Here the potential strengths and weaknesses of the growing ecofeminist movement are critically assessed by scholars in a variety of academic disciplines and vocations, including anthropology, biology, chemical engineering, education, political science, recreation and leisure studies, sociology, and political organizing.
Sandra Harding here develops further the themes first addressed in her widely influential book, The Science Question in Feminism, and conducts a compelling analysis of feminist theories on the philosophical problem of how we know what we know. Following a strong narrative line, Harding sets out her arguments in highly readable prose. In Part 1, she discusses issues that will interest anyone concerned with the social bases of scientific knowledge. In Part 2, she modifies some of her views and then pursues the many issues raised by the feminist position which holds that women's social experience provides a unique vantage point for discovering masculine bias and and questioning conventional claims about nature and social life. In Part 3, Harding looks at the insights that people of color, male feminists, lesbians, and others can bring to these controversies, and concludes by outlining a feminist approach to science in which these insights are central. "Women and men cannot understand or explain the world we live in or the real choices we have," she writes, "as long as the sciences describe and explain the world primarily from the perspectives of the lives of the dominant groups." Harding's is a richly informed, radical voice that boldly confronts issues of crucial importance to the future of many academic disciplines. Her book will amply reward readers looking to achieve a more fruitful understanding of the relations between feminism, science, and social life.
Beyond the Cyborg
Feminist theorist and philosopher Donna Haraway has substantially impacted thought on science, cyberculture, the environment, animals, and social relations. This long-overdue volume explores her influence on feminist theory and philosophy, paying particular attention to her more recent work on companion species, rather than her "Manifesto for Cyborgs." Margret Grebowicz and Helen Merrick argue that the ongoing fascination with, and re-production of, the cyborg has overshadowed Haraway's extensive body of work in ways that run counter to her own transdisciplinary practices. Sparked by their own personal "adventures" with Haraway's work, the authors offer readings of her texts framed by a series of theoretical and political perspectives: feminist materialism, standpoint epistemology, radical democratic theory, queer theory, and even science fiction. They situate Haraway's critical storytelling and "risky reading" practices as forms of feminist methodology and recognize her passionate engagement with "naturecultures" as the theoretical core driving her work. Chapters situate Haraway as critic, theorist, biologist, feminist, historian, and humorist, exploring the full range of her identities and reflecting her commitment to embodying all of these modes simultaneously.
Destined to transform its field, this volume features some of the most exciting feminist scholars and activists working within feminist political ecology, including Giovanna Di Chiro, Dianne Rocheleau, Catherine Walsh and Christa Wichterich. Offering a collective critique of the 'green economy', it features the latest analyses of the post-Rio+20 debates alongside a nuanced reading of the impact of the current ecological and economic crises on women as well as their communities and ecologies.This new, politically timely and engaging text puts feminist political ecology back on the map.
"Her great virtue as an advocate is that she is not a reductionist. Her awareness of the complex connections among economy and nature and culture preserves her from oversimplification. So does her understanding of the importance of diversity." -- Wendell Berry, from the foreword Motivated by agricultural devastation in her home country of India, Vandana Shiva became one of the world's most influential and highly acclaimed environmental and antiglobalization activists. Her groundbreaking research has exposed the destructive effects of monocultures and commercial agriculture and revealed the links between ecology, gender, and poverty. In The Vandana Shiva Reader, Shiva assembles her most influential writings, combining trenchant critiques of the corporate monopolization of agriculture with a powerful defense of biodiversity and food democracy. Containing up-to-date data and a foreword by Wendell Berry, this essential collection demonstrates the full range of Shiva's research and activism, from her condemnation of commercial seed technology, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and the international agriculture industry's dependence on fossil fuels, to her tireless documentation of the extensive human costs of ecological deterioration. This important volume illuminates Shiva's profound understanding of both the perils and potential of our interconnected world and calls on citizens of all nations to renew their commitment to love and care for soil, seeds, and people.
This groundbreaking work remains as relevant today as when it was when first published. Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva, two world-renowned feminist environmental activists, critique prevailing economic theories, conventional concepts of women's emancipation, the myth of 'catching up' development, the philosophical foundations of modern science and technology, and the omission of ethics when discussing so many questions, including advances in reproductive technology and biotechnology.
