Stacy Alaimo

in The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory

Published in print February 2016 | ISBN: 9780199328581
Published online January 2015 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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The term “nature,” because of its associations with gender and racial essentialisms, its position in foundational Western dualisms, its place in the colonialist imagination, and its promotion of heteronormativity is a volatile term for feminist theory. While much feminist theory has distanced itself from the conceptual terrain of nature, environmental feminisms, material feminisms, feminist science studies, queer ecologies, and feminist posthumanisms approach “nature” differently, productively engaging with human corporeality, environments, material agency and nonhuman life. In this anthropocene era, marked by the human alteration of the biological, geological, and chemical composition of the planet, feminist theory needs to contend with “nature” in ways that are attuned not only to social justice but to the survival of a multitude of species, ecosystems, and life forms. Feminist theory is thus a vital resource for all theorists who wish to rethink the concept of nature and its theoretical, ethical, and political entanglements.

Keywords: nature; essentialism; gender; race; environment; material feminism; queer ecologies; feminist posthumanism; anthropocene feminisms

Article.  10281 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Political Theory ; Comparative Politics

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