Is ecocriticism a form of activism?
It certainly can be. In fact, many, if not most, ecocritics may think of themselves as environmental activists. As environmental criticism can deepen our understanding of the relationship that we have with the environment, it can certainly be an aid to activism. For example, an environmental activist deeply devoted to the preservation of wilderness may benefit enormously (and perhaps even significantly reconsider their position on the subject, as have some individuals in the past decade) when they become aware of the literary history of the notion of “wilderness,” which is by no means a self-evident concept, but rather is a culturally constructed idea that has undergone dramatic change in the past few centuries. Moreover, in recent years, ecocritics have begun looking at the writings of environmental activists, such as Rachel Carson’s enormously important Silent Spring, in order to deepen our understanding of environmental activism itself.