Ecofeminism: An Introductory Bibliography (Knutson, 1995)

[This bibliography is number 72 in the series WISCONSIN BIBLIOGRAPHIES IN WOMEN’S STUDIES published by the University of Wisconsin System Women’s Studies Librarian’s Office, 430 Memorial Library, 728 State Street, Madison, WI 53706]

Ecofeminism is a relatively new part of the feminist movement, evolving out of political activism over the past three decades. Peace marches, anti-nuclear protests, environmental and animal liberation movements, and world hunger activism have raised the consciousnesses of many.

A range of theoretical positions has emerged from this movement, resting on the assumption that there are critical connections between the domination of nature and of women. Particularly, ecofeminists attack patriarchal society’s dualistic thinking, wherein one side of the dualism reflects the “self” or the subject, while the second represents the “other” or the object. The object is considered only insofar as it can benefit the subject. Some of the more common dualisms addressed by ecofeminists are male/female, culture/nature, and mind/body, the former embodying all that is desired and “good” in Western society, the latter epitomizing those characteristics that should be denounced, shunned, or conquered. Ecofeminism seeks to move beyond this dualistic worldview and restructure our notion of power; life-affirming, consensual relationships are to replace “power-over” relationships. The movement wants to create an interconnected community, void of hierarchies, where all beings — human, non-human, and members of the organic world — have their own intrinsic value and are part of the same living organism, the earth.

The primary goal of this bibliography is to introduce the field of ecofeminism. Myriad books on this relatively new subject are popping up constantly, providing broad and differing views. I analyze four anthologies and one special journal issue on ecological feminism. These, I believe, provide a fundamental understanding of ecofeminism, lead the reader to other important sources, and give a general view of many of the issues within the field, from its philosophies to its spiritualism to its activism.