Austerity Gardens: The Poetics and Politics of Gardening in Hard Times
Milthorpe, N, Austerity Gardens: The Poetics and Politics of Gardening in Hard Times, The Poetics and Politics of Gardening in Hard Times, Lextington Books, N Milthorpe (ed), Lanham, pp. 1-18. ISBN 9781498570206 (2019) [Research Book Chapter]
What does it mean to garden in hard times, and why might humans turn to the garden (as shelter, refuge, or productive space) under straitened conditions? How do poets, writers and cultural critics contend with and represent the garden or their own gardening as they are changed by austerity? What does an austere garden look, feel, sound, taste, and smell like? The Poetics and Politics of Gardening in Hard Times responds to these questions, through encounters with the literary and popular gardening culture of the twentieth century. Bringing together the insights of critical austerity studies with studies in the environmental humanities, literary and popular cultural studies, and history, this volume seeks to understand the ways in which the garden as a real and imagined space, and gardening as a practice or ethic, is changed under extreme conditions of economic and environmental austerity. While austerity is an historicallyinflected concept associated most particularly with the policies of World War Two Britain, and latterly, Europe following the Global Financial Crisis, its ideological, aesthetic, and practical roots stretch beyond those particular historical and geographical contexts. The Poetics and Politics of Gardening in Hard Times gathers together essays devoted to theorizing the politics, poetics and practices of austerity gardening in twentieth and twenty-first century Anglophone cultural texts. This book will seek to understand the differing modulations of austerity in the garden and its representations, in the national context of England in the mid-century, and stretching forwards and backwards in time and space.
Research Book Chapter
literary studies, gardens in literature, austerity studies