Treating such issues as animal sex, species politics, environmental justice, lesbian space and "gay" ghettos, AIDS literatures, and queer nationalities, this lively collection asks important questions at the intersections of sexuality and environmental studies. Contributors from a wide range of disciplines present a focused engagement with the critical, philosophical, and political dimensions of sex and nature. These discussions are particularly relevant to current debates in many disciplines, including environmental studies, queer theory, critical race theory, philosophy, literary criticism, and politics. As a whole, Queer Ecologies stands as a powerful corrective to views that equate "natural" with "straight" while "queer" is held to be against nature.
In Strange Natures, Nicole Seymour investigates the ways in which contemporary queer fictions offer insight on environmental issues through their performance of a specifically queer understanding of nature, the nonhuman, and environmental degradation. By drawing upon queer theory and ecocriticism, Seymour examines how contemporary queer fictions extend their critique of "natural" categories of gender and sexuality to the nonhuman natural world, thus constructing a queer environmentalism. Seymour's thoughtful analyses of works such as Leslie Feinberg's Stone Butch Blues, Todd Haynes's Safe, and Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain illustrate how homophobia, classism, racism, sexism, and xenophobia inform dominant views of the environment and help to justify its exploitation. Calling for a queer environmental ethics, she delineates the discourses that have worked to prevent such an ethics and argues for a concept of queerness that is attuned to environmentalism's urgent futurity, and an environmentalism that is attuned to queer sensibilities.
Noted economist Bina Agarwal provides gender perspectives on a wide range of academic and policy issues of current importance in this three-volume set of essays written by her over the last three decades. Combining diverse methodologies and an interdisciplinary approach, this collection bringstogether in one place the author's pioneering work in the areas of agriculture, environment, and property rights. These peer-reviewed essays challenge standard economic analysis and assumptions, unraveling the linkages between gender inequality, social exclusion, property, and development.Volume I examines how modernization of agriculture, introduction of new technologies, and rural innovations affect the position of women in rural families, especially in the context of food distribution and healthcare. Volume II challenges conventional approaches to property and family, and examines the importance of owning property, for womenas economic and social well-being, for enhancing their bargaining power and security, and for protecting them against domestic violence. Volume III provides theoretical and conceptual formulations on gender differences in responses to the environment,empirical assessments of such responses, and policy implications.
In Beyond Mothering Earth, Sherilyn MacGregor argues that celebrations of "earthcare" as women's unique contribution to the search for sustainability often neglect to consider the importance of politics and citizenship in women's lives. Drawing on interviews with women who juggle private caring with civic engagement in quality-of-life concerns, she proposes an alternative: a project of feminist ecological citizenship that affirms the practice of citizenship as an intrinsically valuable activity while allowing foundational aspects of caring labour and natural processes to flourish. Beyond Mothering Earth provides an original and empirically grounded understanding of women's involvement in quality-of-life activism and an analysis of citizenship that makes an important contribution to contemporary discussions of green politics, globalization, neoliberalism, and democratic justice.
The Oxford Handbook of Transnational Feminist Movements explores the historical, political, economic and social contexts in which transnational feminist movements have emerged and spread, and the contributions they have made to global knowledge, power and social change over the past half century. The publication of the handbook in 2015 marks the fortieth anniversary of the United Nations International Women's Year, the thirtieth anniversary of the Third World Conference on Women held in Nairobi, the twentieth anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the fifteenth anniversaries of the Millennium Development Goals and of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on 'women, peace and security'. The editors and contributors critically interrogate transnational feminist movements from a broad spectrum of locations in the global South and North: feminist organizations and networks at all levels (local, national, regional, global and 'glocal'); wider civil society organizations and networks; governmental and multilateral agencies; and academic and research institutions, among others. The handbook reflects candidly on what we have learned about transnational feminist movements. What are the different spaces from which transnational feminisms have operated and in what ways? How have they contributed to our understanding of the myriad formal and informal ways in which gendered power relations define and inform everyday life? To what extent have they destabilized or transformed the global hegemonic systems that constitute patriarchy? From a position of fifty years of knowledge production, activism, working with institutions, and critical reflection, the handbook recognizes that transnational feminist movements form a key epistemic community that can inspire and provide leadership in shaping political spaces and institutions at all levels, and transforming international political economy, development and peace processes. The handbook is organized into ten sections, each beginning with an introduction by the editors. The sections explore the main themes that have emerged from transnational feminist movements: knowledge, theory and praxis; organizing for change; body politics, health and well-being; human rights and human security; economic and social justice; citizenship and statebuilding; militarism and religious fundamentalisms; peace movements, UNSCR 1325 and postconflict rebuilding; feminist political ecology; and digital-age transformations and future trajectories.
