Other affiliations: University of Texas at Austin
Bio: Stacy Alaimo is an academic researcher from University of Texas at Arlington. The author has contributed to research in topics: Feminism & Posthuman. The author has an hindex of 14, co-authored 33 publications receiving 1388 citations. Previous affiliations of Stacy Alaimo include University of Texas at Austin.
25 Oct 2010
TL;DR: In this paper, the science, culture, and politics of multiple chemical sensitivity have been discussed in the context of posthuman environmental ethics in recent science fiction novels, including Deviant Agents and Invisible Matters.
Abstract: 1. Bodily Natures 2. Eros and X-Rays: Bodies, Class, and "Environmental Justice" 3. Invisible Matters: The Sciences of Environmental Justice 4. Material Memoirs: Science, Autobiography, and the Substantial Self 5. Deviant Agents: The Science, Culture, and Politics of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity 6. Genetics, Material Agency, and the Evolution of Posthuman Environmental Ethics in Recent Science Fiction Notes Works Cited Index
15 Oct 2016
01 Jan 2000
TL;DR: In Undomesticated Ground as discussed by the authors, Alaimo examines the importance of nature within literary and political texts and establishes nature as a crucial site for the cultural work of feminism.
Abstract: From "Mother Earth" to "Mother Nature," women have for centuries been associated with nature. Feminists, troubled by the way in which such representations show women controlled by powerful natural forces and confined to domestic space, have sought to distance themselves from nature. In Undomesticated Ground, Stacy Alaimo issues a bold call to reclaim nature as feminist space. Her analysis of a remarkable range of feminist writings-as well as of popular journalism, visual arts, television, and film-powerfully demonstrates that nature has been and continues to be an essential concept for feminist theory and practice.Alaimo urges feminist theorists to rethink the concept of nature by probing the vastly different meanings that it carries. She discusses its significance for Americans engaged in social and political struggles from, for example, the "Indian Wars" of the early nineteenth century, to the birth control movement in the 1920s, to contemporary battles against racism and heterosexism. Reading works by Catherine Sedgwick, Mary Austin, Emma Goldman, Nella Larson, Donna Haraway, Toni Morrison, and others, Alaimo finds that some of these writers strategically invoke nature for feminist purposes while others cast nature as a postmodern agent of resistance in the service of both environmentalism and the women's movement.By examining the importance of nature within literary and political texts, this book greatly expands the parameters of the nature writing genre and establishes nature as a crucial site for the cultural work of feminism.
TL;DR: For example, this paper pointed out that the discourse of sustainability at the turn of the twenty-first century in the United States echoes the discourse in the Progressive women conservation movement of the early 20th century.
Abstract: mornings in the unknown future. Who shall repair this now. And how the future takes shape too quickly. The permanent is ebbing. Is leaving —Jorie Graham, “Sea Change” Conserving This, Conserving That Just a few lines from jorie graham's poem “sea change” evoke anxiety about unpredictable futures that arrive too soon, in need of repair. The abrupt departure of a sense of permanence may provoke the desire to arrest change, to shore up solidity, to make things, systems, standards of living “sustainable.” Having worked in the environmental humanities and in science studies for the last decade and having served as the academic cochair of the University Sustainability Committee at the University of Texas, Arlington, for several years, I have been struck by how the discourse of sustainability at the turn of the twenty-first century in the United States echoes the discourse of conservation at the turn of the twentieth century, especially in its tendency to render the lively world a storehouse of supplies for the elite. Gifford Pinchot, Theodore Roosevelt's head of forestry, defined forests as “manufacturing plants for wood,” epitomizing the utilitarianism of the conservation movement of the Progressive era, which saw nature as a resource for human use. By the early twentieth century Pinchot's deadening conception of nature jostled with other ideas, such as those of aesthetic conservation and the fledgling science of ecology. Pinchot was joined by the Progressive women conservationists, who claimed, as part of the broader “municipal housekeeping” movement, that women had special domestic talents for conservation, such as “turning yesterday's roast into tomorrow's hash.” Many Progressive women conservationists not only bolstered traditional gender roles but also wove classism and racism into their conservation mission, as conservation became bound up with conserving their own privileges. The anthropocentrism of the Progressive women conservationists is notable. As a participant in the First National Conservation Congress stated in 1909, “Why do we care about forests and streams? Because of the children who are to be naked and bare and poor without them in the years to come unless you men of this great conservation work do well your work.” During their conventions the discourse of conservation was playfully and not so playfully extended to myriad causes, including conserving food, conserving the home, conserving morals, conserving “true womanliness,” conserving “the race,” conserving “the farmer's wife,” and conserving time by omitting a speech (Alaimo, Undomesticated Ground 63–70).
TL;DR: In a recent work, Latour as discussed by the authors argued that mainstream environmental movements are doomed to fail so long as they envision political ecology as inextricably tied to the protection and management of nature through political methodologies and policies.
