Ecological Imperialism and its New Face: The Impact of Technology, Capitalism and Colonialism on Postcolonial Ecologies

Ecological Imperialism and its New Face: The Impact of Technology, Capitalism and Colonialism on Postcolonial Ecologies

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Ecological imperialism is an idea introduced by Alfred Crosby in his seminal work Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900 which refers to the efforts of colonialists to introduce their animals, plants and even diseases in the native’s land to felicitate their rule. But that concept of Crosby has a renewed interest in postcolonial world especially in light of the growing popularity of capitalism and globalization. Capitalistic and colonialist invasions focus not merely on the subjugation of native but the land in which he lives. This conquest seems to have some ecological aspects. Voluntarily or involuntarily each of these conquests has an adverse impact on the land they conquered. In industrialist and capitalistic societies, such invasions into indigenous communities will result in an erosion of natural resources and deforestation. The new face of ecological imperialism and its impact on postcolonial indigenous communities can be seen in many of the works of postcolonial literature. A focus on Thomas King’s Green Grass Running Water and Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead hopes to reveal the complex fabrics of relations between the oppressed land and its inhabitants.
The imposition of a dam and a human-made lake and reservoir on a Blackfoot reserve in the small town of Blossom, Alberta, is a potent symbol in Green Grass, Running Water for non-Native oppression of Native Canadians’ land rights, traditions and cultural codes. Intrusion of western culture into the lives of natives is shown vividly in many instances of the novel. Dr. Hovaugh observes the changes happening to the garden in front of hospital and laments over the loss of elm trees. Thomas King describes the cutting down of elm trees li...


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...ainst western invasion. This return to culture is in one way or other the reclamation of affinity to nature.



Works Cited

Heather Neilson, “Big Words: Issues in American Self-Representation”, Australasian
Journal of American Studies, 17.1,1998. 15. Print.
King, Thomas. Green Grass Running Water. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. Print.
Literature: From Faulkner and Morrison to Walker and Silko, American Literature Readings in the 21st Century. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2008. Print.
Silko, Leslie Marmon. Almanac of the Dead. New York: Penguin Books, 1992. Print.
Smith, Lindsey Claire. Indians, Environment, and Identity on the Borders of American
Waterman, Jason. “Then They Grow away from Earth’: an Eco-critical Reading of Lesley Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead and James Gorge’s Ocean Roads”. Australasian Journal of American Studies 15.2(2000): 39-63. Print.

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