Conclusion: Sharing Wonder

  • Glenn Willmott
Part of the Literatures, Cultures, and the Environment book series (LCE)


How does wonder differ from feelings of magic, immersion, and fascination that are produced by commercial media society? What can it mean to cultivate wonder for ecological learning? How might writing and teaching about art and literature be re-imagined through reading for wonder? Willmott argues that the motive force of wonder is fundamentally different from desire, with a different feeling for pleasure and the good life. Its most subversive value may be to interrupt the cycle of scarcity and desire that consumer society has rendered normative. He concludes by asking, then, what a practice of wonder might look like, and offers a model of ordinary sharing.


  1. Bacchilega, Cristina. 2013. Fairy Tales Transformed? Twenty-First-Century Adaptations and the Politics of Wonder. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Berg, Maggie, and Barbara K. Seeber. 2016. The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  3. Carroll, Lewis. 1960. The Annotated Alice: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass. Ed. Martin Gardner. Illus. John Tenniel. New York: Bramhall House. First Published in 1865 and 1871 Respectively.Google Scholar
  4. Carson, Rachel. 1965. The Sense of Wonder. New York: Harper & Row. Originally Published in 1956.Google Scholar
  5. Felski, Rita. 2008. Uses of Literature. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. ———. 2009. After Suspicion. Profession. 28–35.Google Scholar
  7. Gibbs, Anna. 2010. After Affect: Sympathy, Synchrony, and Mimetic Communication. In The Affect Theory Reader, ed. Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Goodman, Joanna. 2016. Electronic Empathy: Meet the Next Wave of Virtual Reality. The Guardian, September 8.Google Scholar
  9. Grant, George. 1995. Time as History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. First Published 1969 in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Massey Lectures Series.Google Scholar
  10. Mitchell, Lee Clark. 2017. Mere Reading: The Poetics of Wonder in Modern American Novels. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.Google Scholar
  11. Nussbaum, Martha. 2001. Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ranpo, Edogawa. 2013. Strange Tale of Panorama Island. Trans. Elaine Kazu Gerbert. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. First Published in Japan 1926.Google Scholar
  13. Rose, David. 2014. Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things. Toronto: Scribner.Google Scholar
  14. Ryan, Marie-Laure. 2001. Narrative as Virtual Reality: Immersion and Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Stafford, Barbara Maria. 1996. Good Looking: Essays on the Virtue of Images. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glenn Willmott
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

Personalised recommendations