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Becoming Native to this Place: Ecofeminist Bioregionalism in the Florida Panhandle

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, March 7, 2018. 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
Humanities Center Boardroom
Workshop: 
The Environmental Humanities Project
Meeting Description: 

Authors Janisse Ray and Susan Cerulean have drawn from ecofeminist nature memoirists like Terry Tempest Williams to craft an ecofeminist, bioregional sense of place in "the land between two rivers" surrounding Tallahassee, Florida. Their edited collection of nature memoir, Between Two Rivers, received agrarian ideas through Wendell Berry but reformulated an ecofeminist relation to place, reclaiming “sense of place” as a socially progressive politics. Drawing from ethnographic research in environmental education and activist settings across three Florida counties, this talk considers the different practices settler environmentalists use to claim belonging and even nativity to particular land and waterscapes. Through this investigation, I suggest the ethnographic record has paid insufficient attention to women's contributions to modern environmentalism, and in doing so, has underrepresented efforts to decolonize environmentalism. Rather than following David Hughes's call that settlers might learn to "belong awkwardly" in neo-Europes, this talk considers the possibility for settlers to, in Ray and Cerulean's words, "live differently" than moderns.

John Moran's scholarship sits at the intersection of three disciplines: cultural anthropology, the environmental humanities, and southern studies. It is also informed by queer theory, whiteness studies, and political ecology. His methodology is grounded in oral history, and influenced by visual ethnography and his training and interest in creative writing. His dissertation, "The Other Florida Revisited," is concerned with the intersection of identity and ecology in North Florida, especially collaboration and competition between two competing ecological nativist movements: ecofeminist bioregionalism and rural white identity politics.

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