Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Queer Ecology

I'm writing an essay called “Queer Ecology.” It's for PMLA, the flagship journal of my neck of the Humanities woods. To be honest, I'm a little nervous about how to proceed. But I'm passionate about my hypothesis: that ecology is queer to its very (un)foundations.

What do you think?


richard said...

Well, you're certainly not alone in thinking this: I've had good success teaching both Greta Gaard and Cate Sandilands on this. Cate's article online is a good read, especially on the queering of our concept of evolution.

Most of our perceptions re nature/ environment/ society need some queering, or what in some circles during the gay 90s was referred to as deconstruction.

Björn said...

Agree 100%. I'm currently working with the Surplus People Project in Cape Town, South Africa, supporting small scale farmers and resisting mainstream agriculture. I've found many times when I met farmers of a very conservative catholic belief that their conception of the world is being challenged when they are prompted to question authorities and traditions that are deeply connected with institutions that they rely heavily on, such as the church. What is the title of your essay?

Timothy Morton said...

That's great to hear, Bjorn--thank you for sharing that. The essay is called "Queer Ecology" and it's coming out in the May 2010 issue of PMLA.

Kym Martindale said...

The concept of 'queer' in this field is extremely exciting, but needs, I feel to retain the potential that queer theory originally promised. That is to say, the shift away from heterosexist models must not rule out those models entirely, but embrace process and shifting in themselves. The danger of 'queer' is that it starts to see non-straight models as an answer in themselves rather than the term queer as an imperative to 'question always the form of the thing' (Bruce Hainly). What excites me about your work, in my brief contact with it, Tim, is the concept of 'nonidentity' which seems to encapsulate queer in all its promise - that is, as a verb rather than an adjective or a noun.
Kym Martindale, University College Falmouth, UK