Gastro-Modernism: Food, Literature, Culture

  • Edited Volume
  • Clemson University Press / Liverpool University Press (forthcoming 2018)
  • Contributors: Tomoko Aoyama, Clint Burnham, Gregory Castle, Peter Childs, Edwige Crucifix, Michel Delville, Jeremy Diaper, Derek Gladwin, Vivian Halloran, Lee Jenkins, Gregory Mackie, Andrew Norris, Helen Southworth, and Kelly Sullivan.

This volume of critical essays provides a long overdue survey of food culture and politics represented in global literary modernisms. The links among what we eat, the production and representation of food, and the resulting global impacts in culture and society are increasing contemporary issues largely dating back to the early twentieth century. Gastronomy signals many social, cultural, and ecological concerns that emerge in the modernist period because of an enlarging social food culture, with expanding food systems in factories and abattoirs to accommodate such growth. At the same time, food supplies were rationed due to wars and economic depression. The response of modernist writers, playwrights, and poets to modernity and urbanization occurs not only through formalistic literary techniques, but also in the overt themes and settings related to food culture. Modernists famously explored public and domestic spaces where food and drink are prepared and served, such as cafés, restaurants, nightclubs, pubs, brasseries, kitchens, or dining rooms. Gastro-Modernism ultimately shows how global literary modernisms engage with the food culture known as gastronomy to express anxieties about modernity as much as to celebrate the excesses modern lifestyles produce.

Ecological Exile: Spatial Injustice & Environmental Humanities

Ecological Exile explores how contemporary literature, film, and media culture confront ecological crises through perspectives of spatial justice – a facet of social justice that looks at unjust circumstances as a phenomenon of space. Maintaining that ecological crises are largely socially produced, Derek Gladwin considers how British and Irish literary and visual texts by Ian McEwan, Sarah Gavron, Eavan Boland, John McGrath, and China Miéville, among others, respond to and confront various spatial injustices resulting from fossil fuel production and the effects of climate change. This ambitious book offers a new spatial perspective in the environmental humanities by focusing on what the philosopher Glenn Albrecht has termed solastalgia, or a feeling of homesickness caused by environmental damage. The result of solastalgia is that people feel paradoxically ecologically exiled in the places they continue to live because of destructive environmental changes. By looking at two of the most pressing social and environmental concerns – oil and climate – Ecological Exile shows how literary and visual texts have documented spatially unjust effects of solastalgia.


Contentious Terrains: Boglands, Ireland, Postcolonial Gothic

This book provides a political and geographical history of how boglands (or peat ‘bogs’) are represented in modern and contemporary Irish literature and culture from the 1880s to the present. Bogs are more than ubiquitous landforms in Ireland. They function as a kind of narrative that reveals some of the potentially unanswered questions in an Irish literary geo-history, particularly leading up to and during the Land Wars of the 1880s, Irish War of Independence (1919-1921), ‘Troubles’ (1960s and 1970s), Celtic Tiger (1990s and 2000s), and into the current environmental crisis. The overlap of the ‘postcolonial’ and the ‘Gothic’ – across ecological, spatial, social, and gender approaches – serves as an effective way to address some historical layers and apparent contradictions in literary representations of bogs in Ireland. Drawing on a range of Irish writers, including Bram Stoker, Frank O’Connor, Sean O’Faolain, Daniel Corkery, Seamus Heaney, Marina Carr, Deirdre Kinahan, Patrick McCabe, and Tim Robinson, Contentious Terrains ultimately argues that the destabilising and haunting capacities of the bog provide a space to explore historically fraught colonial tensions and social struggles through the Gothic form. It employs a cross-disciplinary scope, examining an assortment of Irish writers in the literary genres of fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction, thus testifying to the pervasiveness and range of the bog’s allure in Irish culture.

* Finalist for the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE) 2016 Book Award

* Finalist for the International Gothic Association Allan Lloyd Smith Memorial 2016 Book Award

“In Contentious Terrains, Derek Gladwin attempts to track this shifting and changing landscape of the bog as it appears through Irish literature of the 20th and early 21st centuries. It’s an ambitious study that covers questions of nationhood, colonialism, gender, ecology and more. … It is temporally, ecologically and socially varied. As Gladwin ably demonstrates, the bog insists on the complexity of the past, and its vital, ghostly presence in the present.” [Link]

— Ian Maleney, The Irish Times

“The geographical imaginations of the boglands are rich and disturbing and the postcolonial gothic is, as Gladwin so brilliantly shows, an inventive way to access the power of such myths. Geographers have much to learn from this book and it would be great were it taken as a model by other scholars to produce works that help us to see how other regions and places have proven useful to think with.”

