Heather Houser’s first book, the third title in Columbia University’s Literature Now series focusing on “contemporary literature and the way we understand its meaning,” exists at the intersection of environmental humanities and the affective turn in cultural studies. Ecosickness in Contemporary US Fiction draws on materialist, postmodern, and posthuman theories to define a new category in millennial American fiction, a category that explores affective relationships at the intersection of what Houser identifies throughout the book as “earth and soma.” In her introduction, Houser convincingly situates “ecosickness fiction” in both a historical and an aesthetic context, citing a series of twentieth-century developments related to an increasing “interdependence” between the terms of this earth/soma paradigm. Among the historical developments Houser cites are the proliferation of environmental legislation (the Clean Air, Wilderness, and Clean Water acts), cultural/scientific milestones (the moon landing), and economic/industrial modernization (biomedicalization). These significant changes, she argues, have reshaped our...
Skip Nav Destination
Review Article| June 01 2015
Ecosickness in Contemporary US Fiction: Environment and Affect by Heather Houser
Ecosickness in Contemporary US Fiction: Environment and Affect, by Houser, Heather,
Columbia University Press,
2014. 328 pages.
Twentieth-Century Literature (2015) 61 (2): 280–286.
Thomas Cook; Ecosickness in Contemporary US Fiction: Environment and Affect by Heather Houser. Twentieth-Century Literature 1 June 2015; 61 (2): 280–286. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0041462X-3112312
Download citation file: