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Elizabeth Carolyn Miller, PhD
Regents of the University of California, Davis (Davis, CA 95618-6153)

Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage][Prizes]

$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 12/31/2019

Mining, Ecology, and Literature, 1830-1930

Research and writing leading to a book-length study of mining and extraction in 19th- and early-20th-century literature.

“Extraction Ecologies and the Literature of the Long Exhaustion, 1830-1930” is a study of mining, ecology, and literature in the first century of the industrial era. It explores the magnitude of industrial mining’s environmental impact – an impact that extends, I argue, deeply into literary form. An extraction boom followed from the nineteenth-century rise of the steam engine and discovery of new forms of explosives, and this boom left its mark on the literary, textual, and aesthetic forms of Britain and its Empire. During this period of rapid environmental change, key literary genres and modes adapted to convey in a new way how extraction is bound up in industrial ecologies and in the conditions of existence that govern modern life. My chapters describe how the following genres adapted to convey such new conditions: the provincial realist novel, the imperial adventure narrative, speculative fiction, poetry, and sociological prose.