A chief innovation of Explorations in Ecocriticism is to push ecological criticism beyond its focus on literary studies to engage with other arts and culture.
One chapter closely examines the pictures commissioned by the U.S.
Bureau of Reclamation to valorize its big dam projects.
Previously, no one has written about the large art collection that toured the nation under the auspices of the Smithsonian in the early 1970s, when the Bureau of Reclamation was under fire and new environmental regulations were becoming law.
Another chapter, "An Iconography of Sabotage," previously published in France as part of a Paris symposium, looks at the pictorial dimension of saboteurs throughout American history, with a special emphasis on the IWW and Earth First!
The book draws extensively on the social sciences. Ecology and environment are treated too often as technical topics that go over the heads of lay readers.
Many Americans care about air and water quality, the extinction of species, and the unfortunate politicization of science.
But they also find the discourse daunting, the details exceedingly complex.
By leavening such heavy subjects with current events, Explorations in Ecocriticism makes environmental issues accessible to lay readers and offers routes to sustainability in the United States today.