Anthony A. 2004. “Before and after The Day After Tomorrow: A U.S. Study of Climate Risk Perception.” Environment 46 (9): 23–37. 5.
- Marks, M., Chandler, L., & Baldwin, C. (2016). “Re-imagining the environment: using an environmental art festival to encourage pro-environmental behaviour and a sense of place.” Local Environment, 21 (3): 310-329.
- Meyer, Kris De, Emily Coren, Mark McCaffrey, and Cheryl Slean, “Transforming the stories we tell about climate change: from ‘issue’ to ‘action.’” Environmental Research Letters 16, no. 1 (2020): 015002.
- Nisbet, Matthew C, ed. 2018. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Climate Change Communication. 3 Volumes. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Onyekuru, Blessing Ogonnaya, Anthony NwaJesus Onyekuru, Eberechukwu Johnpaul Ihemezie, Uchechi Mercy Nwokorie, and Michael Ukonu. 2021. “Effectiveness of the Use of Movies in Climate Change Communication: Empirical Evidence from York, United Kingdom.” Quarterly Review of Film and Video 38 (5): 414-431.
- Petterson, Aino, Gregory Currie, Stacie Friend, and Heather J. Ferguson. “The effect of narratives on attitudes toward animal welfare and pro-social behaviour on behalf of animals: three pre-registered experiments.” Poetics (2022): 101709.
- Roburn, Shirley. 2017. “Beyond Film Impact Assessment: Being Caribou Community Screenings as Activist Training Grounds.” International Journal of Communication 11: 2520-20539.
- To learn more about the empirical study of literary texts, check out the website of the International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature (IGEL). Empirical Ecocriticism is now listed as an Emerging Research Coalition on the IGEL website.
- The Arithmetic of Compassion website provides a forum for exploring and explaining the convergence between cognitive psychology (especially research pertaining to empathy/compassion) and the environmental humanities, with the added dimension of linking academic ideas to contemporary challenges in the world.
JOURNALS AND SERIES
- Anthrozoös: A multidisciplinary journal of the interactions of people and animals
- Environmental Communication
- Environmental Humanities
- The Goose
- ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment
- Scientific Study of Literature
- Narrative Inquiry
- PLoS ONE
- Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, Media and the Arts
- Poetics Today
- Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
The following book series are open to submissions in the field of empirical ecocriticism:
- Environmental Cultures, edited by Greg Garrard and Richard Kerridge (Bloomsbury)
- Literatures, Cultures and Environment, edited by Ursula Heise (Palgrave Macmillan)
- Routledge Studies in World Literatures and the Environment, edited by Matthew Wynn Sivils, Scott Slovic, and Swarnalatha Rangarajan (Routledge)
CALLS FOR PAPERS
Not only poetry, but also works of fiction include pieces of writing that are prone to provide both emotional and cognitive pleasure because they are made of “language at its most distilled and most powerful” (Rita Dove).
There is a growing consensus across disciplines that narratives are of central importance to our relationships with other humans and nonhumans as well as the broader environment. However, until recently ecocritics have largely relied upon speculation to assess the critical question of the influence of environmental narratives on their audiences.