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Author Feder, Helena M
Title Coming into culture: Ecocultural materialism and the Bildungsroman
book jacket
Descript 160 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 67-08, Section: A, page: 2975
Adviser: David Robertson
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of California, Davis, 2006
This project explores the possibility for a more immanent cultural criticism than currently practiced by literary scholars and cultural critics. The assumption that the human social world is the world solipsistically posits human existence as disembodied and disembedded (or transcendent); here "immanence" signifies both the recognition of the agency of nonhuman nature and the recognition of human embodiment and embeddedness in nature. The creation of an ecocultural materialism---a praxis that connects and develops the tendencies already present in ecocriticism and cultural materialism---seems a necessary step toward an immanent cultural criticism
As the story of the individual coming into culture, the genre of the Bildungsroman (literally, the narrative of culture) is also culture's origin story: the belief that culture's foundations are wholly outside of itself. Culture's outside, its Other, is Nature (capitalized, idealized, demonized). The Bildungsroman registers this Other as a recognition of the deep interconnectedness of the compartmentalized worlds of our biology and our culture, and the human fear of the subjectivity of nonhuman beings. An ecocultural materialist examination of representative Bildungsromans, Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire's Candide, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein , and Virginia Woolf's Orlando, reveals Western culture's own awareness of the dialectical relationship between human and nonhuman nature, demanding a more immanent cultural criticism. For dialectical critique to intervene meaningfully in our cultural moment, it must move beyond an idealized, static concept of nature and a solipsistic (solely anthropological) notion of culture to one that begins to consider human nature and cultures in the context of the other cultures in nature
School code: 0029
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 67-08A
Subject Literature, Comparative
Literature, Romance
Literature, English
Alt Author University of California, Davis
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