The Death of Nature

Foundations of ecological feminist thought

Authored by: Charis Thompson , Sherilyn MacGregor

Routledge Handbook of Gender and Environment

Print publication date:  June  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415707749
eBook ISBN: 9781315886572
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315886572.ch2

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Abstract

Without question, The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution is one of the most successful and influential books of feminist scholarship ever written. Published in 1980 by American environmental historian Carolyn Merchant, it has remained in print, continuing to sell well and to speak to lay and expert readers alike. The book’s continued ability powerfully to connect sexism and other forms of domination prevalent in modern life with a historical and analytic framework for examining ecological devastation remains deeply compelling. One may disagree with the interpretation of a particular piece of evidence in the text, or find the structural explanation to be too sweeping, but the fundamental insight retains its explanatory power. The idea that the rise of modern science, technology, and capitalism produced and relied on the death, domination, and exploitation of a nature gendered female, and that this reinforced and reflected the cultural subordination and exploitation of women, is the kind of provocative thesis of which academia has too few.

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