“Environmental Knowledge, Race, and African American Literature“ (Palgrave, 2023)

„Environmental Knowledge, Race, and African American Literature“ (Palgrave, 2023) - Matthias Klestil

About this book

This open access book suggests new ways of reading nineteenth-century African American literature environmentally. Combining insights from ecocriticism, African American studies, and Foucauldian theory, Matthias Klestil examines forms of environmental knowledge in African American writing ranging from antebellum slave narratives and pamphlets to Charlotte Forten’s journals, Booker T. Washington’s autobiographies, and Charles W. Chesnutt’s short fiction. The volume highlights how literary forms of environmental knowledge in the African American tradition were shaped by the histories of slavery and race, mainstream environmental writing traditions, and African American forms of expression and intertextuality. Turning to the Underground Railroad, debates over education and home-building, and the aesthetics of the pastoral and the georgic, Environmental Knowledge, Race, and African American Literature provides an original perspective on the African American ecoliterary tradition that uncovers new facets of canonical and understudied texts and offers new directions for ecocriticism and African American studies.

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

Topics North American Literature, Nineteenth-Century Literature, Ecocriticism, African American Culture, Environmental History, Race and Ethnicity Studies


“Environmental Knowledge, Race, and African American Literature“ (Palgrave, 2023)



Ecozon@ is a journal devoted to the relatively new field of literary and cultural criticism called ecocriticism. Ecocriticism can be broadly defined as the study of the representations of nature in cultural texts, and of the relationship between humans with other earth beings and their environment as seen in cultural manifestations. 


Arcadiana is a blog about the environment in literature and culture. It is hosted by postgraduate members of the European Association for Literature, Culture and the Environment (EASLCE).