News

In 2015 the new MLA Forum on Ecocriticism and the Environmental Humanities happened! See our interview here.

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RESEARCH

I continue to write and speak about new materialism, material feminisms, environmental science studies, and my concept of "trans-corporeality," while I undertake new projects that explore marine animal studies, science studies, posthumanism, and the anthropocene.

BOOKS in progress:

Blue Ecologies: Science, Aesthetics, and the Creatures of the Abyss, investigates the science, art, film, and literature of deep sea creatures, asking what modes of recognition and reorientation these unfathomable creatures may spark. It traces how marine animals circulate through science, popular culture, and conservation movements, considering the relation between scientific capture, aesthetic rendering, and the possibilities for posthuman pollitics. Several companion essays about ocean ecologies, new materialism, trans-corporeal ocean activism, and anthropocene feminisms have been published in Thinking with Water, Prismatic Ecologies, Material Ecocriticism, and other places.

[Photo below, right:Kirsten Justesen, Ice Pedestal Series]

Protest and Pleasure: New Materialism, KIrsten JustesenEnvironmental Activism, and Feminist Exposure suggests that the anthropocene is no time to set things straight. The book resists the temptation to engage in any sort of grand mapping or as that would be inimical to the embedded modes of epistemological, ethical, and political engagement that it traces. It begins by considering the pleasures of inhabiting places where the domestic refuses to domesticate and the walls decline to divide. It ends with an imaginary inhabitation of the dissolving shells of sea creatures who epitomize extinction in anthropocene seas. Dwelling in the dissolve, where the fundamental boundaries have begun to come undone, unraveled by unknown futures, can be a form of ethical engagement and a mode of political inhabitation, which emanates from both feminist and environmentalist practices. Protest and Pleasure locates new materialisms and material feminisms in fleeting ethical moments and compromised political sites that make up the massive temporal and geographical expanse of the anthropocene.

I am excited to be editing Matter(2016) a cross-disciplinary volume for the innovative Gender series, part of MacMillian's Interdisiciplinary Handbooks.

BOOKS published:
Toxic Girl illustration by FawazoBodily Natures: Science, Environment and the Material Self (Indiana UP, 2010), argues that focusing on what I call "trans-corporeality"--the movement across human bodies and nonhuman nature--profoundly alters our sense of human subjectivity, environmental ethics, and the individual's relation to scientific knowledge. The book engages with feminist theory, science studies, environmental philosophy, and a range of literary, popular, and scientific texts, as well as photography, film, and activist web sites. Several chapters focus on environmental health and environmental justice; several grapple with the question of material agency. The new materialism of Bodily Natures emerges from philosophy, science, and the practices of everyday life. It begins with subjects that are not exactly Human and ends with a posthuman ethics. [Cover art by Fawazo.]

Bodily Natures was awarded the ASLE (Association for the Study of Literature and Environment) Award for Ecocriticism, 2011 and was the subject of a special book session at the International Association of Environmental Philosophy (IAEP), Eugene, Oct. 27, 2013.

See a discussion of Bodily Natures on Angela Benett Segler's site: "Transcorporeality and Agency in the Anthropocene."Angela Bennett Segler's sites

"Alaimo does a fabulous job of thinking through how a trans-corporeal understanding of matter provides a more robust and more adequate basis for appreciating issues of environmental health and environmental justice." -- Nancy Tuana, Pennsylvania State University

"This impressively researched and vigorously argued study will be of the first importance to all environmental humanists, especially for its deeply-informed and subtle account of the "trans-corporeality" of the human self." -- Lawrence Buell, Harvard University

"There is no lack of ambition in Bodily Natures; only a marked reluctance to sacrifice nuance in the fulfilment of it. At the same time, the wry, subtle humour that pervades the book enlivens the prose whilst complementing its serious political passions." Greg Garrard, "Ecocriticism," YWCCT

"Most interesting here is Alaimo's discussion of how race and class are literarly materialized (rather than discursively performed or constructed) in the imbrications of bodies and places--an analysis that pushes boundaries in both the literal and metaphorical senses." Astrida Neimanis, TOPIA

"If Barad is the goddess of the material turn, Stacy Alaimo certainly deserves a place as its high priestess with her new book, Bodily Natures, a meticulously researched, deeply informed interdisciplinary study on the trans-corporeal understanding of matter" Serpil Oppermann, Haceteppe University.

