Document Type

Special Forum

Publication Date



This special cluster consists of twelve short essays, originally presented in two linked roundtables at the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) conference in Detroit in June 2017, examining Jeffrey Eugenides' 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Middlesex. Through the novel, these papers explore the historical, intersectional, and ecological understandings of Detroit, exposing an exceptional—indeed, epic—range of social ecologies, concerned with everything from intersex and multispecies bio/geopolitics to transnational economies, to the aesthetics of architecture and decay. Focused on a very particular novel, written about a very particular city and experience of it, these papers bring to light and develop an ecocritical trajectory that collects voices and perspectives not always already familiar to the environmental humanities, and also deepens or extends already ongoing discussions within the field. The cluster thus assembles people and perspectives from multiple institutions, countries, educations, and standpoints within the environmental humanities, in an attempt to both complicate and explore the desire for resilience in, as highlighted in the ASLE conference theme, a “rusted” economy.