Picture Ecology: Art and Ecocriticism in Planetary Perspective

Offering a broad reexamination of visual culture through the lenses of ecocriticism, environmental justice, and animal studies, PICTURE ECOLOGY: ART AND ECOCRITICISM IN PLANETARY PERSPECTIVE presents a diverse array of art historical criticism formulated within an ecological context. This timely compendium brings together contributors whose scholarship extends chronologically and geographically from 11th-century Chinese painting to contemporary photography of California wildfires, emphasizing the environmental dimensions inherent in the content and materials of aesthetic, sacred, and didactic images and objects. The book’s introduction and fifteen interdisciplinary essays provide a dynamic, cross-cultural approach to an increasingly vital area of study, advancing valuable new strategies for considering works of art in ways that are innovative, intellectually stimulating, and universally significant.

The essays in PICTURE ECOLOGY afford distinctive insight into current and previous environmental worldviews, contextualizing the problematic beliefs and practices that have informed the path to the present, while encouraging more just and sustainable ways forward. The contributions introduce a range of ecocritical issues, capturing some of the chronological, geographic, and methodological scope of the practice in art history and contemporary culture. Cohering them is a commitment to approaching environmental criticism in ethical terms—to exploring not only how an ecological perspective might help us newly understand visual culture, but why it matters in moral and practical ways that extend beyond the culturally and temporally specific focus of art’s makers and subjects.

With contributions by Alan C. Braddock, William & Mary, Maura Coughlin, Bryant University, Rachael Z. DeLue, Princeton University, T. J. Demos, University of California, Santa Cruz, Mónica Domínguez Torres, University of Delaware, Finis Dunaway, Trent University, Stephen F. Eisenman, Northwestern University

Emily Gephart, Tufts University, De-nin D. Lee, Emerson College, Gregory Levine, University of California, Berkeley, Anne McClintock, Princeton University, James Nisbet, University of California, Irvine, Andrew Patrizio, University of Edinburgh, Sugata Ray, University of California, Berkeley, Greg M. Thomas, University of Hong Kong

Karl Kusserow is the John Wilmerding Curator of American Art at the Princeton University Art Museum.

PICTURE ECOLOGY: Art and Ecocriticism in Planetary Perspective

Edited by Karl Kusserow

Hardcover | $45.00 | 9780691236018 | 304 pages | 9.5 x 10.5 | 150 color illus.

Publication date: October 19, 2021

For more information, please contact me at (609) 759-8136 or email jodi_price@press.princeton.edu. You may also contact Gabrielle Langholtz at (609) 258-3767, or email her at gml@princeton.edu.

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Media Contacts:

Princeton University Art Museum
Gabrielle Langholtz