Waymarking Italy’s Influence on the American Environmental Imagination While on Pilgrimage to Assisi
Undertaking a peripatetic pilgrimage that is equal parts a daily description of a 200-kilometre walk from the wounded mountain of La Verna to the tortured river in Assisi, and an examination of the debt owed to Italy in terms of ecocultural and environmental scholarship, this book provides an innovative addition to the nascent field of ecocritical narrative scholarship. Through a process that has been referred to as “deep-travel“ or “mind-walking,” the text fulsomely reviews how time spent in Italy influenced the writings of notable North American environmental historians, geographers, scientists, nature writers, landscape architects, and restoration theorists about the conception and manipulation of the natural world. This literary field study highlights how the phenomenological co-traversing of texts and trails can be a valued methodology for undertaking environmental criticism.
Robert Lawrence France is a leading authority on ecological science and the management, design, and history of cultural landscapes. He has taught at the universities of Harvard, Ca’Foscari Venice, and McGill, Canada, and is presently a Professor at Dalhousie University, Canada. He has published several hundred journal articles and 20 books, including the Along the Way: Pilgrimage Scenes from the Camino Francés to Santiago de Compostela; High Arctic Extreme Science: Environmental Research from the Trans-Ellesmere Island Ski Expedition; and Ultreia! Onward! Progress of the Pilgrim. He is also the author of Veniceland Atlantis: The Bleak Future of the World’s Favorite City; Handbook of Regenerative Landscape Design; Wetlands of Mass Destruction: Ancient Presage for Contemporary Ecocide in Southern Iraq; Deep Immersion: The Experience of Water; and Profitably Soaked: Thoreau's Engagement with Water.
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