chapter  11
Literature Across Scales
ByHsuan L. Hsu
Pages 10

This chapter provides an overview of how cultural geographers and literary critics theorize interactions between different scales. It demonstrates how scale – despite its provisional and constructed nature – offers some measure of epistemological and social stability amid racial capitalism's shifting waves of "creative destruction". The tension between cosmopolitan connectedness and diverse modes of structural and spatial violence can best be understood by turning to scholarship on the intersections between race and geography. Since the twentieth century, American environmentalism's longstanding emphasis on a local "ethics of proximity" has been challenged by a growing sense of the planetary scale of anthropogenic effects upon the environment. The relation between scale and the politics of representation is at the heart of Rob Nixon's concerns as he considers how environmental "slow violence" is camouflaged by its dispersal across vast spaces and time spans. Critics have developed diverse frameworks for studying how literary form reflects and in many cases produces connections that exceed the nation.