Event Title

Reading the Landscape: Race, Gender, and Capital in Western Constructions of Nature

Presenter Information

Asher Kaplan, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, K209

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-24-2015 2:45 PM

End Date

4-24-2015 3:45 PM

Abstract

How do American constructions of “nature” and “naturalness” perpetuate social injustice? How do Western nature narratives like the fall from Eden, the white male pioneer, and the unemployed environmentalist privilege certain identities, marginalize others, and produce a value system that seeks to use nature as a tool for the production of capital? Key principles of this construction derive from Enlightenment and Romantic ideologies: the concepts of wilderness, purity, and the sublime are still the dominant elements of contemporary nature writing. Can we invent a new nature writing to better reflect the realities of our relationship with the natural world?

Notes

Session 2, Panel 12 - The Production of Space: Studies of Physical and Discursive Boundaries
Moderator: Susan Colley, Delaney Professor of Mathematics

Major

English

Advisor(s)

Nicholas Jones, English

Project Mentor(s)

Natasha Tessone, English

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Apr 24th, 2:45 PM Apr 24th, 3:45 PM

Reading the Landscape: Race, Gender, and Capital in Western Constructions of Nature

Science Center, K209

How do American constructions of “nature” and “naturalness” perpetuate social injustice? How do Western nature narratives like the fall from Eden, the white male pioneer, and the unemployed environmentalist privilege certain identities, marginalize others, and produce a value system that seeks to use nature as a tool for the production of capital? Key principles of this construction derive from Enlightenment and Romantic ideologies: the concepts of wilderness, purity, and the sublime are still the dominant elements of contemporary nature writing. Can we invent a new nature writing to better reflect the realities of our relationship with the natural world?