Queer Ecology

“A queer ecological project might proceed by challenging [the] problematic links between the power relations of sexuality and nature. Queers have, in a variety of ways, challenged the destructive pairing of heterosexuality and nature: by developing “reverse discourses” oriented to challenging dominant understandings of our “unnatural passions”; by borrowing ecological thinking to develop radically transformative gay and lesbian politics; and […] by taking elements of queer experience to construct an alternative environmental perspective.”

-Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands

Reading list:


D. Shuttleton, ‘The Queer Politics of Gay Pastoral’, in R. Phillips, D. West and D. Shuttleton (eds), De-Centring Sexualities: Politics and Representation Beyond the Metropolis, London, Routledge, 2000, pp125-46.

“Becoming Ecosexual” by Elizabeth Stephens. (forthcoming in the Fall, 2010 Issue of the Canadian Theatre Review: Theatre in an Age of Eco-Crisis.)

Abelove, Henry. “From Thoreau to Queer Politics.” _Yale Journal of Criticism_ 6.2 (1993): 17-27.

Herring, Scott. _Another Country: Queer Anti-urbanism_. New York: New York U, 2010.

Rotello, Gabriel. _Sexual Ecology: AIDS and the Destiny of Gay Men_. New York: Dutton, 1997.

Warner, Michael. “Thoreau’s Bottom.” _Raritan_. 11.3 (Winter 1992): 53-79.

*Possibly useful: “Gay Ecology,” pp. 154-162, Chapter 4, “Safe-Sex Education and the Death Drive” in: Dean, Tim. _Beyond Sexuality_. Chicago: U Chicago, 2000.

*On Radclyffe Hall’s _The Well of Loneliness_: see Chapter 3, “Spoiled Identity: Radclyffe Hall’s Unwanted Being” in: Love, Heather. _Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History_. Cambridge: Harvard U, 2007.


“Queering Ecocultural Studies.” Cultural Studies 22.3 (2008): 455-76.

“Unnatural Passions?: Notes Toward a Queer Ecology.” Invisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture 9 (2005): n. pag.

“Desiring Nature, Queering Ethics: Adventures in Erotogenic Environments.” Environmental Ethics 23 (2001): 169-88.

“Eco Homo: Queering the Ecological Body Politic.” Social Philosophy Today 19 (2003): no pag.

“From Unnatural Passions to Queer Nature.” Alternatives Journal 27.3 (2001): 30-5.

The Good-Natured Feminist: Ecofeminism and the Quest for Democracy. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1999.

“Lavender’s Green? Some Thoughts on Queer(y)ing Environmental Politics.” Undercurrents: Journal of Critical Environmental Studies 6 (1994): 20-4.

Also, take a look at Lee Edelman’s No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive. It has a really interesting discussion about the role of children and futurity in queer theory.

Some other articles that might be of interest as well:

Elia, John P. “Queering Relationships: Toward a Paradigmatic Shift.” Journal of 61-86.

Evans, Mei Mei. “Queer(y)ing Nature.” Interdisciplinary Literary Studies 7.1 (2005): 27-35.

Hird, Myra J. “Naturally Queer.” Feminist Theory 5.1 (2004): 85-9.

Lee, Wendy Lynne and Laura M. Dow. “Queering Ecological Feminism: Erotophobia, Commodification, Art, and Lesbian Identity.” Ethics & the Environment 6.2 (2001): 1-21. (this article is a critique of Gaard’s “Toward a Queer

Homosexuality 45 (2003):


Spanier, Bonnie B. “‘Lessons’ from ‘Nature’: Gender Ideology and Sexual Ambiguity in Biology.” Body

Guards: The Cultural Politics of Gender Ambiguity. Ed. Julia Epstein and Kristina Straub. New York: Routledge, 1992. 329-50.


Butler, Judith. (Generally.)

Casid, Jill. Introduction. Sowing Empire: Landscape and Colonization. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2005.

Dempsey, Shawna, and Millan, Lorri. Lesbian National Parks and Services: Field Guide to North America. Toronto: Pedlar P, 2002. (See also http://criticalspatialpractice.blogspot.com/2007/12/lesbian-national- parks-and-services.html)

Hall, Lee. “Reflections on the Masculine Hegemon: A Reply to Richard Twine.” Ecofem.org 2005 (http:// http://www.ecofem.org/journal/)

Haraway, Donna. (Generally.)

Heller, Chaia. Ecology of Everyday Life: Rethinking the Desire for Nature. Montreal, London, and Tonawanda, NY: Black Rose, 1999. (See review at http://www.ecopsychology.org/journal/gatherings6/html/Overview/ overview_eelife.html and interview at http://www.anarchiststudies.org/perspectives/6Chaia.htm)

Herring, Scott. “Out of the Closets, Into the Woods: RFD, Country Women, and the Post-Stonewall Emergence of Queer Anti-urbanism.” American Quarterly 59 (2007): 341-72.

Massey, Doreen. Space, Place, and Gender. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota Press, 1994.

McDowell, Linda. Gender, Identity and Place: Understanding Feminist Geographies. Minneapolis: U of Minneapolis Press, 1999.

—, ed. Undoing Place? A Geographical Reader. London: Arnold, 1997.

Mortimer-Sandilands, Catriona. “Desiring Nature, Queering Ethics: Adventures in Erotogenic Environments.” Environmental Ethics 23.2 Summer 2001: 169-188.

—. The Good-Natured Feminist: Ecofeminism and the Quest for Democracy. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1999.

—. “The Importance of Reading Queerly: Jewett’s Deephaven as Feminist Ecology.” Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment 11.2 (2004): 57-77.

—. “Queering Ecocultural Studies.” Cultural Studies, forthcoming.

—. “Unnatural Passions? Notes Toward a Queer Ecology.” Invisible Culture: an Electronic Journal for Visual Culture 2005.

RFD Magazine. http://www.rfdmag.org/ (Radical Faeries)

Rose, Gillian. Feminism & Geography: The Limits of Geographical Knowledge. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.

Roughgarden, Joan. Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People. Berkeley and LA: U of California P, 2004.

Scharff, Virginia, ed. Seeing Nature Through Gender. Lawrence, KS: U P of Kansas, 2003.

Shuttleton, David. “The Queer Politics of Gay Pastoral.” De-centring Sexualities: Politics and Representation Beyond the Metropolis. Ed. Richard Phillips,Diane Watt and David Shuttleton. London: Routledge, 2000. 125-46.

Stein, Rachel, ed. New Perspectives on Environmental Justice: Gender, Sexuality, and Activism.Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers UP, 2004.

Sturgeon, Noël. Ecofeminist Natures: Race, Gender, Feminist Theory and Political Action. New York: Routledge, 1997.

Warner, Michael. Fear of a Queer Planet: Queer Politics and Social Theory. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1993.

Plus a few memoirs:

Clare, Eli. Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation. Cambridge, MA: South End P, 1999.

Doty, Mark. Heaven’s Coast: A Memoir. New York: HarperCollins, 1997.

Grover, Jan Zita. North Enough: AIDS and Other Clear-Cuts. St. Paul, MN: Graywolf P, 1997.

Jarman, Derek. Modern Nature: Journals of Derek Jarman. New York: Vintage, 1992.

(Source: http://alexandtheuniverse.wordpress.com/resources/)


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Questions of Nature within the disciplinary frame of Literary Studies

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