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The CaribbeanAesthetics, World-Ecology, Politics$
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Chris Campbell and Michael Niblett

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781781382950

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781382950.001.0001

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Critical Environments: World-Ecology, World Literature, and the Caribbean

Critical Environments: World-Ecology, World Literature, and the Caribbean

(p.1) Introduction Critical Environments: World-Ecology, World Literature, and the Caribbean
The Caribbean

Chris Campbell

Michael Niblett

Liverpool University Press

In this chapter, Chris Campbell and Michael Niblett offer an overview of the environmental history of the Caribbean, and of the trajectories of the fields of postcolonial studies and ecocriticism. Discussing new developments in environmental studies, the chapter argues for the significance of the world-ecology perspective, first formulated by environmental historian Jason W. Moore. This perspective, it is suggested, can be yoked to recent efforts by materialist literary critics to reconstruct the concept of world literature in terms of its relationship to global capitalism. The chapter argues for an understanding of world literature as the literature of the capitalist world-ecology; and proposes that Caribbean writing might be one particularly fruitful locus for thinking through the implications of the new kind of environmental criticism enabled by this perspective. The centrality of the Caribbean to the development of the capitalist world-system and the often rapid and catastrophic nature of the ecological transformations experienced by the region have made many authors from the archipelago peculiarly sensitive to the imbrication and mutual constitution of human and extra-human natures. The chapter includes brief analyses of work by James Grainger, Wilson Harris, and Mayra Montero in support of this claim.

Keywords:   Caribbean, world-ecology, world literature, environmentalism, postcolonial studies, imperialism, aesthetics

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