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Ecofeminism Revisited: Rejecting Essentialism and Re-Placing Species in a Material Feminist Environmentalism

Citation:

Gaard, Greta. 2011. “Ecofeminism Revisited: Rejecting Essentialism and Re-Placing Species in a Material Feminist Environmentalism.” Feminist Formations 23 (2): 26–53. 

Author: Greta Gaard

Abstract:

Formulated in the 1980s and gaining prominence in the early 1990s, by the end of that decade ecofeminism was critiqued as essentialist and effectively discarded. Fearing their scholarship would be contaminated by association with the term “eco-feminism,” feminists working on the intersections of feminism and environmentalism thought it better to rename their approach. Thirty years later, current developments in allegedly new fields such as animal studies and naturalized epistemology are “discovering” theoretical perspectives on interspecies relations and standpoint theory that were developed by feminists and ecofeminists decades ago. What have we lost by jettisoning these earlier feminist and ecofeminist bodies of knowledge? Are there features of ecofeminism that can helpfully be retrieved, restoring an intellectual and activist history, and enriching current theorizing and activisms? By examining the historical foundations of ecofeminism from the 1980s onward, this article uncovers the roots of the antifeminist backlash against ecofeminism in the 1990s, peeling back the layers of feminist and environmentalist resistance to ecofeminism’s analyses of the connections among racism, sexism, classism, colonialism, speciesism, and the environment. Recuperating ecofeminist insights of the past thirty years provides feminist foundations for current liberatory theories and activisms. 

Keywords: animal studies, antifeminism, ecofeminism, essentialism, material feminism

Topics: Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Race

Year: 2011

Ecofeminism and Natural Disasters: Sri Lankan Women Post-Tsunami

Citation:

Banford, Alyssa, and Cameron Kiely Froude. 2015. “Ecofeminism and Natural Disasters: Sri Lankan Women Post-Tsunami.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 16 (2): 170–87.

Authors: Alyssa Banford, Cameron Kiely Froude

Abstract:

Women experience a host of negative consequences during and after a natural disaster. A variety of feminist theories have been used to explore this phenomenon. The aim of this paper is to posit the need for an ecofeminist perspective on analyzing women’s vulnerabilities post- natural disaster. The authors will discuss the history and branches of ecofeminism, highlighting their utility in exploring the intersection of race, class, and gender in the aftermath of disaster. An ecofeminist analysis of Sri Lankan women’s vulnerability in the wake of the 2004 tsunami will be used to illustrate the utility of the theory. Implications of using ecofeminism in natural disaster research will be discussed.

Keywords: ecofeminism, natural disaster, tsunami, Sri Lanka

Topics: Class, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Race Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2015

Material Feminisms

Citation:

Alaimo, Stacy, and Susan Hekman, eds. 2008. Material Feminisms. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Authors: Stacy Alaimo, Susan Hekman

Annotation:

Summary:
Harnessing the energy of provocative theories generated by recent understandings of the human body, the natural world, and the material world, Material Feminisms presents an entirely new way for feminists to conceive of the question of materiality. In lively and timely essays, an international group of feminist thinkers challenges the assumptions and norms that have previously defined studies about the body. These wide-ranging essays grapple with topics such as the material reality of race, the significance of sexual difference, the impact of disability experience, and the complex interaction between nature and culture in traumatic events such as Hurricane Katrina. By insisting on the importance of materiality, this volume breaks new ground in philosophy, feminist theory, cultural studies, science studies, and other fields where the body and nature collide. (Summary from Indiana University Press)
 
Table of Contents:
Introduction: Emerging Models of Materiality in Feminist Theory
Stacy Alaimo and Susan Hekman
 
