Natural Discourse

Toward Ecocomposition

By Sidney I. Dobrin & Christian R. Weisser

Subjects: Composition And Rhetoric Studies, Environmental Studies
Paperback : 9780791453568, 208 pages, February 2002
Hardcover : 9780791453551, 208 pages, March 2002

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents


Foreword by Edward M. White

Chapter 1: Ecocomposition

Chapter 2: The Evolution of Ecocomposition

Chapter 3: Ecology and Composition

Chapter 4: Ecocomposition and Activist Intellectualism

Chapter 5: Ecocomposition Pedagogy

Chapter 6: Ecocomposition: Perspectives, Perceptions, and Possibilities




Examines the relationships between language and nature.


The first full-length book to address the relationships between environment and discourse, Natural Discourse explains why and how ecocomposition has become such a critical part of composition studies. Beginning by exploring the roots of ecocomposition, including a history of the use of the term ecocomposition, the book then examines ecological aspects of composition studies, and looks at how ecocomposition is informed by ecocriticism, cultural studies, ecofeminism, environmental rhetoric, and composition studies. The authors draw on their own experiences as teachers of writing and outdoor enthusiasts to describe how ecocomposition can address issues of language and nature, public intellectualism, and pedagogy.

Sidney I. Dobrin is Associate Professor of English and the Director of Writing Programs at the University of Florida. Christian R. Weisser is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. They are the coeditors of Ecocomposition, also published by SUNY Press.


"Every student, to be sure, has written about the environment, and deplored the sad state of affairs in far-off shrinking rain forests and expanding deserts. But that is not really what this book is about. Rather than evoke such routine complaints, ecocomposition seeks to change the way we think about writing, and hence the way we think about the world we live in. For this is a book about rhetoric and deep theory of composition as much as it is about the natural environment. " — From the Foreword by Edward M. White

"Natural Discourse provides a very good introduction to ecocomposition—the best I've seen—not only explaining how ecocomposition has developed over the past few years, but also describing how ecocomposition connects to some of the most basic and significant concepts underlying the study and teaching of writing. Perhaps most significant, the book begins the critical process of rethinking eco-studies' emphasis from interpretation to production. By showing that ecology can and does support composition's focus on textual production, this book makes the most convincing argument yet for ecocomposition. " — Anis S. Bawarshi, University of Washington