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Ecohorror ‘ISLE’ Special Cluster

2014 August 11
by Shared by Steve Rust

Advance access to a special cluster of essays to be published in the journal ISLE on the topic of ecohorror is now available online through the ISLE website.

In our introduction, SUNY-Brockport professor Carter Soles and I argue:

“As a literary and cinematic form, ecohorror has thus far been narrowly defined in popular discourse as those instances in texts when nature strikes back against humans as punishment for environmental disruption. Scholarship to this point has demonstrated that ecohorror motifs are most often found in “revenge of nature” narratives like Steven Spielberg’s iconic film Jaws (1975) but may also occur in less overtly ecocritical works. A more expansive definition of ecohorror, which we would like to elucidate via this special cluster of essays, includes analyses of texts in which humans do horrific things to the natural world, or in which horrific texts and tropes are used to promote ecological awareness, represent ecological crises, or blur human/non-human distinctions more broadly. Ecohorror, which assumes that environmental disruption is haunting humanity’s relationship to the non-human world, is present in a broad set of texts grappling with ecocritical matters, and therefore this concentrated study is necessary to sketch out the boundaries of this important new area of ecocritical study.”

Essays included in the cluster are as follows:

Introduction: Living in Fear, Living in Dread, Pretty Soon We’ll All Be Dead (Stephen Rust and Carter Soles)

Beyond Ecophilia: Edgar Allan Poe and the American Tradition of Ecohorror (Sara L. Crosby)

“And No Birds Sing”: Discourses of Environmental Apocalypse in The Birds and Night of the Living Dead (Carter Soles)

Monstrous Natures Within: Posthuman and New Materialist Ecohorror in Mira Grant’s Parasite (Christy Tidwell)

Comfortably Numb: Material Ecocriticism and the Postmodern Horror Film (Stephen Rust)

Horror Comics Ecology: Metonymy and Iconicity in Charles Burns’s Black Hole (Kom Kunyosying)

“Wheels within Wheels,” Ecology, and the Horrors of Mechanophobia (Andrew Hageman)





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