Dig into the print! Queer/Ecology Resource List
Duck down the rabbit hole online: Queer/Ecology Links and Online Resources
Why queer ecology matters:
Where queer theory and eco-criticism meet, incredible intellectual work has been and is currently being carried out by a variety of scholarly types–these thinkers have reached a general consensus on calling their field of scholarship Queer Ecology.
This work is so important! And for far more than making all of those queer-theory-philic brains tingle! It also offers novel ways of understanding how humans–the non-binary biological beings that we are–relate to all the rest of the living world. Hint: it is messy! These sorts of novel insights are exceedingly valuable right now as the whole living world–and humans along with it–are in an incredible state of massive flux.
I do, however, see a few drawbacks to queer ecology as a term:
The phrase seems to be relevant primarily within the social science and literary fields of queer theory and eco-criticism. Beyond that, whether in the biological fields of ecology–or in mainstream public/civic/political discourse–it seems that the term might retain its intrigue, but lose much of its accuracy. I, for one, have attempted over and over again to approach the term from outside the queer-eco-critical framework–and each time I’ve found myself using it deleteriously as a catch all for any and every intersection between human sexuality and all the rest of the living world.
To parse the limitations of the term a bit further: from a biological-science perspective, ecology is inherently queer, being the study of the complexity of living organisms and their interrelationships. Queer ecology, then, is redundant. Queer, however, has come to mean much more than mere complexity. Queer is also a theory (with a rich field of scholarship) that challenges basic assumptions of how humans construct our understanding of sexuality, gender, family, and nature.
Consequently, in order to be more accurate, I’ve begun adding a slash when referring to applications, extensions, and tangents of queer ecology that have moved beyond the social science queer-eco-critical scholarly realm.
Don’t forget: hearts and minds are great, but so are the toads and tadpoles. So, how do we live, love, create, conserve, restore, and queer in an unfathomably complex and changing world? I’m all ears.
To read more of my own observations and attempts, visit my blog.
To let me know what you think about all this, contact me.