Ecology, Nature and the Human in Edwin Thumboo’s Poetry


  • Chitra Sankaran, National University of Singapore


In recent decades a growing concern for the environment and humans’ relationship to it has prompted a group of literary critics, who have since been labelled ecocritics, to foreground place in literature as a new critical category. All ecological criticism shares the fundamental premise that human culture is connected to the physical world, affecting it and affected by it. Ecocriticism takes as its subject the interconnections between nature and culture, specifically the cultural artefacts of language and literature.

    This study attempts to make a case for Thumboo as an ecological poet. It discusses why Thumboo’s treatment of the historical theme is distinctive, subversive, and even at times anathematic to progress-oriented national discourses. It will then examine ways in which his poems forge an “organic†synthesis with nature and conclude by discussing Thumboo’s eco-critical leanings.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Chitra Sankaran, National University of Singapore

Chitra Sankaran, PhD (London), is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, National University of Singapore. Her areas of research interest include South and Southeast Asian Fiction, Feminism, Ecocriticism and Comparative Literature. In 2012 she edited and published with SUNY History, Narrative and Testimony in Amitav Ghosh’s Fiction, the first international volume of essays on Ghosh. Her publications include monographs, edited volumes and chapters in books. Her articles have appeared in several international refereed journals including Journal of Commonwealth Literature, ARIEL and Journal of South Asian Literature.




How to Cite

Sankaran, National University of Singapore, C. (2013). Ecology, Nature and the Human in Edwin Thumboo’s Poetry. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 7(2), 208–217. Retrieved from



Articles on Edwin Thumboo