Ecocriticism of Nineteenth-Century Taiwan in John Dodd’s “Formosa”

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  • Title: Ecocriticism of Nineteenth-Century Taiwan in John Dodd’s “Formosa”
  • Author(s): Li-Ru Lu
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: New Directions in the Humanities
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies
  • Keywords: Traveling Natural History, Nineteenth-Century Formosa, John Dodd
  • Volume: 15
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2017
  • ISSN: 2327-0055 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2376 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-0055/CGP/v15i02/1-8
  • Citation: Lu, Li-Ru. 2017. "Ecocriticism of Nineteenth-Century Taiwan in John Dodd’s “Formosa”." The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies 15 (2): 1-8. doi:10.18848/2327-0055/CGP/v15i02/1-8.
  • Extent: 8 pages

Abstract

This article applies ecocriticism to representations of the environment in nineteenth-century Formosa (now Taiwan), focusing on the writings of John Dodd (1838–1907). An English merchant and traveling naturalist, Dodd visited Formosa, made observations, and documented the mostly unknown landscapes and natural resources in early Taiwan. In the fields of ecocritical studies, Dodd is largely unheard of and mostly unknown. Maintaining that ecocriticism is inspired by British Romanticism and American wilderness writing, most ecocritics pay attention to the works of English and American nature writers, such as William Wordsworth or Henry David Thoreau. Focusing on nineteenth-century natural histories about Formosa, this article explores some uncharted spaces of ecocriticism. It aims to offer an ecocritical examination of the writings of Dodd, with special attention to the following questions. How might the genre of travel accounts relate to nature history writing? How is Formosa’s environment represented in the traveling natural histories of Dodd? How did Dodd introduce his readers to the natural productions and natural resources of Formosa? How did Dodd suggest the incipient notion of environmental conservation?