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Sandilands, Catriona A H
Hannah Arendt emphasizes that the public realm is oriented to consideration of “the world itself, in so far as it is common to us all and distinguished from our privately owned place in it” (The Human Condition, 52). At the same time, however, that world appears to each of us differently; we discover the common world through the appearance of our interpretations in the company of others – through speech and action “in concert” – and thus find our interpretive plurality always and only in relationship to commonality. My suggestion that environmental literary criticism is an act of reading in concert, then, indicates that interpretation is about the cultivation of ecological judgment in the company of others. We read and write with a view to creating a common world in which the particular interpretive creation contributes to a common and plural, rather than systematic and univocal, political project. (from “I Still Need the Revolution”)
Areas of Academic Interest
- Environmental cultural studies
- Environmental/ecological literary criticism, environmental writing
- Sexuality, gender and environments: queer ecologies, ecological feminisms
- Nature and environment in social and political thought
Since my appointment to the Faculty in 1994, I have considered my primary task as a teacher, writer and researcher to be the cultivation of the “plurality” of which Arendt writes so eloquently. We build and perceive a common world only insofar as we are articulate and passionate speakers of our own, unique relationships to it. This necessary connection of worldliness and plurality strikes me (even if it might not have Arendt) as especially true for our relationships to natural environments: only by developing a deeply particular understanding of the natural communities of which we are a part can we appear to one another in common to discuss them, and only by holding our perceptions up to the scrutiny of others can we understand our own individuality.
Reading and writing environmental literature is thus, in its exceptional focus on the tending of this relationship of plurality, a vital part of the development of an environmental public sphere. I understand my writing about Jane Rule and Derek Jarman, alongside yet quite different from my teaching of Henry David Thoreau and Catharine Parr Traill, as related acts to encourage understanding through specificity.
Major research projects
(with Ella Soper and Joshua Russell) Green Words/Green Worlds: Environmental Literatures and Politics in Canada (October, 2011) supported the SSHRC Aid to Scholarly Conferences and Workshops.
(with Megan Salhus) Nature Matters: Materiality and the More-than-Human in Cultural Studies of the Environment. International conference (October, 2007) supported by SSHRC Aid to Scholarly Conferences and Workshops.
After the Fire, What? Jane Rule, Lesbian Politics, Environmental Ethics. Book project supported by SSHRC Standard Research Grant, Pastoral Traditions, Sexual Subversions: A History of Lesbian Ecologies (to 2008).
(with Bruce Erickson) Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics and Desire. Workshop and edited essay collection supported by SSHRC Standard Research Grant, Pastoral Traditions, Sexual Subversions: A History of Lesbian Ecologies (to 2008).
(with Susan Moore and Lauren Corman). Sustainable Writing Lab. Technological, research and teaching resource on environmental writing and ecological criticism supported by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and Ontario Innovation Trust, Infrastructure Grant.
Select prizes and awards
- Canada Research Chair in Sustainability and Culture (Tier II), 2004-2014
- (with M. Salhus) SSHRC Aid to Scholarly Conferences and Workshops Grant for Nature Matters: Materiality and the More-than-Human in Cultural Studies of the Environment, 2007
- SSHRC Standard Research Grant, Pastoral Traditions, Sexual Subversions: A History of Lesbian Ecologies, 2004
- Canadian Foundation for Innovation and Ontario Innovation Trust, Infrastructure Grant, Sustainable Writing Laboratory, 2004
Books, monographs and journal issues
(In progress) A Queer Sense of Place: Jane Rule's Landscapes (for UBC Press).
(with B. Erickson), ed., Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics and Desire (Bloomington: Indiana University Press). Spring, 2010.
2009 TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. Guest editor, Special Issue, “Nature Matters” (Issue 21, Spring).
2004 (with M. Hessing and R. Raglon), ed., This Elusive Land: Women and the Canadian Environment (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press).
2001 (with S. MacGregor), ed., Women and Environments (WE) International, Special Issue, “Ecofeminism: Conversations for a New Millennium,” No. 52/53 (Fall).
1999 The Good-Natured Feminist: Ecofeminism and the Quest for Democracy (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press).
Chapters in books
2013 "Calypso Trails: Botanizing Expeditions on the Bruce Peninsula," in Ella Soper and Nicholas Bradley (eds.), Greening the Maple: Canadian Ecocritcal Traditions (reprint of "Calypso Trails," 2010), Calgary: University of Calgary Press (Invited). Forthcoming.
2013 (with P. Hobbs) "Queen's Park and Other Stories: Toronto's Queer Ecologies," for L. Anders Sandberg, Stephen Bocking, Colin Coates and Ken Cruikshank (eds.), Urban Explorations:Environmental Histories of the Toronto Region. Hamilton, ON: L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian Studies, McMaster University (invited). Forthcoming.
2013 "Acts of Nature: Literature, Excess and Environmental Politics," in Smaro Kamboureli and Christl Verduyn (eds.), Critical Collaborations: Indigenity, Diaspora, and Ecology in Canadian Literary Studies. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press (invited). Forthcoming.
2011 “Cap Rouge Remembered? Whiteness, Scenery and Memory in Cape Breton Highlands National Park,” in Andrew Baldwin, Laura Cameron and Audrey Kobayashi (eds.), Great White North: Nature and the Geographies of Whiteness in Canada (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press).
2011 “Green Things in the Garbage: Ecocritical Gleaning in Walter Benjamin's Arcades,” in Axel Goodbody and Kate Rigby (eds.), Ecocritical Theory: New European Approaches (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press), pp. 30-42.
2010 (with B. Erickson) “A Genealogy of Queer Ecologies,” in Catriona Sandilands and Bruce Erickson (eds.), Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics and Desire (Bloomington: Indiana University Press), pp. 1-50.
2010 “Melancholy Natures, Queer Ecologies,” in Catriona Sandilands and Bruce Erickson (eds.), Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics and Desire (Bloomington: Indiana University Press), pp. 331-358.
2010 “Thinking Ecology in Fragments: Walter Benjamin and the Dialectics of (Seeing) Nature,” in Brenda Iijima and Evelyn Reilly (eds.), eco (lang)(uage(reader), (Brooklyn, NY: Portable Press), pp. 211-226.
2008 “’I Still Need the Revolution’: Cultivating Ecofeminist Readers,” in Laird Christensen, Mark C. Long and Fred Waage (eds.), Teaching North American Environmental Literature (New York: Modern Languages Association of America), pp. 58-71.
2008 “Finding Emily,” in Alan MacEachern and William Turkel (eds.), Method and Meaning in Canadian Environmental History (Toronto: Thomson Nelson), pp. 158-180.
2008 “Landscape, Memory and Forgetting: Thinking Through (My Mother’s) Bodies and Places,” in Stacy Alaimo and Susan Hekman (eds.), Material Feminisms, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press), pp. 344-373.
2006 “’The Geology Recognizes No Boundaries’: Shifting Borders in Waterton Lakes National Park,” in Sterling Evans (ed.), The Borderlands of the American and Canadian Wests: Essays on the Regional History of the 49th Parallel (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press), pp. 309-333.
2004 “Where the Mountain Men Meet the Lesbian Rangers: Gender, Nation and Nature in the Rocky Mountain Parks,” in Melody Hessing, Rebecca Raglon and Catriona Sandilands (eds.), This Elusive Land: Women and the Canadian Environment (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press), pp. 142-162.
2004 “The Marginal World,” in J. Andrew Wainwright (ed.), Every Grain of Sand: Canadian Perspectives on Ecology and Environment (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press), pp. 45-54.
2004 “Sexual Politics and Environmental Justice: Thinking From the Experiences of Lesbian Separatists in Rural Oregon,” in Rachel Stein (ed.), New Perspectives on Environmental Justice: Gender, Sexuality and Activism (revised from “Lesbian Separatists and Environmental Experience,” 2002; New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press), pp. 109-126.
Articles in refereed journals
2010 "Calypso Trails: Botanizing Expeditions on the Bruce Peninsula," Dalhousie Review (Special Issue, Groundtruthing: Canada and the Environment). Vol. 90, No. 1, Spring, pp. 5-22.
2009 “The Cultural Politics of Ecological Integrity: Nature and Nation in Canada’s National Parks, 1885-2000,” International Journal of Canadian Studies (Special Issue on Environmental Cultural Studies, ed. R. Haluza-Delay)
2008 “Masculinity, Modernism and the Ambivalence of Nature: Sexual Inversion as Queer Ecology in The Well of Loneliness,” Left History (Special Issue on Environmental Politics), Vol. 13, no. 1, Spring/Summer, pp. 35-58.
2008 “Queering Ecocultural Studies,” Cultural Studies (Special issue on Ecocultural Studies, ed. P. Pezzullo), Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 455-476.
2004 “The Importance of Reading Queerly: Jewett’s Deephaven as Feminist Ecology,” Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, Vol. 11, no. 2, Summer, pp. 57-77.
2004 “Eco Homo: Queering the Ecological Body Politic,” Social Philosophy Today. Vol. 19, pp. 17-39.
2008 “Eco/feminism on the Edge: A Commentary.”Commentary essay in International Feminist Journal of Politics, Vol. 10. Issue 3, pp. 305-313.
2008 “A Primer for Great Lakes Consciousness.” Review of Wayne Grady, The Great Lakes: The Natural History of a Changing Region (2007), The Goose, Issue 4.2 (Fall).
2008 Review of Richard Outram, South of North: Images of Canada (2007), Alternatives.
2007 “Discovering Waterton,” review of Brent R. Laycock and Fred Stenson, Waterton: Brush and Pen (2006), The Goose, Issue 3.1 (Spring).
2005 “Unnatural Passions? Toward a Queer Ecology,” Invisible Culture, Issue 9: Nature Loving (ed. Lisa Uddin and Peter Hobbs).
2005 “Rachel Carson,” “Sarah Orne Jewett,” and “Environment and Ecology Movements,” entries for Marc Stein (ed.), LGBT: Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History in America (New York: Charles Scribner’s).
2004 Review of Women’s Studies Quarterly: Special Issue, “Earthwork: Women and Environments” (2001), Environmental Ethics, Vol. 26, Winter, pp. 437-440.
2004 “Sex in the Bushes: On Ecofeminism, Gender, and Sexuality.” Review essay of Virginia Scharff (ed.), Seeing Gender Through Nature (2003) and Peter Boag, Same Sex Affairs: Constructing and Controlling Homosexuality in the Pacific Northwest (2003), Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, Vol. 15, no.4, pp. 122-128.