John Bruni's review of Bodily Natures at Electronic Book Review.

Veronica Vold's review of Bodily Natures at Electronic Book Review.

Levi Bryant's, "Stacy Alaimo: Porous Bodies and Trans-Corporeality "at Larval Subjects.

DIGITAL COMPANION TO BODILY NATURES: Here are LINKS to some of the web sites discussed in the book:

 

material feminismsMaterial Feminisms,edited with Susan J. Hekman, (Indiana UP, 2008), charts emerging models of materiality in feminist theory, bringing together environmental feminism, corporeal feminism, feminist science studies, and disability studies. Contributors: Stacy Alaimo, Karen Barad, Susan Bordo, Suzanne Bost, Claire Colebrook, Elizabeth Grosz, Michael Hames-Garcia, Donna J. Haraway, Susan Hekman, Vicki Kirby, Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands, Tobin Siebers, Nancy Tuana, Elizabeth A. Wilson.

 

"Material Feminisms ... clearly charts new theoretical waters, demonstrating how feminist thinking about materiality suffuses multiple disciplines and keeps them in lively conversation with one another. ...[It] provide[s] succinct and rich overviews of where
feminist studies, especially feminist technoscience studies, stands today." —Signs, Spring 2009

 

Undomesticated GroundMy first book, Undomesticated Ground: Recasting Nature as Feminist Space (Cornell, 2000), explores the work of North American women writers, theorists, and activists from the early 19th century to the late 20th century, arguing that "nature" has been a crucial site for a wide range of feminist cultural interventions. Topics include early Darwinian feminisms, birth control activism, Emma Goldman's "Mother Earth," working class mappings of nature, gender-minimizing feminist natures, and postmodern feminist environmentalisms. <Click here to view Cornell's descriptions and excerpts from reviews>

"Throughout the book, Alaimo shows that women have made subversive use of the particular literary, political, and gender conventions around them to create spaces for and threads of women's liberation that do not rest on a separation from nature. . . . These insights are complex and generative, and I found Alaimo's analysis to be rich and thought-provoking. . . . In both form and content, then, this is an important book for ecological scholars of all traditions. Read it with pleasure."—Catriona Sandilands, York University. Environmental Ethics, vol. 24, No. 3, Fall 2002.

"Undomesticated Ground explores a dazzling array of feminist texts that endeavour to inhabit and transform nature as a place of feminist possibility. Throughout, Alaimo remains sensitive to the pitfalls of any alliance between women and nature. ."—Meredith Criglington, Canadian Literature 180, Spring 2004

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Two theoretical challenges--which have ethical and political ramifications--have driven much of my work. First, how can postmodern, postructuralist, and otherwise gender-minimizing femininisms engage with the perilous discursive territory of "nature" ? (Collapsing feminism and environmentalisms into "ecofeminism," usually does more harm than good.) Second, how can scholars in the environmental humanities retain incisive practices of discursive critique while forging methodologies that account for the significance and agency of material forces? This question provoked my work in new materialist theory and science studies. I am still grappling with questions regarding the methodological challenges posed by new materialism and I continue to reconsider and extend the concept of "trans-corporeality" in new directions. Currently, however, I am also investigating how the aesthetic functions in both scientific and popular representations of ocean creatures.

Broadly, my research interests include 19th and 20th century multi-cultural American literatures; critical theory; feminist theory; cultural studies, green cultural studies; science studies; the environmental humanities, environmentalism and feminism; environmental health, environmental justice, environmental ethics; emerging theories of materiality in environmental feminism, corporeal feminism, and science studies; animal studies; posthumanism; science, literature and art of sea creatures, and ocean conservation. I've published articles on American literature, film, popular culture, architecture, performance art, sexual diversity in nonhuman animals, feminism and environment, gender and climate change, environmental theory, green pedagogy, and activism.