A Companion to Feminist Geography captures the breadth and diversity of this vibrant and substantive field. Shows how feminist geography has changed the landscape of geographical inquiry and knowledge since the 1970s. Explores the diverse literatures that comprise feminist geography today. Showcases cutting-edge research by feminist geographers. Charts emerging areas of scholarship, such as the body and the nation. Contributions from 50 leading international scholars in the field. Each chapter can be read for its own distinctive contribution.
Opening with the statement "The anthropocene is no time to set things straight," Stacy Alaimo puts forth potent arguments for a material feminist posthumanism in the chapters that follow. From trans-species art and queer animals to naked protesting and scientific accounts of fishy humans, Exposed argues for feminist posthumanism immersed in strange agencies and scale-shifting ethics. Including such divergent topics as landscape art, ocean ecologies, and plastic activism, Alaimo explores our environmental predicaments to better understand feminist occupations of transcorporeal subjectivity. She puts scientists, activists, artists, writers, and theorists in conversation, revealing that the state of the planet in the twenty-first century has radically transformed ethics, politics, and what it means to be human. Ultimately, Exposed calls for an environmental stance in which, rather than operating from an externalized perspective, we think, feel, and act as the very stuff of the world.
By drawing on the complex interplay of ecology and feminism, ecofeminists identify links between the domination of nature and the oppression of women. This volume introduces a variety of innovative approaches for advancing ecofeminist activism, demonstrating how words exert power in the world. Contributors explore the interconnections between the dualisms of nature/culture and masculine/feminine, providing new insights into sex and technology through such wide-ranging topics as canine reproduction, orangutan motherhood and energy conservation. Ecofeminist rhetorics of care address environmental problems through cooperation and partnership, rather than hierarchical subordination, encouraging forms of communication that value mutual understanding over persuasion and control. By critically examining ways that theory can help deconstruct domineering practices--exposing the underlying ideologies--a new generation of ecofeminist scholarship illuminates the transformative capacity of language to foster emancipation and liberation.
Surprisingly, glimmerings of ecofeminist theory that would emerge a century later can be detected in women's poetry of the late Victorian period. In Reconceiving Nature, Patricia Murphy examines the work of six ecofeminist poets--Augusta Webster, Mathilde Blind, Michael Field, Alice Meynell, Constance Naden, and L. S. Bevington--who contested the exploitation of the natural world. Challenging prevalent assumptions that nature is inferior, rightly subordinated, and deservedly manipulated, these poets instead "reconstructed" nature.
Women make up the vast majority of activists and organizers of grassroots movements fighting against environmental ills that threaten poor and people of color communities. New Perspectives on Environmental Justice is the first collection of essays that pays tribute to the enormous contributions women have made in these endeavors. The writers offer varied examples of environmental justice issues such as children's environmental health campaigns, cancer research, AIDS/HIV activism, the Environmental Genome Project, and popular culture, among many others. Each one focuses on gender and sexuality as crucial factors in women's or gay men's activism and applies environmental justice principles to related struggles for sexual justice. The contributors represent a wide variety of activist and scholarly perspectives including law, environmental studies, sociology, political science, history, medical anthropology, American studies, English, African and African American studies, women's studies, and gay and lesbian studies, offering multiple vantage points on gender, sexuality, and activism. Feminist/womanist impulses shape and sustain environmental justice movements around the world, making an understanding of gender roles and differences crucial for the success of these efforts.
