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

By Li-Ru Lu.

Published by The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 12, 2017 $US5.00

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?

Keywords: Traveling Natural History, Nineteenth-Century Formosa, John Dodd

The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, Volume 15, Issue 2, June 2017, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 12, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 520.952KB)).

Li-Ru Lu

Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan