Greta Gaard, professor of English and Coordinator of the Sustainability Faculty Fellows at University of Wisconsin-River Falls, will speak on “Critical Ecofeminism: Milk Flora and Fauna,” Wednesday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute.
Milk: commodity, or connection? Gift, or theft? Considered from diverse perspectives, milk appears variously as a commodity, a signifier of corporeal alienation, a cultural artifact, a weapon of colonialism, or the very material of relational connection. Gaard’s talk explores milk production, consumption, and commodification from a feminist postcolonial perspective, illuminating human manipulations of humans and other animals, insects (bees, tsetse flies, aphids), and plants (maple, coconut, Brosimum trees, as well as soy, almond, rice). Gaard asks: What are the ecopolitical ethics of these manipulations? And how do these relations affect the participants of diverse species while shaping human identities cross-culturally?
Gaard’s work emerges from the intersections of feminism, environmental justice, queer studies and critical animal studies, exploring a wide range of issues, from interspecies justice, material perspectives on fireworks and space exploration, postcolonial ecofeminism, and the eco-politics of climate change. Author or editor of six books and over seventy refereed articles, Gaard’s most recent volume is International Perspectives in Feminist Ecocriticism (Routledge, 2013), coedited with Simon Estok and Serpil Oppermann. She is currently at work on a manuscript titled Critical Ecofeminism, and her creative nonfiction eco-memoir, The Nature of Home (Arizona UP, 2007), is being translated into Chinese and Portuguese.