Abstract: Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy. By Bruno Latour. Translated by Catherine Porter. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004; pp. x + 307. $55.00 cloth; $24.95 paper. The academic study of environmental ethics, particularly of "deep ecology," has generated extensive scholarly discussion in recent years. Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences Into Democracy, by French author Bruno Latour, brings a fascinating and bold new twist to contemporary discussions about the nature of "nature." Latour proposes a radical shift in current conceptions of "political ecology," arguing that mainstream environmental movements are doomed to fail so long as they envision political ecology as inextricably tied to the protection and management of nature through political methodologies and policies. Instead, political ecology should abandon socially constructed representations of nature as an uncontrollable monolith. The former perspective is dangerous, Latour argues, because it enables science to silence public deliberation about ecological issues and close off options to prevent pending environmental crises. The rhetoric of science, whose credibility emanates from the dual sources of indisputable expertise and dire warnings, paralyzes the polis. Unable to contest scientific fact, and faced with pending environmental cataclysm, public and political discussion centered on the inevitable question of "What next?" becomes stagnant and devoid of solutions. In the first chapter, Latour argues that "nature is the chief obstacle that has hampered the development of public discourse" (9). Nature, or at least the agreed-upon external reality that is often represented as nature, allows science to render the public sphere voiceless. Unqualified to objectively test and observe natural facts, the polis is relegated to the sidelines, and engages in endless quibbling about matters of value which are a rung lower on the hierarchy of social concerns. The hegemony of science and the god-like status of the scientist, who is the only legitimate liaison between the natural world and the public, render meaningful political discourse impotent. "[T]he Scientist can go back and forth from one world to the other no matter what: the passageway closed to all others is open to him alone" (11). Latour concludes this chapter by examining how Western societies, particularly the United States, use nature to order and organize political life. Uncontestable facts of nature, and rhetoric that represents nature as something to be controlled, protected, or managed, permeate everyday political discourse and decision-making to a degree not seen in other cultures. Having thrown off the yoke of nature, Latour sketches one precondition for a more communal and sustainable political ecology in chapter 2. Here, a critique of anthropocentrism is used to cast off false, socially constructed distinctions between human and nonhuman, including animals and inanimate objects like rocks and trees. Of particular interest to rhetorical scholars, Latour also criticizes at length the modernist belief that speech and the capacity for rational thought distinguish humans from nonhumans. Instead, he posits that political ecology must be recast as a collective of beings both human and nonhuman, both capable of speech and mute: "a slight displacement of our attention suffices to show that nonhumans, too, are implicated in a great number of speech impedimenta" (62-63). This rethinking of the public collective is necessary to prevent scientists from imposing the idea that they definitively represent and speak for nature (the mute objects that they seek so earnestly to protect). …
01 Jan 2010
TL;DR: In this article, the issues in feminist theory, epistemology and methodology are highlighted, and an analytical approach to gendered power differential analysis is presented, combining introductory overviews with reflections.
Abstract: Highlights the issues in feminist theory, epistemology and methodology. Combining introductory overviews with reflections, this title focuses on analytical approaches to gendered power differential ...
TL;DR: In this article, the authors define the parameters that define a posthuman knowing subject, her scientific credibility and ethical accountability, and take the posthumanities as an emergent field of enquiry based on the convergence of convergent theories.
Abstract: What are the parameters that define a posthuman knowing subject, her scientific credibility and ethical accountability? Taking the posthumanities as an emergent field of enquiry based on the conver...
TL;DR: In this article, an alternative reading of the cyborg metaphor is proposed based on the need to rethink relations between the corporeality of the urban experience and the continuing political salience of the public realm.
Abstract: Since the term 'cyborg' first emerged in the early 1960s it has gradually evolved to encompass an ever wider array of fields ranging from in vitro fertilization to science fiction cinema. In this article the idea of the cyborg will be explored in relation to the physical infrastructure of the city. It is suggested that the cyborg metaphor usefully challenges dualistic conceptions of urban space that revolve around antinomies such as nature/culture, body/technology, real/unreal and concrete/abstract. A cyborg perspective highlights complexity, hybridity and indeterminacy and emphasizes facets of the urban experience that remain extensively hidden in conventional accounts. Yet the cyborg concept also extends to functionalist, neo-orgamcist and technologically determinist approaches in which the role of flows, networks or biomorphic patterns takes precedence over the political dynamics of urban space. This article develops an alternative reading of the cyborg based around the need to rethink relations between the corporeality of the urban experience and the continuing political salience of the public realm.
TL;DR: In this paper, intersectional analysis of climate change illuminates how different individuals and groups relate differently to climate change, due to their situatedness in power structures based on context-specific and dynamic social categorisations.
Abstract: Investigations of the interconnectedness of climate change with human societies require profound analysis of relations among humans and between humans and nature, and the integration of insights from various academic fields. An intersectional approach, developed within critical feminist theory, is advantageous. An intersectional analysis of climate change illuminates how different individuals and groups relate differently to climate change, due to their situatedness in power structures based on context-specific and dynamic social categorisations. Intersectionality sketches out a pathway that stays clear of traps of essentialisation, enabling solidarity and agency across and beyond social categories. It can illustrate how power structures and categorisations may be reinforced, but also challenged and renegotiated, in realities of climate change. We engage with intersectionality as a tool for critical thinking, and provide a set of questions that may serve as sensitisers for intersectional analyses on clima...