1. Darwin and Feminism: Preliminary Investigations for a Possible Alliance
Elizabeth Grosz
 
2. On Not Becoming Man: The Materialist Politics of Unactualized Potential
Claire Colebrook
 
3. Constructing the Ballast: An Ontology for Feminism
Susan Hekman
 
4. Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter
Karen Barad
 
5. Otherworldly Conversations, Terran Topics, Local Terms
Donna J. Haraway
 
6. Viscous Porosity: Witnessing Katrina
Nancy Tuana
 
7. Natural Convers(at)ions: Or, What if Culture Was Really Nature All Along?
Vicki Kirby
 
8. Trans-Corporeal Feminisms and the Ethical Space of Nature
Stacy Alaimo
 
9. Landscape, Memory, and Forgetting: Thinking through (My Mother's) Body and Place
Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands
 
10. Disability Experience on Trial
Tobin Siebers
 
11. How Real Is Race? 
Michael Hames-García
 
12. From Race/Sex/Etc. to Glucose, Feeding Tube, and Mourning: The Shifting Matter of Chicana Feminism
Suzanne Bost
 
13. Organic Empathy: Feminism, Psychopharmaceuticals and the Embodiment of Depression
Elizabeth A. Wilson
 
14. Cassie's Hair
Susan Bordo

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Feminisms, Gender, Race

Year: 2008

Critical Perspectives on Financial and Economic Crises: Heterodox Macroeconomics Meets Feminist Economics

Citation:

 Fukuda-Parr, Sakiko, James Heintz, and Stephanie Seguino. 2013. "Critical Perspectives on Financial and Economic Crises: Heterodox Macroeconomics Meets Feminist Economics." Feminist Economics 19 (3): 4-31.

Authors: Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, James Heintz, Stephanie Seguino

Abstract:

This contribution brings together various strands of analysis about the causes, consequences, and policy ramifications of economic crises, with a specific focus on distributional dynamics. It aims to facilitate a conversation between macroeconomic theorists of crises and instability and feminist economists and scholars of intergroup inequality. Macroeconomic analyses of the Great Recession have centered on the causal role of financial deregulation, capital flow imbalances, and growth of income and wealth inequality. That work tends to be divorced from research that analyzes broader distributional impacts, prior to the crisis and subsequently, transmitted through economic channels and government responses. This study's framework emphasizes the role of stratification along multiple trajectories – race, class, and gender – in contributing to economic crises and in shaping their distributional dynamics. The study underscores the long-run effects of the 2008 crisis on well-being, highlighted in feminist economists’ research on social reproduction and often missed in the macroeconomics literature.

Keywords: stratification, financialization, macroeconomics, Crisis

Topics: Class, Economies, Care Economies, Economic Inequality, Feminist Economics, Feminisms, Gender, Race

Year: 2013

Taking Up Space: Men, Masculinity, and the Student Climate Movement

Citation:

Chan, Jody, and Joe Curnow. 2017. “Taking Up Space: Men, Masculinity, and the Student Climate Movement.” RCC Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society, no. 4, 77–86.

Authors: Jody Chan , Joe Curnow

Annotation:

Summary:
Jody Chan and Joe Curnow explore the different gendered and racialized dynamics in the student climate movement. Their analysis falls within the framework of “doing gender,” which highlights how gender relations are socially constructed through interaction. Chan and Curnow argue that, while women and people of color are often at the forefront of grassroots environmental movements, gendered and racialized dynamics ensure that “doing” expertise relies on White masculine modes of engagement. In order to make the environmental movement more inclusive, these dynamics need to be recognized and changed. (Summary from Environment & Society Portal)

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Race

Year: 2017

Intersecting Identities and Global Climate Change

Citation:

Nagel, Joane. 2012. “Intersecting Identities and Global Climate Change.” Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 19 (4): 467–76.

Author: Joane Nagel

Abstract:

This article explores the place of race, class, gender, sexual and national identities and cultures in global climate change. Research on gendered vulnerabilities to disasters suggests that women are more vulnerable than men to many meteorological disasters related to climate change, specifically flooding and drought. This is because of their relative poverty, economic activities (especially subsistence agriculture) and the moral economies governing women's modesty in many cultures. Research on historical and contemporary links between masculinity and the military in environmental politics, polar research and large-scale strategies for managing risk, including from climate change, suggests that men and their perspectives have more influence over climate change policies because of their historical domination of science and government. I expect that masculinist identities, cultures and militarised institutions will tend to favour large-scale remedies, such as geoengineering, minimise mitigation strategies, such as reducing energy use, and emphasise ‘security’ problems of global climate change.

