Uncovering New Ground for Nature Writing: Science and Ecological Awareness in the Writings of John Bartram

By Li-Ru Lu.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the tradition of nature writing, Henry David Thoreau is frequently considered to be the forerunner of American nature writing. In other words, most critics believe that the nature writings in America, generally speaking, were written since the mid-nineteenth century. Distinct from these critical views, this study inquires into the works of an eighteenth-century nature writer long before Thoreau: John Bartram. This study wishes to uncover new ground for American nature writing: by examining the narrative of science and the expression of ecological awareness in John Bartram’s writings of natural history, this essay shows that early in America’s Colonial Period nature writings had already existed and this study aims to open for the readers’ fuller appreciation of Bartram’s passion for and deep commitment to the scientific and proto-ecological understanding of the natural world.

Keywords: Science, Ecological Awareness, John Bartram

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 10, pp.11-22. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 780.663KB).

Li-Ru Lu

Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, National Sun Yat-sen University, Xin Dian District, Taiwan

Prof. Li Ru Lu comes from Taipei, Taiwan. Majoring in English and American Literatures, she obtained her doctorate degree in National Taiwan University, Taiwan. Her Research interests are early American literature, nature writings, and ecological criticism. Currently, she is full-time associate professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature in National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan. In the fields of research, she wrote a book entitled “Writing the Wilderness Environment: The Discourse of Wilderness Preservation in the Texts of American Environmental Writers” (published by Bookman Publishing Company in 2005) and plenty of journal papers, such as “The Earth Is the Common Home of All” (published by “The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability” in 2008), “Writing Natural History” (published by “National Central University Journal of Humanities” in 2008), “The Sustainability Issues in Thomas Nuttall’s Natural History Writings” (published by “The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability” in 2010), “Alexander Wilson’s Delineation of Early America’s Lovely Face of Nature” (published by “Humanitas Taiwanica” in 2010), “Thomas Jefferson’s Natural History Writings and the Construction of American National Culture” (published by “The Journal of Taipei Educational University” in 2010), and so forth.

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