August 31, 2018
A St. Mary’s College of Maryland professor published a scholarly article exploring how “queer environmentalism” and “ecosexuality” can make environmentalism more appealing.
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies professor Lauran Whitworth wrote “Goodbye Gauley Mountain, hello eco-camp: Queer environmentalism in the Anthropocene,” a study which seeks to convey the “effectiveness of queer environmental ethics in the Anthropocene, a word increasingly used to describe the anthropogenic destruction of ecosystems that marks our current geological era.” The academic journal Feminist Theory published the article.
“What do ecosexual encounters with nonhuman nature offer current discussions of environmental ethics?” she asks. “Can ecosexuality’s posthumanist tendencies queer our speciesist modes of belonging and foster an environmentalism that is not foundationally anthropocentric nor steeped in ‘reproductive futurism’?”
“Ecosexuality celebrates the carnal and grotesque, particularly in some of its campiest moments,” Whitworth explains, offering the example that some “wedding performers wear dildos outside their clothing and don costumes that accentuate and exaggerate their genitalia.”
Whitworth describes ecosexuality as “a theatrical environmental sensibility I deem eco-camp,” arguing that “ecosexuality’s campy ecological ethics and their tragi-comic and parodic tone…provides an alternative to the didacticism and moralism that characterise much contemporary environmentalism.”
Since it “elicits confusion, scepticism, and squeamishness from audiences,” she elaborates, ecosexuality has “the potential to disrupt environmental rhetoric per usual.”
Whitworth defines “eco-camp” as a “mode of florid performance, spectacle, and ostentatious sex-positivity” that looks to explore “new forms of…