— Gerry Kearns, Irish Geography


Unfolding Irish Landscapes: Tim Robinson, Culture and Environment

  • Co-edited volume with Christine Cusick (Seton Hill University, USA)
  • Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016
  • 254 pages; Hardback & Paperback
  • Contributors: Robert Macfarlane, Patrick Duffy, John Elder, Nessa Cronin, Derek Gladwin, Christine Cusick, Kelly Sullivan, Moya Cannon, Karen Babine, Eamon Wall, Jerry White, Gerry Smyth, Catherine Marshall, Moynagh Sullivan, Eóin Flannery, and Andrew McNeillie

A volume of critical and creative essays and visual texts from leading international scholars, Unfolding Irish Landscapes presents cross-disciplinary studies of the prose, cartography, visual art and cultural legacy of the award-winning work of cartographer and writer Tim Robinson. This book explores the process in which Robinson has addressed the historical and geographical tensions that suffuse the western landscapes of Ireland. Robinson’s distinctive methods of map-making and topographical writing capture the geographical and cultural consciousness of not only Ireland, but also of the entire North Atlantic archipelago. Through both topographic prose and cartography Robinson undertakes one of the greatest explorations of the Irish landscape by a single person in recent history, paralleling, if not surpassing, Robert Lloyd Praeger’s extensive catalogue of writings and natural histories of western Ireland.

Here is a link to Professor Gerry Kearns’ talk titled “Geographical Poetics 3: Triangulating with Tim Robinson,” which is part of his blog, The Geographical Turn. The talk was originally given as an introduction at the Unfolding Irish Landscapes book launch on 12 April 2016. The launch was generously hosted by the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

“Part of the importance of this considerable book is its fitful but very significant contribution to Anglo-American (and Irish) eco-criticism.” [Link]

— John Wilson Foster, The Dublin Review of Books

Unfolding Irish Landscapes, in its dedication to the actualities of landscape and character, enacts Robinson’s own ethos of bringing one’s muddy boots into the academy. Throughout the volume, Tim Robinson is presented as a real person, and we come to know him just as we come to know the landscape of the Irish west.”

— Leila Crawford, Irish Studies Review

Unfolding Irish Landscapes: Tim Robinson, Culture and Environment is a tremendous success of a book..”

— Jos Smith, Irish Geography

Eco-Joyce: The Environmental Imagination of James Joyce

  • Co-edited volume with Robert Brazeau (University of Alberta)
  • Cork, IRL: Cork University Press, 2014
  • 329 pages; Hardback
  • Contributors: Anne Fogarty, Fiona Becket, Cheryl Temple Herr, Bonnie Kime Scott, Erin Walsh, Yi-Peng Lai, Margot Norris, Brandon Kershner, Greg Winston, Christine Cusick, Derek Gladwin, Eugene O’Brien, Robert Brazeau, James Fairhall,  and Garry Leonard

This collection introduces and examines the overarching ecological consciousness evinced in the writings of James Joyce. Reading Joyce with a keen attention to the manner in which the natural and built environment functions as context, horizon, threat, or site of liberation in Joyce’s writing offers an engaging and fruitful way into the dense, demanding, and usually encyclopedic formation of knowledge that comprises Joyce’s literary legacy. Scholars working within Irish studies draw on a wide variety of critical outlooks, including cultural studies, post-colonial studies, transnational studies, gender studies and, of course, modernist studies; this book will help that community become better acquainted with how ecocriticism elucidates the work of Irish writers, and will encourage further research in this direction.

 “Together, the essays of Eco-Joyce energize an emerging Irish ecocriticism, providing a template for future work in this field and aptly illustrating both the relevance and range of an environmentally minded approach.”

— Dathalinn M O’Dea, Irish Literary Supplement

“Taken as a whole, the fourteen essays in Brazeau and Gladwin’s Eco-Joyce offer an important foray into limning that ecopoesis—a undertaking which has crucial implications not only for Joyce criticism and modernist studies, but for the enterprise of understanding imaginative literature’s role in our environmental future.” [Link]

— William Kupinse, Breac: a Digital Journal of Irish Studies

“The key to Eco-Joyce as ecocriticism is this elision; it teases out the interconnectedness of human and nonhuman in order to establish an all-inclusive ecology of cultural practice and physical geography … If past patterns of Joycean criticism are any indication, Eco-Joyce is the initial foray of a critical movement that will saturate Joycean scholarship in the years to come.”

— Rob Ware, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment (ISLE)


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