I believe that the environmental humanities needs to engage with both science and science studies scholarship. I served as the ASLE Liasion to the SLSA for several years, organizing conference panels devoted to promoting discussion between scholars in science studies and the environmental humanities. I served on the MLA Division of Literature and Science (2010-2015) and am now serving on the inaugural executive committee for the new MLA forum on Ecocriticism and Environmental Humanities (2015- ).

I was honored to serve as an Honorary Guest Researcher at TEMA: Department of Thematic Studies as part of their Research School for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies and their Posthumanities Hub.

ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS:

“Your Shell on Acid: Material Immersion, Anthropocene Dissolves,” Richard Grusin and John C. Blum eds. Anthropocene Feminisms.  Forthcoming, University of Minnesota Press.

“Ecology” for Gender, Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks, forthcoming 2016.

“Nature.” Oxford Feminist Theory Handbook, ed. Lisa Jane Disch and Mary Hawkesworth, forthcoming, 2015.

“Animals.” Invited essay for Keywords in the Study of Environment and Culture, ed. Joni Adamson, William Gleason, David N. Pellow.  (New York: NYU Press, forthcoming, 2015.

“Elemental Love in the Anthropocene.” Elemental Ecocriticism. Ed, Jeffery J. Cohen and Lowell Ducker. University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming, 2015.

“Feminist Science Studies: Aesthetics and Entanglement in the Deep Sea.”Oxford Handbook of Ecocriticism, ed. Greg Garrard. 2014.

“Oceanic Origins, Plastic Activism, and New Materialism at Sea”Material Ecocriticism, edited by Serenella Iovino, Serpil Oppermann, University of Indiana Press, 2014. [See videos "Ballad of the Plastic Bag" and "Plastic Seduction"]

“Violet-Black: Ecologies of the Abyssal Zone." Prismatic Ecologies, edited by Jeffrey Cohen, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013.

“Sexual Matters: Darwinian Feminism and the Nonhuman Turn.” Inaugural Issue of J19: Journal of Nineteenth Century Americanists, . 1.2 (Fall 2013): 390-396.

“Jellyfish Science, Jellyfish Aesthetics: Posthuman Reconfigurations of the Sensible." Thinking With Water, edited by Janine MacLeod, Cecilia Chen, and Astrida Neimanis. 2013: 139-164.

“States of Suspension: Trans-Corporeality at Sea, Special issue of ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, on “Material Ecocriticsm,” ed. by Heather Sullivan and Dana Phillips.  19.3 Summer 2012: 476-493.

 “Sustainable This, Sustainable That: New Materialisms, Posthumanism, and Unknown Futures.” PMLA “Theories and Methodologies” section. 127.3 (May 2012): 558-564.

“Dispersing Disaster: Deepwater Horizon and the Containment of Environmentalism.” Disasters, Environmentalism, and Knowledge ed. Sylvia Mayer and Christof Mauch, the Bavarian American Academy, the Universitätsverlag, Heidelberg ,2012: 175-192. Click here for PDF.

"Eluding Capture: The Science, Culture, and Pleasure of Queer Animals." Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Biopolitics, and Desire, ed. Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands and Bruce Erickson, Universit of Indiana Press, 2010: 15-36. Click here for PDF.

"The Naked Word: The Trans-corporeal Ethics of the Protesting Body," Women and Performance, 20.1 2010: 15-36. Click here for PDF.

"Insurgent Vulnerability: Masculinist Consumerism, Feminist Activism, and the Science of Global Climate Change." Women, Gender, and Research, (Kinder, Kon, og Forskning, Denmark) 3 2009: 22-35. Click here for PDF.

"MCS Matters: Material Agency in the Science and Practices of Environmental Illness," in TOPIA: A Journal of Canadian Cultural Studies, Spring 2009: 9-28. Click here for PDF.

“Introduction: Emerging Models of Materiality in Feminist Theory” (with Susan J. Hekman) in Material Feminisms. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008L 1-19..

