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Ethics & the Environment, Volume 4, Number 2, Fall 1999

ABSTRACTS

GENDER, NATURE, AND FIDELITY
Albert Borgmann

Contemporary discussions of gender and nature are likely to suffer from two vexations, the conflict of constructivism and naturalism and the conflict of nativism and rationalism. As a solution to the first I propose postmodern realism and as a remedy for the second a notion of careful scholarship. With the solutions laid out, I will illustrate and test them by discussing friendship and fidelity within the scope of gender and nature.
ECOFEMINIST PEDAGOGY: AN EXPLORATORY CASE
Lincoln J. Houde and Connie Bullis

For ecofeminists within academic contexts, the classroom is another "contested terrain" where transformative eco-cultural work should be integrated. In our case, we are a part of communication studies and try to adopt ecofeminist insight as a position for questioning dominant discourses and practices. To do this, we "incorporate popular culture as a serious object of politics and analysis" (Giroux 1997, 148). It is our hope that popular culture can be used as an ecofeminist tool for interrupting hegemonic power relations and encouraging critical-relational consciousness.
This paper reports an exploratory effort aimed at combining ecofeminist critiques with popular culture to employ an ecofeminist pedagogy. It begins with an ecofeminist critique of the "animal-industrial complex" (Noske 1989). In this critique, discursive moral agents are situated within the anthropocentric and androcentric culture (Payne 1994). It then articulates an ecofeminist teaching philosophy and describes how that philosophy was applied in one case using an episode from a prime time television cartoon. Finally, it draws conclusions about what is accomplished through this exploratory case.
ENVIRONMENT AND BELIEF: THE IMPORTANCE OF PLACE IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF KNOWLEDGE
Christopher J. Preston

In his popular first book, The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abram (1996) calls on us to recognize the encompassing earth "in all its power and its depth, as the very ground and horizon of all our knowing." By re-emphasizing the connection between knowing and the earth, Abram hopes to encourage a more engaged existence with the flora, fauna, and landscapes among which we reside. Given that the earth is literally the ground and horizon of all our knowing, it makes sense -- in fact, it is good for the senses -- to consider for a while how the places in which we know come to exert their influence upon the constructions that we call knowledge. This paper is a sketch of a larger project to illustrate the epistemic significance of geography.

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