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This course challenges the concepts of â€œnatureâ€ and â€œgender.â€ Working within the frameworks of ecocriticism, ecofeminism, and queer theory, we will explore how cultural texts and practices impose gendered roles on both humans and the non-human world. Drawing on the work of theorists, historians, philosophers, environmental activists, writers, and filmmakers, we will consider how cultural depictions of nature and gender inform our own relationships with the more-than- human world. But rather than dwell fatalistically on the domination and silencing of ecosystems and human populations, this course explores possibilities for hope. Where ecofeminism frequently links the exploitation and domination of women to that of the earth, queer theory opens up possibilities for new relationships with the environment that are at odds with what is â€œnormalâ€ or â€œdominant.â€ Queer, which means to â€œdestabilizeâ€ or to put â€œoff-center,â€ becomes a playful move in relation to contemporary ecological destruction and opens up optimistic alternatives to current practices surrounding consumption, reproduction, and activism.
This noncredit class meets with a regular University of Utah credit course.