Seeing Nature through Gender / Edition 1

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Overview

Environmental history has traditionally told the story of Man and Nature. Scholars have too frequently overlooked the ways in which their predominantly male subjects have themselves been shaped by gender. Seeing Nature through Gender here reintroduces gender as a meaningful category of analysis for environmental history, showing how women's actions, desires, and choices have shaped the world and seeing men as gendered actors as well.In thirteen essays that show how gendered ideas have shaped the ways in which people have represented, experienced, and consumed their world, Virginia Scharff and her coauthors explore interactions between gender and environment in history. Ranging from colonial borderlands to transnational boundaries, from mountaintop to marketplace, they focus on historical representations of humans and nature, on questions about consumption, on environmental politics, and on the complex reciprocal relations among human bodies and changing landscapes. They also challenge the "ecofeminist" position by challenging the notion that men and women are essentially different creatures with biologically different destinies. Each article shows how a person or group of people in history have understood nature in gendered terms and acted accordingly-often with dire consequences for other people and organisms. Here are considerations of the ways we study sexuality among birds, of William Byrd's masking sexual encounters in his account of an eighteenth-century expedition, of how the ecology of fire in a changing built environment has reshaped firefighters' own gendered identities. Some are playful, as in a piece on the evolution of "snow bunnies" to "shred betties." Others are dead serious, as in a chilling portrait of how endocrine disrupters are reinventing humans, animals, and water systems from the cellular level out. Aiding and adding significantly to the enterprise of environmental history, Seeing Nature through Gender bridges gender history and environmental history in unexpected ways to show us how the natural world can remake the gendered patterns we've engraved on ourselves and on the planet.

"This volume brings together some of the most innovative and exciting work in two burgeoning fields of history-gender history and environmental history. It promises to break ground and will, as a result, be widely read and cited."—Nancy Hewitt, editor of Talking Gender "Until recently environmental history has been curiously immune to gendered analysis. This gathering of original essays should enhance that enterprise and in the process open up entirely new possibilities for the field."—Elliott West, author of The Contested Plains "Signals a coming of age for both gender studies and environmental studies and the arrival of a mature scholarship that can bring these interdisciplinary gestures together. . . . Will be a touchstone for future work in these areas."—Frieda E. Knobloch, author of The Culture of Wilderness

Author Biography: Virginia J. Scharff is professor of history at the University of New Mexico and author of Taking the Wheel: Women and the Coming of the Motor Age and Twenty Thousand Roads: Women, Movement, and the West. Contributors: Peter Boag, Annie Gilbert Coleman, Giovanna Di Chiro, Amy Green, Maril Hazlett, Katherine Jensen, Catherine Kleiner, Nancy Langston, Paige Raibmon, Douglas Sackman, Virginia Scharff, Bryant Simon, Mark Tebeau

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700612857
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 10/31/2003
  • Series: Development of Western Resources Ser.
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. I Representation
1 Man and Nature! Sex Secrets of Environmental History 3
2 Naturalizing Power: Land and Sexual Violence along William Bryd's Dividing Line 20
3 Thinking Like Mount Rushmore: Sexuality and Gender in the Republican Landscape 40
Pt. II Bodies
4 Scaling New Heights: Heroic Firemen, Gender, and the Urban Environment, 1875-1900 63
5 "New Men in Body and Soul": The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Transformation of Male Bodies and the Body Politic 80
6 Voices from the Spring: Silent Spring and the Ecological Turn in American Health 103
7 Gender Transformed: Endocrine Disruptors in the Environment 129
Pt. III Consumption
8 Putting Gender on the Table: Food and the Family Life of Nature 169
9 From Snow Bunnies to Shred Betties: Gender, Consumption, and the Skiing Landscape 194
Pt. IV Politics
10 "She Touched Fifty Million Lives": Gene Stratton-Porter and Nature Conservation 221
11 Nature's Lovers: The Erotics of Lesbian Land Communities in Oregon, 1974-1984 242
12 Saving Centennial Valley: Land, Gender, and Community in the Northern Black Hills 263
13 Steps to an Ecology of Justice: Women's Environmental Networks across the Santa Cruz River Watershed 282
Contributors 321
Index 323
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