Annotations to Nabulya’s “When Eco-Criticism and Rhetoric Meet”


Original Text: For Nixon, the “writer activist” should frame the text “to bring emotionally to life” and to render imperceptible environmental issues “apprehensible to emotions” so as to attract the attention of policy makers (Nixon 2011: 14). But Nixon draws attention to the term “apprehension,” emphasizing that it “draws together the domains of perception, emotion, and action” (14). In other words, he identifies three processes through which literature can perform activism: to reveal and raise consciousness in harmony with Murphy’s idea of exposition, to influence attitude through emotional engagement, and finally, to solicit cooperation in practical ways. In the last two segments of this thought, Nixon draws textual activism beyond the boundaries envisioned by Murphy above, and explicitly grounds the notion of persuasion into the milieu of eco-literature production and criticism.

Annotation: I like that Nabulya (2018) refers to Nixon’s ideas to underpin the significance of the emotional aspect of eco-criticism. She effectively confirms the need to pay attention to this area in order to draw the attention of policymakers to the most critical problems which should be timely solved. Meanwhile, the inclusion of two other parameters, more specifically, perception and action, shows that the emotions of stakeholders on their own are insufficient for making a global change. By using Nixon’s concept, the scholar increases the credibility of further examination of phenomena by guaranteeing the analysis of three essential components: “consciousness in harmony,” “emotional engagement,” and “cooperation in practical ways” (Nabulya, 2018, p. 63). Nabulya then also mentions the feasibility of textual activism as per Murphey’s and Nixon’s frameworks and relies on them throughout the paper. I think that the theoretical underpinning of her work is explicit and suitable and, consequently, improves the overall quality of writing by ensuring precision.

Rhetorical Analysis

Original Text: Persuasion by personality (ethos), to begin with, demands that a speaker fashions him/herself out as a credible person within the speech itself through exhibition of prudence and moral excellence. In addition, one has to show that they have the audience’s interests at heart or take an appropriate “stance” (Cockcroft & Cockcroft 2014: 30). Unlike the single persuasion channel in oral texts, persuasion in written texts may follow the author-audience relationship and/or the relationship between the characters in the world of the text and the audience.

Annotation: The consideration of ethos as one of the most critical elements of literary works intended to persuade the audience is an effective tool adopted by Nabulya (2018). In this paragraph, the scholar proves that credibility is essential for the outcome by citing other researchers who examined the correlation between the readers’ interests and the standpoint selected by an author. By doing so, she lays the basis for further analysis with regard to the need to clearly determine the presence of an activist’s personality in a text in order to increase the credibility of the product. In this way, the shift from “the single persuasion channel in oral texts” to the consideration of a variety of factors affecting the message is vital for the purposes of the article (Nabulya, 2018, p. 65). Hence, I like the fact that the scholar incorporates numerous elements instead of focusing on one aspect.


Nabulya, E. (2018). When eco-criticism and rhetoric meet: Environmental persuasion in terrorists of the Aberdare. Journal of Literary Studies, 34(1), 61-78. Web.

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