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An Ecotopian Lexicon

2019

Matthew Schneider-Mayerson and Brent Ryan Bellamy, Editors
Foreword by Kim Stanley Robinson

An Ecotopian Lexicon

Presents thirty novel terms that do not yet exist in English to envision ways of responding to the environmental challenges of our generation

Proceeding from the notion that dominant Western cultures lack the terms and concepts to describe or respond to our environmental crisis, this collaborative volume of short, engaging essays offers ecologically productive terms to inspire responses to fossil-fueled neoliberal capitalism. Each of the thirty suggested “loanwords” helps us imagine how to adapt and even flourish in the face of socioecological adversity.

As the scale and gravity of climate change becomes undeniable, a cultural revolution must ultimately match progress in the realms of policy, infrastructure, and technology. Proceeding from the notion that dominant Western cultures lack the terms and concepts to describe or respond to our environmental crisis, An Ecotopian Lexicon is a collaborative volume of short, engaging essays that offer ecologically productive terms—drawn from other languages, science fiction, and subcultures of resistance—to envision and inspire responses and alternatives to fossil-fueled neoliberal capitalism.

Each of the thirty suggested “loanwords” helps us imagine how to adapt and even flourish in the face of the socioecological adversity that characterizes the present moment and the future that awaits. From “Apocalypso” to “Qi,” “ ~*~ “ to “Total Liberation,” thirty authors from a range of disciplines and backgrounds assemble a grounded yet dizzying lexicon, expanding the limited European and North American conceptual lexicon that many activists, educators, scholars, students, and citizens have inherited. Fourteen artists from eleven countries respond to these chapters with original artwork that illustrates the contours of the possible better worlds and worldviews.

Contributors: Sofia Ahlberg, Uppsala U; Randall Amster, Georgetown U; Cherice Bock, Antioch U; Charis Boke, Cornell U; Natasha Bowdoin, Rice U; Kira Bre Clingen, Harvard U; Caledonia Curry (SWOON); Lori Damiano, Pacific Northwest College of Art; Nicolás De Jesús; Jonathan Dyck; John Esposito, Chukyo U; Rebecca Evans, Winston-Salem State U; Allison Ford, U of Oregon; Carolyn Fornoff, U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Michelle Kuen Suet Fung; Andrew Hageman, Luther College; Michael Horka, George Washington U; Yellena James; Andrew Alan Johnson, Princeton U; Jennifer Lee Johnson, Purdue U; Melody Jue, U of California, Santa Barbara; Jenny Kendler; Daehyun Kim (Moonassi); Yifei Li, NYU Shanghai; Nikki Lindt; Anthony Lioi, Juilliard School of New York; Maryanto; Janet Tamalik McGrath; Pierre-Héli Monot, Ludwig Maximilian U of Munich; Kari Marie Norgaard, U of Oregon; Karen O’Brien, U of Oslo, Norway; Evelyn O’Malley, U of Exeter; Robert Savino Oventile, Pasadena City College; Chris Pak; David N. Pellow, U of California, Santa Barbara; Andrew Pendakis, Brock U; Kimberly Skye Richards, U of California, Berkeley; Ann Kristin Schorre, U of Oslo, Norway; Malcolm Sen, U of Massachusetts Amherst; Kate Shaw; Sam Solnick, U of Liverpool; Rirkrit Tiravanija, Columbia U; Miriam Tola, Northeastern U; Sheena Wilson, U of Alberta; Daniel Worden, Rochester Institute of Technology.

An Ecotopian Lexicon

Matthew Schneider-Mayerson is assistant professor of environmental studies at Yale–NUS College and author of Peak Oil: Apocalyptic Environmentalism and Libertarian Political Culture.

Brent Ryan Bellamy studies and teaches science fiction, American literature and cultures, and energy humanities and is coeditor of Materialism and the Critique of Energy.

Kim Stanley Robinson is the author of nineteen science fiction novels, including the Mars trilogy.

An Ecotopian Lexicon

Contents

Foreword

Kim Stanley Robinson

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Loanwords to Live With

Brent Ryan Bellamy and Matthew Schneider-Mayerson

~*~ 
Melody Jue 

Apocalypso
Sam Solnick 

Blockadia
Randall Amster 

Cibopathic
Daniel Worden 

Dàtóng
Andrew Pendakis 

Fotminne
Sofia Ahlberg 

Ghurba
Allison Ford and Kari Marie 

Norgaard Godhuli
Malcolm Sen 

Gyebale
Jennifer L. Johnson 

Heyiya
Michael Horka 

Hyperempathy
Rebecca Evans 

Ildsjel
Karen O’Brien and Ann Kristin Schorre 

In Lak’ech—a la K’in
John Esposito 

Metahumanism
Anthony Lioi 

Misneach
Evelyn O’Malley 

Portfolio
Nicolás de Jesús
Rirkrit Tiravanija
Swoon
Jonathan Dyck
Jenny Kendler
Lori Damiano
Michelle Fung
Yellena James
Natasha Bowdoin
Moonassi
Nikki Lindt
Kate Shaw
Susa Monteiro
Maryanto

Nahual
Carolyn Fornoff

Nakaiy
Kira Bre Clingen

Pa Theuan
Andrew Alan Johnson

Pachamama
Miriam Tola

Plant Time
Charis Boke

Qi
Yifei Li

Rén
Pierre Monot

Sehnsucht
Andrew Hageman

Shikata Ga Nai
Brent Ryan Bellamy and Sheena Wilson

Sila
Janet Tamalik McGrath

Solastalgia
Kimberly Skye Richards

Sueño
Robert Savino Oventile

Terragouge
Christopher Pak

Total Libertion
David Pellow

Watershed Discipleship
Cherice Bock

Contributors


Another Path

Greetings

Gyebale
Jennifer Lee Johnson
In Lak’ech—a la K’in
John Esposito

Resistance

Blockadia
Randall Amster

Ildsjel
Karen O’Brien and Ann Kristin Schorre

Metahumanism
Anthony Lioi

Terragouge
Chris Pak

Total Liberation
David N. Pellow

Dispositions

Apocalypso
Sam Solnick

Misneach
Evelyn O'Malley

Rén
Pierre Monot

Hyperempathy
Rebecca Evans

Shikata ga nai
Brent Ryan Bellamy and Sheena Wilson

Perception

Cibopathic
Daniel Worden

Godhuli
Malcolm Sen

Nakaiy
Kira Bre Clingen

Plant Time
Charis Boke

Desires

Sehnsucht
Andrew Hageman

Ghurba
Kari Norgaard and Allison Ford

Solastalgia
Kimberly Richards

Dàtóng
Andrew Pendakis

Sueño
Robert Savino Oventile

Beyond the Human

Nahual
Carolyn Fornoff

~*~
Melody Jue

Heyiya
Michael Horka

Fotminne
Sofia Ahlberg

Watershed Discipleship

Cherice Bock

Beyond “the Environment”

Qi
Yifei Li

Pa Theuan
Andrew Johnson

Pachamama
Miriam Tola

Sila
Tamalik McGrath