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New textbook: Ecolinguistics: Language, ecology and the stories we live by.


Students on the module Language, Ecology and Society are the first to use the new textbook Ecolinguistics: language,ecology and the stories we live by which was published earlier this year by Routledge. The book was written by Arran Stibbe, a Reader in Ecological Linguistics, who teaches the module with Michelle Straw. The following are some reviews of the book:

  • “Cogently written and compellingly argued, Ecolinguistics presents important new research that reveals the deep-seated ways we treat one another and the natural world. Using wide-ranging analytical concepts and textual examples, it challenges us to think responsibly about our interconnectedness with the environment and make a difference.” Michelle Lazar, National University of Singapore
  • “This book gives a unified overview of this important new field in an inspiring way. Comprehensive, lucid, and eloquently written, it has the potential to become the classic work of ecolinguistics.” Guy Cook, King’s College London, UK
  • Intellectual lucidity, heartfelt earnestness, and practicality are all too rare in academic texts. Aran Stibbe’s book is the marvelous exception. Stibbe presents a cogent, useable conceptual framework for critical analysis of what he calls “stories we live by,” “that are not, however, stories in the usual sense,” writes Stibbe, but narratives that “exist between and behind the lines of the texts that surround us” in news reports, advertisements, and the presumption in economics that endless growth is a physical possibility and nature separate from humans and “a mere stock of resources to be exploited.” These are all “stories we live by” but cannot survive by. Rooted in the cognitive science of Lakoff and Johnson, Stibbe takes the reader through 8 types of stories we live by: Ideologies, Frames, Metaphors, Evaluations, Identities, Convictions, Erasure, and Salience. Written in a warm, personally engaging tone balanced with excellent scholarship, awareness of immediate and emerging trends in ecophilosophy, perceptive analysis, and courageous endorsement of visionary ecological thinkers, the book is an ideal text for undergraduate environmental communications, social environmental theory courses, as well as for practicing Sustainability professionals. Use it, and help fulfill Stibbe’s stated aim for the book “that it opens its horizons wider to search for stories that we could live by.” Mimi Katzenbach
  • As well as being an essential read for anyone studying critical discourse analysis, this book is also a powerful tool outside the realms of academia for all those working in the area of environmental activism. It provides a comprehensive guide for those who have a deep respect for the environment, allowing them navigate and challenge discourses that distance us from nature. It opens the way for new stories of our connection to, and dependence on nature to arise which challenge the old stories that see nature as a resource to be used rather than respected. Arran Stibbe brings a depth of knowledge, wisdom, and love for the ecosphere to the reader through his writing, and as a result facilitates an awakening or reawakening of what it really means to be part of planet Earth. Ann Walsh

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