Women and Nature?: Beyond Dualism in Gender, Body, and Environment, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Women and Nature?

Beyond Dualism in Gender, Body, and Environment, 1st Edition

Edited by Douglas A. Vakoch, Sam Mickey


220 pages

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Women and Nature? Beyond Dualism in Gender, Body, and Environment provides a historical context for understanding the contested relationships between women and nature, and it articulates strategies for moving beyond the dualistic theories and practices that often frame those relationships.

In 1974, Françoise d’Eaubonne coined the term "ecofeminism" to raise awareness about interconnections between women’s oppression and nature’s domination in an attempt to liberate women and nature from subordination. Since then, ecofeminism has attracted scholars and activists from various disciplines and positions to assess the relationship between the cultural human and the natural non-human through gender reconsiderations. The contributors to this volume present critical and constructive perspectives on ecofeminism throughout its history, from the beginnings of ecofeminism in the 1970s through to contemporary and emerging developments in the field, drawing on animal studies, postcolonialism, film studies, transgender studies, and political ecology.

This interdisciplinary and international collection of essays demonstrates the ongoing relevance of ecofeminism as a way of understanding and responding to the complex interactions between genders, bodies, and the natural environment. It will be of great interest to students and scholars of ecofeminism as well as those involved in environmental studies and gender studies more broadly.



"This innovative and engaging anthology on women and nature reveals the ongoing relevance of ecofeminism in today’s global world by emphasizing postcolonialism, ecocriticism, queer ecology, animality, and feminist materialism. Anyone interested in the nuances and complexities of the women-nature connection across histories, belief-systems, and regions will want to buy this book."Carolyn Merchant of the University of California at Berkeley has written on the connections between ecofeminism and feminist theory and is the author of Earthcare: Women and the Environment, among other books.

"The myriad ways that Earthly bodies – both human and nonhuman – continue to be bound by structures of patriarchy and domination requires sustained analysis. This transnational, transdisciplinary volume brings the lens of ecofeminism to bear on timely topics, including transgender studies, animal studies, and the new materialism." Elizabeth Allison is the Program Chair of Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

"This fresh and exciting collection identifies privileges and invisibilities overlooked in earlier ecofeminist thinking. Authors call for ethical self-reflexivity and deep questioning of heteronormative assumptions reflecting a wide range of interdisciplinary, postcolonial, and cross-cultural perspectives. From ecosickness narratives to borderlands ecofeminism, this set of papers provides a rich and timely offering by deeply thoughtful scholars across the globe."Stephanie Kaza, Professor Emerita, University of Vermont

"Woman and Nature: Beyond Dualism in Gender, Body and Environment provides an innovative and captivating perspective on the continued relevance of ecofeminism, especially given today’s ecological crisis. Contributing to the evolution of ecofeminism and highlighting the movement towards interdisciplinary engagement via the inclusion of contemporary theoretical methods such as transgender studies, animal studies, new materialism, postcolonial studies, and ecocriticism this book is an absolute must for students and scholars across disciplines with particular relevance to those in the environmental humanities, environmental and sustainability studies, philosophy, theology, religious studies, and international relations." - Sarah O'Brien, Drew Theological School

Table of Contents


Notes on Contributors

Editor’s Foreword

Sam Mickey

Part I: Overview


Karen Ya-Chu Yang

1. Françoise d’Eaubonne and Ecofeminism: Rediscovering the Link between Women and Nature

Luca Valera

Part II: Rethinking Animality

2. A Retreat on the "River Bank": Perpetuating Patriarchal Myths in Animal Stories

Anja Höing

3. Visual Patriarchy: PETA Advertising and the Commodification of Sexualized Bodies

Stephanie Baran

4. Ethical Transfeminism: Transgender Individuals’ Narratives as Contributions to Ethics of Vegetarian Ecofeminisms

Anja Koletnik

Part III: Constructing Connections

5. The Women-Nature Connection as a Key Element in the Social Construction of Western Contemporary Motherhood

Adriana Teodorescu

6. The Relationship of Women’s Body Image and Experience in Nature

Denise Mitten and Chiara D’Amore

7. Writing Women into Back-to-the-Land: Feminism, Appropriation, and Identity in the 1970s Feminist Magazine Country Women