“Trans-Corporeal Feminisms and the Ethical Space of Nature” in Material Feminisms. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008: 237-264.

"The Trouble with Texts, or Teaching Green Cultural Studies in Texas,” in Teaching North American Environmental Literatures, ed. Frederick O. Waage, Mark Long, and Laird Christensen. New York: MLA, 2008: 369-376.

“This is about Pleasure: An Ethics of Inhabiting” In Architecture, Ethics, and the Personhood of Place, ed. Gregory Caicco. University Press of New England, 2007: 151-172.

“‘Comrades of Surge’: Meridel Le Sueur, Cultural Studies, and the Corporeal Turn,” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 12.2 Winter 2005: 55-74.

“Discomforting Creatures: Monstrous Natures in Recent Films,” in Beyond Nature Writing, ed. Karla Armbruster and Kathleen Wallace, Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2001: 279-296.

“Cultural Difference and Epistemic Rupture: The Vanishing Acts of Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Alfredo Véa Jr.,” MELUS (Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the U. S.) 25.2 Summer 2000.

“Endangered Humans?: Wired Bodies and the Human Wilds,” Camera Obscura 40-41 (May 1997): 227-244.

“The Undomesticated Ground of Feminism: Mary Austin and the Progressive Women Conservationists,” Studies in American Fiction 26.1 (Spring 1998): 73-96.

“‘Skin Dreaming’: The Bodily Transgressions of Fielding Burke, Linda Hogan, and Octavia Butler,” reprinted in Ecofeminist Literary Criticism: Theory, Interpretation, Pedagogy, University of Illinois, 1998. Originally, “Displacing Darwin and Descartes: The Bodily Transgressions of Fielding Burke, Linda Hogan, and Octavia Butler ”ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 3.1 (Fall 1996): 47-66.

"Cyborg and Ecofeminist Interventions: Challenges for Environmental Feminism." Feminist Studies 20.1 (Spring 1994): 133-152.

“The Morgesons: A Feminist Dialogue of Bildung and Descent," Legacy: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers 8.1 (Spring 1991): 29-37.

Position Paper, Manifesto, Response Essay, Review Essays, Commentary, Reference Essay, Keywords

“When the Newt Turned Off the Lights.” Teaching Climate Change in Literary and Cultural Studies, ed. Siperstein and LeMenager.  In progress.

“Unmoor.”  Veer Ecology: Keywords for Ecotheory.  Ed. Jeffrey J. Cohen and Lowell Duckert, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.  In progress.

“The Anthropocene at Sea: Paradox, Anachronism, Compression.” Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities, ed. Jon Christensen, Ursula K. Heise, Michelle Niemann, in progress.

“Material Feminisms in the Anthropocene." Äsberg and Braidotti, ed. Feminist Companion to the Posthumanities, Springer, forthcoming 2016.

“Bring your Shovel.” Manifesto for inaugural issue of Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities. 1.1 December 2013.

“Thinking as the Stuff of the World.” Invited essay for inaugural issue of O-Zone: A Journal of Object-Oriented Studies, Issue One, Autumn 2013: 13-21.

“New Materialisms, Old Humanisms: or, Following the Submersible.”  Invited position paper for “Taking Turns” series in NORA: Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research. 19.4: (December 2011): 280-284. Click here for PDF.

"Ecology," in the Routledge Companion to Literature and Science, ed. Bruce Clarke and Manuela Rossini, 2010: 100-111.

"Ecofeminism without Nature? Questioning the Relation Between Feminism and Environmentalism." Invited Commentary for the International Feminist Journal of Politics. 10. 3 2008: 299-304.

“Material Engagements: Science Studies and the Environmental Humanities.” Invited position paper for the inaugural issue of Ecozon@ European Journal on Literature, Culture, and Environment 1.1 (Spring 2010) 69-74. Click here for PDF.


“Feminism, Nature, and Discursive Ecologies,” special issue of the Electronic Book Review, on Critical Ecologies, guest edited by Cary Wolfe. EBR IV (Winter 1996-7), http://www.altx.com/ebr/ebr4/alaimo.htm.

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