What is Ecofeminism? Podcasts

In this project students created short radio broadcasts to the question “What is Ecofeminism?” by introducting listeners to a particular concept, issue, or topic studied in class.  This assignment was the final project for the Fall 2010 course.

Ecofeminism Podcasts: By Author

Anna-Lisa Noack What is Ecofeminism? Anna-Lisa Noack – Ecofeminism Podcast
Annie Gilmore Women, Soil, and Food Annie Gilmore – Ecofeminism Podcast
Breanna Marr What is Ecofeminism? Breanna Marr – Ecofeminism Podcast
Claire Tighe Ecofeminism Claire Tighe – Ecofeminism Podcast
Emily Olman The Safe Space: Ecofeminism Unpacked Emily Olman – Ecofeminism Podcast
Katelyn Repash Ecofeminism and Bioregionalism Katelyn Repash – Ecofeminism Podcast
Maggie Rees What the *?!* is Ecofeminism? Maggie Rees – Ecofeminism Podcast
Ramsay Pierce Meditate on This Ramsay Pierce – Ecofeminism Podcast
Rebecca Yahiel What is Ecofeminism? Rebecca Yahiel – Ecofeminism Podcast
Samathan Stahl What is Ecofeminism? Samantha Stahls – Ecofeminism Podcast
Torey Donato & Mary Gill Stuff You Should Know: How to be an Ecofeminist Torey Donato and Mary Gill – Ecofeminism Podcast

Assignment Information

Chose a particular theory, person, idea, or class period, and use this as a way to explain ecofeminism outside of just definitions. For example:

  • Dualisms : what are they and how do they (negatively) guide our thinking and doing?
  • The Erotic : How is this a framework for seeing and experiencing the world, and why is this an ecofeminist way of knowing?
  • Soil, Land, Home : How is soil a lifeforce? Why should our economy stand on it? Why do we think of it as dirty, what is the difference between soil, land, dirt, home?
  • Bioregionalism: What does it mean to be home in this place? What should we know about our bioregion? The personal is political – why is it important to solve feminist and ecological crises in our own backyards, relationships, instituitons?
  • Toxic Bodies: How are women’s bodies, the industrial complex, consumerism, and degredation of the environment intertwined?
  • Ecofeminist history: Who started it? Where did the word come from? What can we learn from women’s history, from first peoples, etc…?
  • Ecofeminists today: Who are today’s ecofeminists? What are they doing? How can you be an ecofeminist today?

There are many ways to approach presenting information to your audience. You could do an informational monologue with interesting facts, quips, and questions. Or you could do a Q&A with your peers in class as a means of answering/providing information (maybe you are interviewing a famous ecofeminist in the podcast?). Feeling creative? Pretend to be at the site of some ecofeminist disaster (which may be something as simple as the Dickinson cafeteria, with it’s lack of local and vegetarian food and strange gender dynamics!), take your listeners in a walk through an ecofeminist forest/farm/topographical map, or pretend you are living in an ecofeminist utopia and discuss «past inequalities» and how strange they were.

Assignment requirements
1. The recorded podcast should be two to three minutes long. This corresponds to a 500-675 word essay. (A good way to see how long you should plan for is to take a former essay you have written, and record/time yourself reading until you have reached the 4 minute mark – character count can tell you how many words you read up to that point). Do not forget that there will be a brief intro and a brief outro (say 15 seconds total).

2. Your podcast should have each of the following. The relative amounts will vary depending on topic, and it is up to you to determine the organization of the material that works best in the podcast.

  • An intro which describes your role as a student in the Ecofeminism class, and context for the class (what college, year, semester, etc.)
  • Two definitions of ecofeminism: at least one of your own, and one as a quotation from an ecofeminist we have read
  • A question you pose to the audience which allows you to provide an answer throughout the podcast
  • Verbal links to at least two authors and their theories
  • At least one personal connection which would allow listeners to connect a concept to their daily lives (this could be posed as a question)

3. You must record your own podcasts and be the main speaker. Guest performers are allowed but must not overshadow your contribution – feel free to use music, sound clips, etc. from other sources, but be very careful about copyright infringement.

4. You must turn in a paper version of your podcast (a transcript). In this paper version you must supply references for your sources, and use footnotes, endnotes, or in-text citations to indicate sources for your statements. Sources should be primarly from class texts, with few online resources as supplement.

5. The quality of the recording will be a factor in your grade. Be sure to plan for enough time to do a few takes, and listen for sound quality.

Tips and advice for creating an engaging podcast

  1. Remember who you speak for. Be careful with your language: Do not generalize «us» «women» «Earth» «environment» «people» «culture» «men» «bodies» «others»
  2. Remember who you speak to. You should write for an academic audience. This is a ‘special report’ not an advertisement – be funny or charming, but not at the expense of sound content
  3. Tell the truth. Even though you are not going to spell out all the details, do not oversimplify to the point of allowing the listener to fall into logic traps like concluding that women are closer to nature, there are inherent capabilities distinct to men and women, ecology is the same as environmentalism
  4. Give examples. If you have illuminating and easy-to-understand examples that illustrate your ecofeminist ideas, be sure to include them.
  5. Use metaphors and colorful language to describe the complicated connections.
  6. Be creative! This is not your typical final. Think “outside the box.”
  7. Grab the listener’s attention right at the start by having an interesting lead.
  8. Use an “inverted pyramid” structure that puts the most important information first.
  9. Interesting quotations add color to the podcast (You need to say who said it since the listener cannot see your footnotes.)
  10. Use analogies and metaphors to describe complex connections between ecology and feminism, or feminist ecology.
  11. Have a strong ending. Have a windup that reminds the listeners of what they heard.
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