This book brings together two vitally important strands of 20th-century thinking to establish a set of simple and elegant principles for planning, project design and evaluation. It explains the backgrounds of cultural ecofeminism and critical systems thinking, and what we find when they are systematically compared. Both theories share a range of concepts, have a strong social justice ethic, and challenge the legacy of modernity. The book takes theory into practice. The value of the emergent principles of feminist-systems thinking are described and demonstrated through four chapters of case studies in community development settings. The principles can be used to influence project design and outcomes across a range of disciplines including project management, policy, health, education, and community development. This book has much to offer practitioners who seek to create more socially just and equitable project and research outcomes
As the torchbearers of environmental activism, women from around the world have created profound changes that are helping to ensure a healthier planet for all living things. Whether it is Judi Bari, who was crippled by a car bomb because of her efforts to save California's ancient redwood forests; Dai Qing, who was imprisoned for her opposition to an environmentally destructive dam on China's Yangtze River; or Dr. Tatynana Artyomkina, who defied KGB threats and exposed health and environmental risks in the Soviet Union, women have put their lives on the line and persevered against daunting odds to restore and protect the environment. Mary Joy Breton provides absorbing sketches of these and other women activists in the Americas, Eastern and Western Europe, Africa, and Asia. Breton interweaves her accounts with narrative on the ecological hazards that drove these women to spearhead various environmental campaigns, examining why and how they challenged, and often defeated, the power structures of government and industry. Although these remarkable women come from various geographical regions and represent a wide range of economic, ethnic, and political backgrounds, they share insights, values, and a particular sensitivity to the Earth that led them to change the course of history. Their courageous efforts illuminate the crucial role of women in the environmental movement, and provide inspiration for a new generation of activists.
Animal Subjects: An Ethical Reader in a Posthuman World (WLU Press, 2008) challenged cultural studies to include nonhuman animals within its purview. While the "question of the animal" ricochets across the academy and reverberates within the public sphere, Animal Subjects 2.0 builds on the previous book and takes stock of this explosive turn. It focuses on both critical animal studies and posthumanism, two intertwining conversations that ask us to reconsider common sense understandings of other animals and what it means to be human. This collection demonstrates that many pressing contemporary social problems--how and why the oppression and exploitation of our species persist--are entangled with our treatment of other animals and the environment. Decades into the interrogation of our ethical and political responsibilities toward other animals, fissures within the academy deepen as the interest in animal ethics and politics proliferates. Although ideological fault lines have inspired important debates about how to address the very material concerns informing these theoretical discussions, Animal Subjects 2.0 brings together divergent voices to suggest how to foster richer human-animal relations, and to cultivate new ways of thinking and being with the rest of animalkind. This collection demonstrates that appreciation of difference, not just similarity, is necessary for a more inclusive and compassionate world. Linking issues of gender, disability, culture, race, and sexuality into species, Animal Subjects 2.0 maps vibrant developments in the emergent fields of critical animal studies and posthumanist thought.
This book approached water and sanitation as an African gender and human rights issue. Empirical case studies from Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe show how coexisting international, national and local regulations of water and sanitation respond to the ways in which different groups of rural and urban women gain access to water for personal, domestic and livelihood purposes. The authors, who are lawyers, sociologists, political scientists and anthropologists, explore how women cope in contexts where they lack secure rights, and participation in water governance institutions, formal and informal. The research shows how women - as producers of family food - rely on water from multiple sources that are governed by community based norms and institutions which recognise the right to water for livelihood. How these 'common pool water resources' - due to protection gaps in both international and national law - are threatened by large-scale development and commercialisation initiatives, facilitated through national permit systems, is a key concern. The studies demonstrate that existing water governance structures lack mechanisms which make them accountable to poor and vulnerable water users on the ground, most importantly women. The findings thus underscore the need to intensify measures to hold states accountable, not just in water services provision, but in assuring the basic human right to clean drinking water and sanitation; and also to protect water for livelihoods.
Ecofeminism is for those who desire to improve their understanding of the current crises of poverty, environmental destruction, violence, and human rights abuses, and their causes. It is an ecofeminist analysis of modern society's dualized, patriarchal structure, showing that one-sided reductionist, masculine, and quantitative (yang) perceptions inform science, economics, and technology, resulting in subordination of holistic, feminine, and qualitative (yin) values. This yin-yang imbalance manifests as patriarchal domination of women, poor people, and nature, leading to the above crises. Since similar values inform Third World Development, its activities are also exploitative. Thus, rather than improving human well-being, development increases poverty and natural degradation in the South. Modern patriarchy manifests in neo-liberal policies that promote "free" global economic markets and trades, generating huge profits to the political and economic elites with devastating results for societies and nature worldwide. Unless we increase our awareness and demand changes that balance the yang and yin forces, patriarchal domination will eradicate life on planet Earth.