Valerie Padilla Carroll

Part IV: Mediating Practices

8. Bilha Givon as Sartre’s "Third Party" in Environmental Dialogues

Shlomit Tamari

9. "Yo soy mujer" ¿yo soy ecologista? Feminist and Ecological Consciousness at the Women’s Intercultural Center

Christina Holmes

10. The Politics of Land, Water, and Toxins: Reading the Life-narratives of Three Women Oikos-carers from Kerala

R. Sreejith Varma and Swarnalatha Rangarajan

11. Ecofeminism and the Telegenics of Celebrity in Documentary Film: The Case of Aradhana Seth’s Dam/Age (2003) and the Narmada Bachao Andolan

Reena Dube

12. Afterword

Izabel F. O. Brandão

About the Editors

Douglas A. Vakoch is President of METI International, a nonprofit research and educational organization devoted to Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) and supporting the sustainability of human culture on multigenerational timescales, which is essential for long-term METI research.

Sam Mickey is Adjunct Professor in the Theology and Religious Studies Department at the University of San Francisco, U.S.

About the Series

Routledge Environmental Humanities

From microplastics in the sea to hyper-trends such as global climate change, mega-extinction, and widening social disparities and displacement, we live on a planet undergoing tremendous flux and uncertainty. At the center of this transformation is human culture, both contributing to the state of the world and responding to planetary change. The Routledge Environmental Humanities Series seeks to engage with contemporary environmental challenges through the various lenses of the humanities and to explore foundational issues in environmental justice, multicultural environmentalism, ecofeminism, environmental psychology, environmental materialities and textualities, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, environmental communication and information management, multispecies relationships, and related topics. The series is premised on the notion that the arts, humanities, and social sciences, integrated with the natural sciences, are essential to comprehensive environmental studies.

The environmental humanities are a multidimensional discipline encompassing such fields as anthropology, history, literary and media studies, philosophy, psychology, religion, sociology, and women’s and gender studies; however, the Routledge Environmental Humanities is particularly eager to receive book proposals that explicitly cross traditional disciplinary boundaries, bringing the full force of multiple perspectives to illuminate vexing and profound environmental topics. We favor manuscripts aimed at an international readership and written in a lively and accessible style. Our readers include scholars and students from across the span of environmental studies disciplines and thoughtful citizens and policy makers interested in the human dimensions of environmental change.

Please contact the Editor, Rebecca Brennan ([email protected]), to submit proposals.

Praise for A Cultural History of Climate Change (2016):

A Cultural History of Climate Change shows that the humanities are not simply a late-arriving appendage to Earth System science, to help in the work of translation. These essays offer distinctive insights into how and why humans reason and imagine their ‘weather-worlds’ (Ingold, 2010). We learn about the interpenetration of climate and culture and are prompted to think creatively about different ways in which the idea of climate change can be conceptualised and acted upon beyond merely ‘saving the planet’.

Professor Mike Hulme, King's College London, in Green Letters

Series Editors:

Professor Scott Slovic, University of Idaho, USA

Professor Joni Adamson, Arizona State University, USA

Professor YUKI Masami, Kanazawa University, Japan

Previous editors:

Professor Iain McCalman, University of Sydney Research Fellow in History; Director, Sydney University Environment Institute.

Professor Libby Robin, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra; Guest Professor of Environmental History, Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Sweden.

Dr Paul Warde, Reader in Environmental History, University of Cambridge, UK

Editorial Board

Christina Alt, St Andrews University, UK, Alison Bashford, University of New South Wales, Australia, Peter Coates, University of Bristol, UK, Thom van Dooren, University of New South Wales, Australia, Georgina Endfield, Liverpool UK, Jodi Frawley, University of Western Australia, Andrea Gaynor, The University of Western Australia, Australia, Christina Gerhardt, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, USA,□Tom Lynch, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA, Jennifer Newell, Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia , Simon Pooley, Imperial College London, UK, Sandra Swart, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Ann Waltner, University of Minnesota, US, Jessica Weir, University of Western Sydney, Australia

International Advisory Board

William Beinart,University of Oxford, UK, Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago, USA, Paul Holm, Trinity College, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Shen Hou, Renmin University of China, Beijing, Rob Nixon, Princeton University, USA, Pauline Phemister, Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, UK, Sverker Sörlin, KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, Helmuth Trischler, Deutsches Museum, Munich and Co-Director, Rachel Carson Centre, LMU Munich University, Germany, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University, USA, Kirsten Wehner, University of London, UK

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Feminism & Feminist Theory