Matthew Schneider-Mayerson & Brent Ryan Bellamy

An Ecotopian Lexicon


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

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.