What do the massive global crises that humans have wrought in “the age of the Anthropocene” (extinction, pollution, natural resource depletion, and climate change—among others) have to do with bodily-bound ideas about sex, gender, and sexuality?
How have academics and activists understood the relationship between gendered beings (both human and non-human) and the environments in which they live?
What can feminist thinking contribute to visions for environmental justice, at both local and planetary scales?
Building from these essential questions, this course offers a framework for thinking about the intersections between feminist theory and environmental justice. Through readings, discussions, film screenings, and conversations with guest speakers, we will ask questions about the relationships among humans, non-human animals, and the material world in the construction of ideas about the environment and its futures. The main themes to be considered include: feminist theories of nature and materiality, bodies and environmental toxicities, how we might think about interspecies connections, and the sociopolitical contexts of environmental disasters. We approach these questions from the vantage of several different disciplinary traditions, including anthropology, history, science studies, literary criticism, and of course—women’s, gender, and sexuality, as well as queer, studies. Inspired by a growing body of work that reconsiders older ecofeminist interventions and proposes that we think in terms of newer posthuman futures, our critical, interdisciplinary conversations will allow us to investigate the possibilities and challenges of thinking gender in and through the environment.