Keywords: gender, masculinity, climate change, militarism, identity

Topics: Class, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Race, Security, Sexuality

Year: 2012

Reconceptualising Foreign Policy as Gendered, Sexualised and Racialised: Towards a Postcolonial Feminist Foreign Policy (Analysis)

Citation:

Achilleos-Sarll, Columba. 2018. “Reconceptualising Foreign Policy as Gendered, Sexualised and Racialised: Towards a Postcolonial Feminist Foreign Policy (Analysis).” Journal of International Women’s Studies 19 (1): 34–49.

Author: Columba Achilleos-Sarll

Abstract:

How can we theorise more effectively the relationship among gender, sexuality, race and foreign policy? To explore this question, and to contribute to the nascent field of feminist foreign policy (analysis), this paper brings together two bodies of international relations (IR) literature: postcolonial feminism and post-positivist foreign policy analysis (FPA). This paper contributes a fundamental critique of both ‘conventional’ and ‘unconventional’ (namely post-positivist) FPA to demonstrate the lack of attention paid to postcolonial and feminist theories within FPA. In turn, this exposes the ways in which FPA marginalises, and renders inconsequential, the gendered, sexualised and racialised dimensions underwriting foreign policy practice and discourse. While post-positivist FPA seeks to rectify the silences that characterise ‘conventional’ and ‘unconventional’ (namely constructivist) FPA, this literature remains blind to the ways that intersecting oppressions, operating through hierarchies of social categories made possible through their naturalisation, inform the process, the production and the resultant gendered consequences of foreign policy. Moreover, while there are limited country-specific examinations (residing outside of FPA) on gender and foreign policy that offer useful insights, they are theoretically limited. Like much post-positivist feminism, these examinations privilege gender as a social category, omitting race and other markers of difference. Rather than presenting ‘gender’, ‘sexuality’ and ‘race’ as concepts only for interdisciplinary inquiry, it is propounded here that they should be seen as vital to the study and practice of foreign policy. Advancing the untested promise of a postcolonial feminist approach to FPA that (re-) centres intersectionality, (re-)instates connected histories, and (re-)configures normative orders, this paper argues that foreign policy should be re-conceptualised as gendered, sexualised and racialised. It is hoped this intervention may offer a blueprint to seriously engage with the possibility of a postcolonial feminist foreign policy approach to FPA, and to think anew about how that may be translated beyond the discipline: advocating for a symbiotic and complimentary feminist foreign and domestic policy that fundamentally challenges rather that maintains the status quo.

Keywords: Postcolonial Feminist Theory, Foreign Policy (Analysis)

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Race, Sexuality

Year: 2018

Military Markets, Masculinities and the Global Political Economy of the Everyday: Understanding Military Outsourcing as Gendered and Racialised

Citation:

Chisholm, Amanda, and Saskia Stachowitsch. 2017. “Military Markets, Masculinities and the Global Political Economy of the Everyday: Understanding Military Outsourcing as Gendered and Racialised.” In The Palgrave International Handbook of Gender and the Military, edited by Rachel Woodward and Claire Duncanson, 371–85. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK. 

Authors: Amanda Chisholm, Saskia Stachowitsch

Annotation:

Summary:
“This chapter examines the racialized and gendered practices that underpin and shape military privatization. It first traces the emergence of the research field; second, it highlights why critical research in this area remains important to understanding the gendering of war and military institutions; and third, it advances the field by integrating feminist global political economy to theorise private military security as an issue of labour, foregrounding gendered and racialized labour relations, global labour chains, labour migration patterns and the unpaid reproductive labour which constitute the private security industry” (Chisholm and Stachowitsch 2017, 371). 

Topics: Economies, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Political Economies, Race

Year: 2017

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