By Sidney I. Dobrin
Examines the relationships among language and nature.
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Additional resources for Natural Discourse: Toward Ecocomposition
For ecofeminists, there are at least eight direct links between feminist concerns and environmental concerns, as Karen Warren explains it. First, like Miller’s historical assessment of composition’s relations to gendered labeling, one of the key facets of ecofeminism is the recognition that such links are historical. However, for many ecofeminists such historical relations are also presented as causal. That is, many ecofeminists argue as Salleh Ariel Kay has that “the current global environmental crisis is a predictable outcome of patriarchal culture” (quoted in Warren 1996, xi).
Lewis Ulman, and Roderick Nash suggest that male-centeredness is just one part of a larger problem: anthropocentrism, or human-centeredness. Fox suggests that while men have been implicated in the history of ecological destruction far more than women, we must extend this examination to account for the actions and attitudes of all white, wealthy Westerners, who have been far more implicated in global environmental destruction than precapitalists, blacks, and non-Westerners. He argues that “anthropocentrism has served as the most fundamental kind of legitimation employed by whatever powerful class of social actors one wishes to focus on” (22).
Ecocomposition and Cultural Studies It would seem, at ﬁrst, that ecocomposition might be deﬁned as a subdiscipline of cultural studies. After all, many ecocritics deﬁne part of the 28 Natural Discourse agenda of ecocriticism as making the critical category of environment/place as important in literary analysis as are culture, race, class, and gender, and many in cultural studies have begun to consider issues of space and location in their inquiries. Likewise, because of the close links between ecocomposition and ecocriticism, many have also begun to see ecocomposition as a means to introduce place and environment as a critical category and as a subject of study much like race, class, gender, and culture.