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Ecocriticism and Feminism

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Women and Gender Studies

WGS355 th Jan 11 Ecocriticism and Feminism Ecocriticism began as a field of literary criticism in which a consideration of the natural world or nature in texts became the foremost concern in interpretation. It is now an interdisciplinary field, which seeks to understand and identify the cultural discourses that describe the natural world and the human relationship to it. Feminist ecocritics have posited the idea that the feminization of the natural world may be linked to environmental degradation. The portrayal of nature as female, whether mother, goddess, or virgin Western Civilization - Europe th - by 15 century, wolves were extinct – realized the idea that resources on this earth are finite and limited o conservationism is born  scarcity – human being as stewards of the earth – must take care of the earth – Adam and eve’s role in the Garden of Eden – given dominion over the animals  humans are separate from the natural world - humans were hunters/gathers th - Beowulf – 11 century – one of the earliest texts in English o man vs. beast  but we need nature for survival – natural resources and food - rise of religion with Christianity - paganism – worship of nature - idea that nature was “alive” – spirits for each (tree spirit, grass spirit) - Gaia theory – looks at the entire planet as a living breathing organism – calls earth Gaia o Earth is our mothe
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