W. E. B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, and Richard Wright: Toward an Ecocriticism of Color

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dr. Scott Hicks, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site: http://www.uncp.edu/academics/library

Abstract: Scholars working in the field of ecocriticism in American literary studies have come to see that their most important task in the coming years is to take up and engage the cultural productions of peoples of color, especially African Americans. Such a transformation entails exploring and theorizing not just African American fictionaland nonfictional narratives, but also African American critical and theoretical works that undergird and explicate other forms of cultural production. Currently, the forebearers of ecocriticism—“the study of literature as if the environment mattered”(Mazel 1)—seem to be an unassailable who’s who of American nature writing: Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, John Muir, and Rachel Carson. To this pantheon I herewould like to add a couple unlikely characters—W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. For as Kathleen Wallace and Karla Armbruster rightly point out, it now behooves literary critics to “question . . . why so few African American voices are recognized as part of nature writing and ecocriticism” (2).

Additional Information

Callaloo, Volume 29, Number 1, Winter 2006, pp. 202-222
Language: English
Date: 2006
Treatment of nature, Land, Relationship to Ecocriticism, Wright, Richard (1908-1960), Washington, Booker T.(1856-1915), Up from Slavery (1901)

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