Material Feminism in the Anthropocene

  • Stacy Alaimo

Two works of contemporary feminist art epitomize the vexed relations between feminism and environmentalism that have propelled much of my research. Barbara Kruger’s black and white photo, featuring a woman lying upside down with leaves over her eyes, overlaid with the caption, “We Won’t Play Nature to Your Culture,” illustrates the postmodern feminist rejection of the dualisms that align “woman” with mute, passive, nature.1 The “we,” a collective subject, voices a political stance that distances itself from the docile, degraded image. While that feminist critique – that charismatic power of revolt – is invaluable for gender politics, environmentalists may be troubled that the ground, the leaves, and what used to be known as nature, is once again transcended by the voice and the viewer. The caption calls the collective feminist subject to leave the ground behind, hailing us in a way that makes the earth a background2or resource for the active political subject. Cuban-American...


  1. Alaimo, Stacy. 2000. Undomesticated ground: Recasting nature as feminist space. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Alaimo, Stacy. 2010. Bodily natures: Science, environment and the material self. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Alaimo, Stacy. 2011. New materialisms, old humanisms: or, following the submersible. NORA: Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research 19(4): 280–284.Google Scholar
  4. Alaimo, Stacy. 2016. Exposed: environmental politics and pleasures in Posthuman Times. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  5. Alaimo, Stacy, and Susan Hekman, eds. 2008. Material feminisms. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Alberts, Paul. 2011. Responsibility toward life in the early anthropocene. Angelika: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 16(4): 5–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Austin, Mary. 1907. The walking woman. Atlantic Monthly no. 100, 216–220. Accessed 25 November 2015.
  8. Barad, Karen. 2007. Meeting the universe halfway: Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Beck, Ulrich. 1992. Risk society: Towards a new modernity. Trans. M. Ritter. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Braidotti, Rosi. 2006. Transpositions. Malden: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  11. Butler, Judith. 1992. Contingent foundations: Feminism and the question of ‘postmodernism.’. In Feminists Theorize the Political, eds. Judith Butler, and Joan W. Scott, 3–21. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Fell, Kim Triolo. 2013. Arlington Texas Barnett Shale Blogger. Accessed 25 Nov 2015.
  13. Haraway, Donna. 1991. Simians, cyborgs, women: The reinvention of nature. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Loy, Mina. 1996. There is no life or death. In The lost lunar, ed. Roger L. Conover, 3. Manchester: Carcanet.Google Scholar
  15. Morton, Timothy. 2013. Hyperobjects: Philosophy and ecology after the end of the world. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  16. Plumwood, Val. 1993. Feminism and the mastery of nature. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Snitow, Ann. 1990. A gender diary. In Conflicts in feminism, eds. Marianne Hirsch, and Evelyn Fox Keller, 9–43. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Taguchi, Hillevi Lenz. 2010. Going beyond the theory/practice divide in early childhood education: Introducing an intra-active pedagogy. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Wolfe, Cary. 2013. Before the law: Humans and others in a biopolitical frame. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TexasArlingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations