I have chosen to use ecocriticism or ecofeminism as my guiding key terms and lenses because this field has interested me throughout my career as an English major. I have always liked analyzing how the natural world is portrayed in literature and how it can function as a device and provide deeply rich metaphors. Looking at the environment in literature in conjunction with gender has also interested me, as it reveals the way stories can subvert or undermine the male/society and feminine/nature binary, to complicate the way we see natural landscapes as gendered spaces. Ecofeminism is a fascinating field that combines my passions for feminist research on gender equality and environmental analysis, which is also interesting to me because of my background as an Environmental Studies major. When it comes to applying these key terms, I am more flexible and open minded as to where; right now, I am considering the works of Virginia Woolf as a key feminist writer who I have some experience with, as well as perhaps some of her peers and staying within the modernist era. However, I have found several sources on ecofeminist poetics within Victorian poetry as well (including the works of Micheal Field, among others). I plan to use this reading list to determine which time period (modernist or victorian) and genre (novels or poetry) to apply an ecocritical lens.
Updates: I chose to get rid of of source on Victorian Poetry as, although I am interested, I am leaning more towards modernist novels. I added a source specific to Willa Cather and Ecofeminism so that I have all of my potential primary source authors represented somewhere in my reading list. My conversation with Professor Moffat about eco-criticism and Virginia Woolf shaped my thinking on focusing on her texts as a whole and encouraged me to add Between the Acts, which is set in the English countryside. She also brought up how time and modernism can play into Woolf and ecofeminism, which was interesting to me in relation to the Kristeva reading for class a few weeks ago. Tomorrow I will be speaking with Dr. Schweighofer to talk about ecofeminism as a theory and applying it to literature more broadly which will greatly help me get a sense of what current ecofeminist dialogue looks like. My primary texts include many works of Virginia Woold because of my experience in writing about nature and gender in Orlando and other secondary sources I’ve found on ecofeminism and her works. I included Jeaneatte Winterson because of my conversation with Professor Kersh and her name coming up also in my secondary research. Willa Cather I have read and have seen connections to ecofeminism, and after some research chose to include Oh Pioneers and My Antonia.
Cather, Willa. My Antonia. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1918.
Cather, Willa. Oh Pioneers. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1913.
Winterson, Jeanette. Written on the Body. New York, Knopf Press, 1992.
Woolf, Virginia. Between the Acts. London, Hogarth Press, 1941.
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. London, Hogarth Press, 1925.
Woolf, Virginia. Orlando. London, Hogarth Press, 1928.
Woolf, Virginia. The Waves. London, Hogarth Press, 1931.
Woolf, Virginia. To the Lighthouse. London, Hogarth Press, 1927.
3-5 Secondary or Theoretical Works:
Adams, Carol J. Ecofeminism and the Sacred. Continuum, 1993.
Campbell, Andrea. New Directions in Ecofeminist Literary Criticism. Cambridge Scholars Publisher, 2008.https://dickinson.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01DICKINSON_INST/1d86qtd/cdi_askewsholts_vlebooks_9781443809221
Kostkowska, J. Ecocriticism and Women Writers: Environmentalist Poetics of Virginia Woolf, Jeanette Winterson, and Ali Smith. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2013,
Murphy, Patricia. Reconceiving Nature: Ecofeminism in Late Victorian Women’s Poetry. University of Missouri Press, 2019. https://dickinson.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01DICKINSON_INST/1d86qtd/cdi_proquest_ebookcentral_EBC5632621
Madsen, Deborah L. “Gender and Nature: Eco-Feminism and Willa Cather.” Feminist Theory and Literary Practice, Pluto Press, 2015, p. 122–. https://dickinson.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01DICKINSON_INST/1d86qtd/cdi_jstor_books_j_ctt18fs482_8
Vakoch, Douglas A. Feminist Ecocriticism Environment, Women, and Literature. Lexington Books, 2012. https://dickinson.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01DICKINSON_INST/15ac0tc/alma991007274682505226
Chosen Academic Journal for Year of Issues:
Environmental Humanities. Environmental Humanities Programme, University of New South Wales, 2012.