FOLKLOR/EDEBIYAT-FOLKLORE/LITERATURE, vol.28, no.1, pp.1-18, 2022 (ESCI)
Environmentalism has entered a new phase. For the past three decades, communities around the world have been voicing land, air, water pollution, toxicity, diseases connected to contaminated environments, clearcutting, soil erosion, mountaintop removal, and other anthropogenic damages to the environments. Currently, there is action in the most hands-on way. Within the ecological restoration movement, grassroots regreening activities have speeded up and communities are engaged in extensive land healing efforts for land productivity, food security, and human/nature wellness. This article poses the question: what will be the response of the English profession to this new trend of ecological restoration? Although existing ecocritical schools have contributed to environmental awareness broadly, this article proposes the study of literary and cultural texts inspired by landscape and local environmental history for hands-on awareness and engagement. The article defines restoration ecocriticism as the ecocritical study of literary and cultural texts that explore or inspire individual or collaborative community restoration efforts in the degraded lands/waters/marine environments, most often caused by anthropogenic activities. It lays the groundwork of how ecocritics may contribute to restoring the lands/waters/marine environments (and native species) in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration through Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire, a landmark text that inspires river restoration in the local areas around the globe.