Reading poetry and prose, images and art, literary and critical theory, science and cultural studies, Close Reading the Anthropocene explores the question of meaning, its importance and immanent potential for loss, in the new geological epoch of the Anthropocene. Both close reading and scientific ecology prioritize slowing down and looking around to apprehend similarities and differences, to recognize and value interconnections. Here "close" suggests careful attention to both the reading subject and read "object." Moving between places, rocks, plants, animals, atmosphere, and eclipses, this interdisciplinary edited collection grounds the complex relations between text and world in the environmental humanities.

The volume’s wide-ranging chapters are critical, often polemical, engagements with the question of the Anthropocene and the changing conversation around reading, interpretation, and textuality. They exemplify a range of work from across the globe and will be of great interest to scholars and students of the environmental humanities, ecocriticism, and literary studies.

chapter |14 pages


The unbearable closeness of reading

chapter 1|15 pages

Inhabiting Words, Inhabiting Worlds

A case for pragmatist close reading

chapter 3|15 pages

Assembling the Archive

Close(ly) reading great auk extinction with Walton Ford

chapter 5|17 pages

Close Reading at the End of Time

chapter 7|14 pages

Key West in the Anthropocene

Stevens and Bishop close reading Florida

chapter 8|15 pages

The Tree as Archive

George Nakashima and the nuclear age

chapter 9|13 pages

Going Underground

In defense of deep reading

chapter 10|15 pages

Reading in the Dark

The aura of eclipse

chapter 11|16 pages

John Masefield’s “The Passing Strange”

Derangements of scale

chapter 12|15 pages

From Scale to Antagonism

Reading the human in Kurt Vonnegut’s Galápagos